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Opening the Future seeks Library Advisory Board Members

Opening the Future is seeking library members to help advise and steer our next steps

Published onMay 02, 2024
Opening the Future seeks Library Advisory Board Members

As we have outlined in recent blog posts, e.g. here, we no longer consider Opening the Future to be a ‘pilot’ OA funding model. It’s a real, functioning model funding serious scholarship. It’s been running for just over 3 years now and has funded a total of around 60 new OA books to be published (around 25 already out, the rest in the pipeline) between CEU Press and Liverpool University Press. The OtF team is in discussions right now with 3 more Presses with the aim of bringing them on board soon.

So as we begin to scale up the programme like this, the OtF team would like to set up an Advisory Board composed of library members to give us advice on our strategy and work in the coming years. We’ve seen lots of new funding models blossom in the last few years, many of them excellent initiatives, so it’s becoming increasingly important to OtF and Copim that this programme has a community of libraries at its core. It’s easy to throw around terms like ‘community’ but sometimes this word can be used in service of simply harnessing the community’s cash. At OtF we want our members to actually help guide our next steps.

So we’re putting out an open call to gauge interest from the sector and see whether it’d be feasible and worthwhile. We envisage the commitment being a low-level one: an online meeting of 60-90 minutes twice a year, attended by the OtF team and with a rotating Chair from among the group. The point of the meetings would be for us to discuss current issues in OA for books, challenges and opportunities for the OtF programme, and would be a forum for members to help influence how OtF works. 

It would be a great opportunity for staff working in collections, scholarly comms, and/or OA at any level and we’re keen for our Advisory Board to include a diverse range of colleagues who might be active experts (or just interested) in the fields of open access, publishing, and how university libraries and open infrastructures support alternative publishing futures.  

We hope to hold the first two meetings in early December 2024 and April 2025. Board members will be sent a project update and discussion topics in advance of the meetings. We estimate that the Advisory Board will consist of 8-10 members.

We’ve created a poll (link below) to gauge interest and we invite you to respond if you might be willing to participate*. This poll is totally non-binding, at this point we just want to get an idea of if we can get this off the ground and, if so, who might be available to be involved. In the event of all of you volunteering we’ll go for first come-first served from a cross-section of expertise.

If you would like to suggest someone else who might be interested in being involved, please ask them to email us on [email protected]

If you have any questions before you fill it in then please drop Tom and Kira (the OtF Copim team) an email and we’ll be happy to discuss and take on suggestions. Please do consider it - we would love to have you on board!

*Your response and personal data will be kept confidential and will only be shared with Tom Grady (Opening the Future work package lead at Copim OBF; Birkbeck College, UoL) and Kira Hopkins (Opening the Future scholarly publishing outreach at Copim OBF; Birkbeck College, UoL) to serve internal Copim OBF project purposes and will not be publicly shared, reported on, or published. All data collected will be securely stored until June 2032 (the lifetime of the Copim OBF project + 6 years) and in line with Lancaster University's Information Security Policy, which covers how data is stored securely on Lancaster University servers. Lancaster University is the lead project institution on the Copim Open Book Futures(OBF) project, jointly funded by Arcadia and the Research England Development Fund until April 2026. Learn more about the Open Book Futures project on the project website.

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