Humanities scholars can now benefit from a collaborative open access (OA) consortium agreement which means that authors won’t have to pay to make their research open access.
The publishing model – the first of its type in the UK – is being offered by Open Library of Humanities (OLH) following negotiations with Jisc, the charity that offers digital solutions to UK education and research.
Not-for-profit and scholar-led, the Open Library of Humanities is a gold-open-access platform for a range of humanities journals. Publishing across a wide range of humanities disciplines, the model works by sharing the costs across its consortium of library members – who pay a fee to join – rather than charging authors and their institutions an upfront fee on publication (article processing charges).
Liam Earney, director of Jisc Collections, said: 'We are keen to engage with a variety of business models to help universities in making their research openly available and compliant with open access policies.
'The OLH has a transformative business model that is supportive and inclusive of all humanities scholars. It strengthens the relationship between publishers and libraries by actively involving the libraries in the governance of the OLH. This collectively-funded model offers a cost competitive, sustainable path to gold open access that our universities have told us they want.'
Dr. Martin Paul Eve, co-director of the OLH, added: 'We are thrilled and privileged to be working with Jisc in the UK to implement another route to achieve open access. The humanities disciplines still pose a substantially greater challenge than their scientific counterparts. With our unique financial model and innovative approach to transition, we hope to contribute to a solution.'
OLH has already launched a similar approach in North America. Since the consortium was announced in January 2015 more than 60 libraries have signed up from all across the US, including the GALILEO consortium, which comprises more than 2,000 institutions in the state of Georgia.