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Year 2 of COPIM: what have we achieved?

A roundup of what the COPIM project has achieved in our second year

Published onOct 26, 2021
Year 2 of COPIM: what have we achieved?
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key-enterThis Pub is a Commentary on
Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM): Annual Report - Year 2 (2020-2021)
Description

COPIM is committed to exploring solutions to some of the most pressing barriers currently preventing small publishers from interfacing with large-scale organisations and processes. As a result, COPIM is developing a significantly enriched, not-for-profit and open-source ecosystem for open access (OA) book publishing; one that will support and sustain a diversity of publishing initiatives and models, particularly within Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) publishing. The adoption of alternative infrastructures, business models, preservation structures, and governance procedures, all to be scoped and developed through COPIM, will enable increased economic resilience and enhanced capacities for the publication and dissemination of open access books at smaller and larger scales. COPIM's approach offers Higher Education institutions and HSS researchers sustainable publishing models that they control, increased publishing options, and new revenue streams and cost reductions, designed to help build a more equitable horizontal and co-operative knowledge sharing community. During the second year of the project, COPIM has continued its work in the areas of collaborative research, infrastructure development, project management and outreach and community building. Further evolving its approach to cope with the continued and compounding challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit have offered to the Higher Education sector and beyond, the project has succeeded in meeting the vast majority of its deliverables and milestones across all work packages, in some areas even outperforming the initial goals set. The list of key output and activities delivered includes the: publication of six new major scoping reports; successful organisation and documentation of 15 workshops overall with more than 190 national and international high-profile stakeholders representing 22 countries set-up and iterative extension of an Outreach and Dissemination network that is combining a variety of channels including social media and open community platforms; beta launch and continuous further development of Thoth, COPIM’s Open Dissemination System. Thoth now makes open access book metadata available in an open, transparent, and participatory way. It will see further integration into the larger context of the Open Book Collective, among other outlets, to be developed in Year 3 and beyond. The COPIM project has continued and deepened its engagement with the work packages’ variety of stakeholders (i.e., librarians, publishers, researchers, technology providers, and the general public), bringing together key experts and those interested in learning more about scholar-led, not-for-profit, OA book publishing. Alongside its own event organisation and outreach activities, COPIM has been involved in the Open Access Book Network, while COPIM team members have been invited to participate in a variety of external conferences, events, and networks by organisations and projects such as Invest in Open Infrastructure, OASPA, OPERAS, LIBER, the Next Generation Libraries Publishing project, OpenAIRE, The British Library, COAR, EIFL, and the European Open Science Cloud. The sustained progress against the original plan during this second year is particularly noteworthy as the project had to work with the continued and compounding effects of the various challenges that COPIM saw in its first-year set-up. As already outlined during the first year Brexit and the pandemic – and the systemic effects these events continue to have on the Higher Education sector as a whole – governed much of the project work on COPIM. As a result, the project had to accommodate further delays in staff recruitment and an increase in pandemic-related limitations to availability of staff members due to extended care duties and the toll on health of all involved. Despite these challenges COPIM, together with its stakeholders, is now well positioned to implement the open infrastructures and systems of governance conceptualised over its first two years, while continuing to develop its research and project management structures. COPIM has requested a six-month no-cost extension from its funders to make effective use of budget underspend accrued during the project’s lifetime because of the pandemic, and to enable the team to continue its work on the envisioned open infrastructures for monographs.

COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) officially began its work two years ago on 1 November 2019. Funded by Research England and Arcadia Fund, COPIM is an international partnership of researchers, universities, librarians, open access book publishers and infrastructure providers who are building community-owned, open systems and infrastructures to enable open access book publishing to grow and flourish, according to the principles of scaling small.1

The project is funded for three years, and this is a summary of our second year of activities. (A summary of our first year can be viewed  here.) Read on to find out more about our work over the last twelve months, and how you can get in touch.


N.B. The main page of our Open Documentation site is organised by quarters, so, if you prefer, you can browse our outputs and announcements as they happened. We have also published a public version of our full Annual Report to our funders, if you want to dig into a more detailed summary.


