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Open Position: Product Manager (Full-time or Part-time) @ Open Book Publishers

Published onMar 26, 2021
Open Position: Product Manager (Full-time or Part-time) @ Open Book Publishers

Open Book Publishers is looking to appoint a Product Manager to scope, characterise and implement the services provided for users and stakeholders of the Open Dissemination System being developed within the the RCUK and Arcadia funded COPIM Project. The Product Manager will also be responsible for designing and implementing a sustainability plan for these services beyond the COPIM project completion date.

About the Project

COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) is an international partnership of researchers, universities, librarians, open access book publishers and infrastructure providers. It is building community-owned, open systems and infrastructures to enable open access book publishing to flourish. COPIM is funded by both Research England and the Arcadia Fund.

The landscape of open access book publishing stands at a crossroads: one avenue leads to the monopolisation of open access book publishing by commercial publishers and for-profit intermediaries while the other opens up a more diverse, scholar-led, community-owned, and not-for-profit publishing ecosystem.

COPIM is a project dedicated towards supporting these second sets of possibility. It does so by delivering major improvements in the infrastructures used by open access book publishers and those publishers making a transition to open access books. COPIM’s innovations will enable more productive collaborations between people (including librarians, publishers, and researchers) in the open access landscape and expand opportunities to develop the skills necessary to run open access publishing operations.

About the Open Dissemination System

This specific position is associated the creation of an Open Dissemination System (ODS) to better manage open access book metadata and integrate open access books into existing and emerging discovery and distribution channels - including institutional libraries, digital learning environments and repository systems. Guided by the perspective of new and emerging not-for-profit open access presses that have not yet been sufficiently integrated into existing discovery systems, knowledge bases, and supply routes, the aim of the ODS is to develop open methods and systems to better manage and integrate the catalogues of open access publishers into curated research records.

The database underlying ODS (Thoth) is being built using open source code, open protocols and standards, and openly licensed metadata. The project team working on developing this product is small but focused, and includes two developers and the COPIM project partners involved in WP5. As a key member of this team, and working in collaboration with other WPs within COPIM, the Product Manager will be responsible for defining and formalising the services and products provided, establishing an appropriate governance and legal structure and formulating a sustainability plan for the ODS beyond the end of the funded project.

About You

Most importantly, we are looking for somebody with experience in product management and passionate about open infrastructure, (digital) books, and making scholarly books discoverable and accessible to a broad and inclusive global audience. You will have had experience as a product manager or project manager on technology development projects and/or implementation, ideally in open source environments. In close collaboration with the WP5 team and the broader COPIM community, the product manager will be expected to conceptualise, embrace, refine and drive a vision of new technology to make the discovery of OA books an easy and equitable process.

Among other things, the PM should:

  • Have a good understanding of digital technology and products — particularly open source software

  • Be conversant with the issues surrounding the provision of Software as a Service (SaaS) within an open source environment

  • Have strong interpersonal and communication skills

  • Care about open infrastructure and want to make scholarly communications better

  • Be able to work with international groups of external and internal stakeholders in scoping and designing the product specs

  • Be self-motivated with a collaborative and can-do attitude and enjoy working with a small team across multiple time zones

  • Show initiative and be capable of conceiving of innovative solutions to problems

  • Maintain order in a dynamic environment, managing multiple priorities

  • Have a good understanding of scholarly publishing and distribution processes, with a particular focus on Open Access books

  • Be a self-starter, who can do the right things in a small team

Ideally, you should also have an understanding of and/or experience with some of the following:

  • Books and/or publishing

  • Distribution and discovery of scholarly content

  • Technology start-ups

  • Open Access / Open licensing

  • Academia / academic institutions

  • Libraries & Publishers

  • Nonprofits / community-driven organisations

  • Online collaboration tools (e.g. Github, NextCloud, Mattermost ...)

Note: you should apply even if you don’t feel that your credentials are a 100% match with the position description. We are looking for relevant skills and experience, not a checklist that exactly matches the position itself.

Both OBP and the COPIM project are committed to building diverse teams, with people from a range of backgrounds. Equity, inclusion and diversity are core values for us, for the technologies we build and the communities we support. We strive to ensure that our team reflects these values. Our work environment is also supportive of those with family caregiving responsibilities.

About the position

Subject to funder approval, this is a fixed term position funded through the COPIM project, starting from as soon as possible and extending through to the completion of the project at the end of October 2022.

We are intending to either make one FULL TIME appointment, or two PART TIME appointments for this position. We encourage applications from people interested in working in either a Full-time or a Part-time capacity.

Open Book Publishers is located in Cambridge, UK. For the past 12 months all employees have been working from home. While we hope to eventually return to working from our offices, we welcome applications from people wishing to work remotely, either from the UK or overseas.

Salary scale

Gross salary £30-£40k (FTE) per annum, depending on experience.

About the application process

Applicants are invited to send a cover letter and CV to Rupert Gatti (rupert[dot]gatti[at]openbookpublishers[dot]com).

Closing Date: Noon Friday 16 April 2021

We intend to interview shortlisted candidates during the week of April 19-23.

Interested candidates are welcome to contact Rupert Gatti, or any other members of the Project Team, with any questions about this position.

Further information about Open Book Publishers, COPIM and Thoth can be found at:

Header image: Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

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