The Open Access Books Network is a space for passionate conversations about OA books. Researchers, publishers, librarians, infrastructure providers — indeed, anyone who is interested — can discuss any aspect of OA books here. This group was begun by members of OAPEN, OPERAS, ScholarLed and SPARC Europe.
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Business Models for Open Access Books
- 30 June 2020 at 6:04 am EDT #33124
This topic aims to facilitate and provide information around business models for Open Access books. What business models are out there for Open Access books? How are these evolving and are there particular challenges that could be addressed to improve these?
- 30 July 2020 at 11:32 am EDT #36132
There are a couple of in-depth posts that have been published in recent weeks by scholar-led presses discussing their business models in some detail (one of which I co-wrote, for full disclosure!) – they might be of interest to this thread:
- The cost of Open Access books: a publisher writes by Lucy Barnes and Rupert Gatti, 28 May 2020
- We Got the Receipts: The Punctum Books Financial and Activity Report 2016–2019 by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Eileen Joy, and Dan Rudmann, 7 July 2020
- 23 August 2020 at 8:29 am EDT #36732
Since there is quite some diversity in the OA books community, would love to hear more about the financial or business models that support Open Access books other than BPCs from publishers in countries across all corners of Europe and beyond.
OBP does a great job of being transparent about their publishing costs and about their revenue streams in their blog post of May 2020.
Are you a small or large publisher? What financial / business models are you using? And how do they scale, and do they need to? What lesson have your learnt? Please share here.
- 25 August 2020 at 4:35 am EDT #36760
@COPIM project (Work Package 3) is just putting the finishing touches to a report containing a comprehensive review of extant OA monograph revenue models – think there are about 17 or 18 models we’ve identified. (Some more practical than others, and I think all of them used in some kind of combination). We will hopefully publish the report next week so I’ll add a link to that to this thread if that would be useful?
- 26 August 2020 at 5:01 am EDT #36774
- 8 September 2020 at 9:38 am EDT #37059
Hi folks, we just published our (quite large!) report on revenue funding models for OA monographs. So, as promised, you can read and download it for free from here:
If anyone has questions arising from this report then please do get in touch on here – happy to discuss and keep the conversation going.
- 18 September 2020 at 11:36 am EDT #37378
I had a look at @scholtom‘s report. Very nice work. The section on “subscribe-to-open” lists Language Science Press. I am not sure this is 100% correct. LangSci never had closed content, so we could not possibly do a transition, and we can also not threaten to revert back to that. I can see how we ended up there, but the model is slightly different.
We have published our annotated business model here: https://zenodo.org/record/1286972
Our annual reports including revenue and expenditures can be found here: https://userblogs.fu-berlin.de/langsci-press/category/statistics/
- 21 September 2020 at 7:07 am EDT #37421
Hi Sebastian, thanks for this feedback. Hmm I’ll have a chat with my fellow authors and see if we can incorporate what you’ve told us here. Looks like we may have misinterpreted something along the way. This is very useful feedback and a great example of how this network works!
- 18 September 2020 at 11:22 am EDT #37374
A couple more posts on OA books and business models, all (relatively) recently published:
- State of Open Monographs Series: The Economics of Open Access Monographs and part two State of Open Monograph Series: Open access monograph funding, in which Sara Grimme and Charles Watkinson talk to Lara Speicher and Erich van Rijn
- Making OA Monographs More Discoverable, Usable, and Sustainable by John Sherer, discussing the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot (SHMP), which is now in its final year. (My eyebrows were raised by the mention of the author who ‘said they were excited about the prospect of their book being widely available, especially in parts of the world that have historically been under-served by university presses. But they didn’t like the cover template, so they declined to participate.’ !!!)
- 23 October 2020 at 7:11 pm EDT #39328
MIT’s Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship has recently advertised its “selective bibliography” on The Economics of Scholarly Monographs:
- Introduction & Framing: https://libraries.mit.edu/creos/research/economics-of-scholarly-monographs/
- Zotero library: https://www.zotero.org/groups/2538703/open_monograph_research/collections/G5597FJZ
- This reply was modified 9 months ago by Tobias Steiner.
- 4 December 2020 at 5:27 am EST #40552
I seem to have trouble with that Zotero group. In any case, here are two references which could be incorporated there:
Nordhoff, Sebastian. (2018). Cookbook for Open Access books. Berlin: Language Science Press. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1286925
Nordhoff, Sebastian. (2018). Language Science Press business model. Berlin: Language Science Press. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1286972
- 2 April 2021 at 12:33 pm EDT #43971
Thanks, Sebastian – I’m afraid I don’t have access to MIT’s Zotero group, but happy to say that COPIM’s Work Package 3 team (Izabella Penier, Tom Grady (@scholtom) and Martin Eve) have made references from their report available in COPIM’s Zotero group – the WP3-specific Revenue Models collection is available at
and I’ve made sure to include your LangSciPress refs 🙂
All best, Toby
- 21 April 2021 at 8:45 am EDT #44440
On April 7th, OPERAS and OASPA organised a workshop on ‘Innovative business models for open access book publishing – six approaches in Europe’. These six approaches were all applied to small or medium-sized academic book publishers and may be relevant for any small or medium-sized publisher interested in OA book publishing.
A short report, along with the recording of this event is now available here:
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