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Final WP4 Report: Governing Scholar-Led OA Book Publishers

Published onApr 06, 2023
Final WP4 Report: Governing Scholar-Led OA Book Publishers

We are pleased to announce the release of the final report from COPIM’s Governance Work Package (WP4), titled Governing Scholar-Led OA Book Publishers: Values, Practices, Barriers. This report develops some of the issues we have previously explored within COPIM with regard to community governance, such as the challenges of governing a collective and the relationship of governance to common resources, to explore how these apply in practice to the publication of books by small-to-medium Open Access publishers, as well as what barriers they have faced in implementing their governance models. It presents and discusses the results of six interviews with small and medium Open Access publishers from the ScholarLed consortium. It then offers some recommendations and insights into how other small and medium Open Access publishers might set up and/or improve their governance practices, including how the Open Book Collective and Open Book Futures project might support them in doing so.

Governing Scholar-Led OA Book Publishers was written by Dr. Judith Fathallah, with the kind assistance of the following interviewees:

  • François van Schalkwyk, Director of African Minds

  • Joe Deville, Co-Founder of Mattering Press

  • Jeff Pooley, Director of

  • Mercedes Bunz, Co-Founder of meson press

  • Alessandra Tosi, Co-Director of Open Book Publishers

  • Eileen Joy, Co-Director of punctum books.

After a contextual discussion on the need for scholar-led OA publishers and governance issues related to the concept of the knowledge commons, the report presents the interview data. The publishers discuss the impetuses to startup their presses; incorporation and its forms; the elements, resources and actors in their governance structures; the evolution of governance structures and processes; their current mechanisms and procedures;t ransparency and self assessment; their relationships with institutions and organizations; and their perspectives on current governance.

Some reccomendations are then made to assist new publishers in considering their governance, and links to tools and resources provided.

The report has been published as a living document here on COPIM's Open Documentation Site (PubPub), and is also availabe as a time-stamped PDF version on Zenodo at

Header image by Worshae on Unsplash

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