Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) is a major international research institution located in Leuven, Belgium. It is the largest university in Belgium and the Low Countries. You can read more about the University’s commitment to Open Access (OA) at their website here. Thanks to support from our library members like KU Leuven, the OBC is able to support a fairer and more bibliodiverse landscape for Open Access publishers.
By becoming a member of the Open Book Collective, libraries have the opportunity to evaluate, compare, and support a bespoke range of small-to-medium Open Access book publishers, as well as groups that are building important technical infrastructure for the creation and curation of OA books. They are so able to combine initiatives in any way they see fit, or support the OBC as a whole, This enables our library members to demonstrate that their investments in OA books have broad impact in multiple sectors of the landscape of scholarly communications. The OBC, and the librarians who support it, are committed to a more equitable landscape for OA book. Our members are committed to collaborative, horizontal modes of working together on opening access to scholarly books for readers globally, without monetary, technical, or other barriers. Through library support, we enable our publisher members to move away from Book Processing Charges.
We believe that libraries and librarians have a critical role to play in the future of OA books. The OBC was built with librarian advisors from all over the world, working with researchers, publishers, and infrastructure builders for over 3 years. As a result, and because of the OBC’s emphasis on non-competitive mutual aid, publishers (such as Open Book Publishers, Mattering Press, meson press, punctum books, mediastudies.press, African Minds, White Horse Press and more coming shortly), open publishing services providers (such as OAPEN Library, Directory of Open Access Books, and Thoth), and libraries oversee the management and the governance of the OBC together, which makes for a truly community-led, accountable organization.
Librarians serve as trustees on the Board of Stewards, along with researchers active in open scholarly communications, alongside publishers and infrastructure builders, who all collectively participate in decision making relative to the OBC’s management, membership policies, and long-term strategic planning. This unique structure demonstrates that OBC will be responsive and accountable to funders and to the broader community working to establish a more global open knowledge commons. In addition, the OBC is distinctive for its cost sharing — libraries, publishers, and publishing services providers contribute equally to the costs of the daily operations of the OBC — and also for the fact that the members receiving income from supporters will give back to the OBC a portion of the revenue they receive to a collective development fund. This fund will be used to help smaller initiatives have a more solid footing in terms of their technical and other capabilities, through the development of toolkits, webinars, and other education materials, and also through mini-grants available to existing and potential members.
We are extremely grateful to the KE Leuven libraries for joining us in our commitment to a better future for the sustainability of Open Access futures. To learn more about how your library can support the OBC, please visit our website, or email us at email@example.com.
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