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About Open Access and Opening the Future

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that open access in scholarly communications is the optimal solution in a time of severe societal restriction. It seems clear that there is an opportunity to reassess how academic books can reach the world. Even without the context of Covid-19, open access is a benefit to scholars and readers alike - the following list of positive benefits is taken from the OAPEN OA Books Toolkit:

  • Increased readership, usage and citation

  • Wider and more diverse audiences

  • Real-world impact and public engagement

  • Quicker and more lasting impact

  • More possibilities for readers to engage with and improve research

  • Greater author control

  • Compliance with funder mandates

The Covid pandemic has at once exposed how vital open access is to the future of scholarly communications while also ripping the heart out of the library budgets that can make that transition possible. Opening the Future is designed to be affordable to yield excellent value per book. At an average projected cost of approximately £16 per backlist title, or an amalgamated OA frontlist and backlist cost of around £14 per book, whichever way you look at it, Opening the Future provides a good return on library investment.

Our policy is to first seek funding from other sources and only if that is not available (which it is still not in most cases) would we apply the funds raised from this project to make books open.

We hope that with the documented success of Opening the Future we will have a model that could lead to the widespread transition of university presses worldwide to OA. COPIM is also working on producing something like a 'shopping mall' to facilitate support and enable library choice. Called the 'Open Book Collective' this non-profit platform will allow open-access academic publishers and infrastructure providers to promote their publishing activities, manage and sell their funding schemes to libraries.

Open access is of clear benefit to research funders, who can then ensure the maximum public impact of the work that they fund. Funders have, in the past, supported other consortial membership schemes in the journal space and we hope that this will translate to books as we seek a more open future.

Nothing less than to show a route to sustainable OA for the foundational publications of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Revenue targets can be reached as more libraries join up. Once achieved, we will make more books open access.

Since success in opening all books depends on the income this will be considered but can reflect only the savings in administration and marketing costs. Please contact us to discuss.

As soon as we have the revenue, the next book to be published will be OA.

No, the model is not based on the support of individual titles. If anything it’s more like a ‘Subscribe to Open’ offer. Participating libraries get unlimited access to curated selections of backlist eBooks at a much cheaper price than buying them in print one at a time. The subscription fees are then used to ‘unlock’ new OA books. It’s that simple. There are no BPCs charged, and authors at participating libraries do not get ‘preferential’ or ‘discounted’ publishing deals: OA books are chosen on merit, through the normal editorial proposal process and are peer reviewed. The cost of producing OA books is paid for by the collected library subscription fees: so the more libraries sign up, the more OA books can be published.

About money and conditions of membership

Members receive access to a combined package of 17 books in the Contemporary Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures (CHLC) series, plus 19 books in the Liverpool Latin American Studies (LLAS) series. In total, 36 backlist titles containing excellent research on modern and contemporary Latin American, hispanic and lusophone cultures and writing. Topics include: history, literature, cinema, cultural and social studies, languages, social anthropology, politics, popular culture, international relations, human geography, archaeology, environmental studies, business and commerce. (As a bonus, there are also some OA books already published in both these series: those titles can be freely accessed on our Open Access Collections webpages, and also on DOAB.)

These series have been chosen for the programme because it will complement our OA journal Modern Languages Open and because the Opening the Future initiative renews LUP’s commitment to OA in the modern languages.

Access to titles will be provided at the start of the next calendar year.

  • Tier 1: Large institutions with active research programmes = £800.00 p.a.

  • Tier 2: Small to mid-sized research universities; commercial customers = £650.00 p.a.

  • Tier 3: ‘New universities’ and other medium-sized institutions with a focus on undergraduate study = £550.00 p.a.

  • Tier 4: Smaller / specialised institutions and lesser-funded institutions = £400.00 p.a.

  • Tier 5: Non-profits, museums, schools = £250.00 p.a.

Membership is for a minimum of three years. Access to titles will be provided at the start of the next calendar year.

Member libraries and institutions will have unlimited concurrent/simultaneous access to all titles in the package they’ve subscribed to during the term of their three year membership. They will be entitled to perpetual access to that package at the end of their three year membership.

Member libraries and institutions will have unlimited concurrent/simultaneous access to all titles in the package they’ve subscribed to during the term of their three year membership. They will be entitled to perpetual access to that package at the end of their three year membership.

The ebooks will be available for download from the LUP website and also via our new super-fast, feature-rich online eReader which presents volumes with a crisp fully-scalable image and the ability to zoom in, bookmark, copy text, print, and download. Liverpool University Press is committed to making this website and its resources accessible to the widest possible audience.
To do this, we have developed a fully WCAG 2 compliant website which scored 100% on its Lighthouse performance report. We aim to be fully WCAG 2.1 compliant by the end of 2021. Members will be able to create administrative accounts on the LUP website in order to access MARC records and COUNTER statistics. KBART files can be supplied by the publisher upon request.

There will be light DRM on the backlist books (and, of course, no restrictions on the OA frontlist publications). Member libraries and institutions will have unlimited concurrent/simultaneous access to all titles in the package they’ve subscribed to during the term of their three year membership.

The new titles funded by the program to be published open access will be hosted on the LUP website and shared widely. The books will also be listed in DOAB.

Yes. All OA titles will be available to purchase in print form. The revenue that we need to make books OA is already reduced by the amount that we hope to raise from continuing print sales. Print books can be bought through the normal channels.

Yes. We appreciate that some institutions may not wish to sign up to a book package, or may not be able to. However they might still want to support, and help to fund, the Open Access monographs that LUP will be publishing. For these institutions we have created an ‘OA Supporter Membership’. It is simple and quick to join, just fill in the following sign up form with the appropriate details and we’ll do the rest. No further action is required from you once we have processed the payment.

About LUP and Opening the Future partners

Widely recognised for its forward-looking approach, Liverpool University Press has been described by the critic Sir Jonathan Bate as ‘one of the great success stories in the difficult climate of modern academic publishing.’ Operating entirely without institutional subsidy, LUP has maintained and expanded an outstanding publishing list of its own while also acting as the publishing partner of organisations such as Historic England and the Voltaire Foundation. Its participation in Opening the Future builds on a long history of open access publishing: LUP was the first publisher worldwide to sign up to Knowledge Unlatched, collaborated with Jisc on the OAPEN-UK and Institution as E-textbook publisher projects, launched the pioneering journal Modern Languages Open and is currently working with University of North Carolina Press on the Mellon-funded Sustainable History Monograph Project.

COPIM is an international partnership of researchers, universities, librarians, open access book publishers and infrastructure providers supported by the Research England Development Fund (REDFund) as a major development project in the Higher Education sector with significant public benefits, and by the Arcadia Foundation. LUP is being given assistance in implementing this model through Work Package 3 of the COPIM programme including documentation of this ‘working model’ as a step towards creating a free, open toolkit and roadmap for other book publishers considering OA.


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