Major Achievements

During the second year of the project, COPIM has continued its work in the areas of collaborative research, infrastructure development, project management and outreach and community building. Further evolving its approach to cope with the continued and compounding challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit have offered to the Higher Education sector and beyond, the project has succeeded in meeting the vast majority of its deliverables and milestones across all work packages, in some areas even outperforming the initial goals set.

An infographic that sets out some information about COPIM entitled 'COPIM in numbers': 

PubPub: 37,036 views in total; 13,520 users overall; 8,261 users in 2021; 19,502 views in 2021; from 122 countries
17 collaborations with external projects
30+ presentations at international conferences & workshops
6 major COPIM research & scoping reports with 9,400 views and 5,000 downloads on Zenodo
1,196 followers on Twitter up from 645 in 2020
1166 tweets
687,000+ impressions
GitHub:
1 productive beta (Thoth)
2 pre-alpha (Open Book Collective and Opening the Future)
Want to know more? Visit us on copim.pubpub.org
Data as of 1 October 2021
Icons by Flaticon.com & Freepik.com

COPIM in numbers, by Tom Grady, CC BY

The list of key output and activities delivered includes the:

  • The highly successful implementation of COPIM’s Opening the Future model whereby library members pay a small annual fee to get unlimited multi-user access to eBooks from the publishers’ backlists, and the membership revenue is then used to produce new OA monographs. This model does not use BPCs (Book Processing Charges, a per-book fee model). It has been adopted by two publishers – Central European University Press and Liverpool University Press – and library membership uptake has already accrued enough funding for 5 monographs. The model was also a finalist at the ALPSP ‘Innovation in Publishing’ Awards;


  • Early discussions with libraries regarding the Open Book Collective platform and model are similarly garnering a lot of interest;

  • The successful organisation and documentation of 15 workshops overall, through which COPIM has engaged with more than 190 national and international stakeholders from the UK, US, Africa, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe to establish communities on a variety of overarching open access book-related topics;

  • The ongoing development and growth of COPIM’s Open Dissemination System Thoth, a tool and service to make open access book metadata available in an open and transparent way, and successful real-life implementation thereof with four OA book publishers;


  • The setup and iterative extension of a set of Outreach and Dissemination activities that are combining a variety of channels including social media and open community platforms;


  • The development of three Pilot Projects of experimental books, co-created with international communities of scholars and three scholar-led presses: Open Humanities Press, Open Book Publishers, and Mattering Press.

The COPIM project has continued and deepened its engagement with the work packages’ variety of stakeholders (i.e., librarians, publishers, researchers, technology providers, and the general public), bringing together key experts and those interested in learning more about scholar-led, not-for-profit, OA book publishing. Alongside its own event organisation and outreach activities, COPIM has been involved in the Open Access Book Network, while COPIM team members have been invited to participate in a variety of external conferences, events, and networks by organisations and projects such as Invest in Open Infrastructure, OASPA, OPERAS, LIBER, the Next Generation Libraries Publishing project, OpenAIRE, The British Library, COAR, EIFL, and the European Open Science Cloud.

In addition to that, notable collaborations were sought with e.g. the European Science Cloud’s Provider Marketplace and EOSC Pillar; the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research-funded projects KOALA, CODRIA, and Scholar-led Plus, the German scholar-led.network initiative, LYRASIS, and the Embedding Preservability project.

The sustained progress against the original plan during this second year is particularly noteworthy as the project had to work with the continued and compounding effects of the various challenges that COPIM saw in its first-year set-up. As already outlined during the first year Brexit and the pandemic – and the systemic effects these events continue to have on the Higher Education sector as a whole – governed much of the project work on COPIM. As a result, the project had to accommodate further delays in staff recruitment and an increase in pandemic-related limitations to availability of staff members due to extended care duties and the toll on health of all involved.

Despite these challenges COPIM, together with its stakeholders, is now well positioned to implement the open infrastructures and systems of governance conceptualised over its first two years, while continuing to develop its research and project management structures. COPIM has requested a six-month no-cost extension from its funders to make effective use of budget underspend accrued during the project’s lifetime because of the pandemic, and to enable the team to continue its work on the envisioned open infrastructures for monographs.

Get in touch

Consortial Members of COPIM

COPIM is an international partnership comprising

Contact COPIM

Header photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash

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