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New WP4 report: Exploring Models for Community Governance

Published onMay 06, 2021
New WP4 report: Exploring Models for Community Governance
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Exploring Models for Community Governance
Exploring Models for Community Governance

We are pleased to announce the release of a new COPIM report exploring current models of community governance as explored both within scholarly communications and outside of it (looking more generally to frameworks relating to cooperativism, the commons, and community rule and how they can be applied). This report is one of the major deliverables of our Community Governance Work Package (WP4).

Exploring Models for Community Governance, written by Dr Samuel Moore, and incorporating feedback from COPIM members and COPIM’s HC Governance Working Group, is a two-part research and scoping report which serves as a resource for both COPIM and for the scholarly community, especially for authors and publishers interested in explore alternative, community-led forms of governance for their research and publishing projects.

As the report points out, community governance is rapidly becoming an important topic in scholarly communication. As control of academic publishing has been largely ceded to private firms within the market, many researchers are now arguing for new kinds of governance by the diverse communities that hold a stake in the academic publishing industry (Fyfe et al., 2017; Moore, 2020). This will allow the workflows and infrastructures for publishing to be accountable to a broader range of stakeholders, such as authors, librarians, early-career researchers, the broader public, and of course, publishers.

Work package 4 of the COPIM project is exploring community governance with a view to designing the policies and procedures for community oversight of the infrastructures and models that the overall project is developing. Our aim is to create durable organisational structures for the coordination, governance, and administrative support of the project’s community-owned infrastructure. This includes developing new avenues of outreach, communication, and partnership with diverse stakeholders in open research with a shared interest in this infrastructure, creating genuine community involvement and collective control. In conducting this research, which is reflected in this report as well as in our forthcoming reports, we hope both to learn from the governance models that our colleagues in scholarly communication are utilising thus far and to look to the future of community governance for academic publishing.

This first report presents initial work on the various models that already exist for community governance and discusses their pros and cons for COPIM’s open access monograph infrastructures, particularly its consortial funding programme. It does this through 1) a landscape study of forms of governance within scholarly communication and 2) an exploratory study of the theoretical literature on alternative forms of governance appropriate for community-led organisations.

The report has been published as a living document here on PubPub, and is also availabe as a time-stamped PDF version on Zenodo (

In the next phase of Work Package 4, we will be building on this scoping report, which will grow into a larger document as COPIM co-designs its governance together with its community and as we outline more clearly the values and principles that guide our endeavours. We will be documenting this process along the way and this documentation will grow into our Best Practices Report, which we hope to release later this year.

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