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First Annual General Assembly of Custodians (AGAC)

Published onAug 04, 2023
First Annual General Assembly of Custodians (AGAC)

The first Annual General Assembly of Custodians (AGAC) of the Open Book Collective will take place from August 28th until September 8th 2023.

AGAC Agenda

The agenda of the AGAC will include an update on and approval by the Full Custodians of any annual activity reports, financial audits and annual financial statements, and any changes to the OBC’s Articles of Association (constitution).

Full Custodians will be able to put forward agenda items for the AGAC.

All OBC Custodians are welcome to participate in the AGAC (although only Full Custodians can vote in binding votes). If you are an Associate Custodian and you would like to attend the meeting, please contact the administrative secretary at [email protected] by August 21st.

Election of Stewards for the OBC Board of Stewards

The OBC is overseen by the Board of Stewards (BoS) as one of its main governance bodies. Each year one third of the 9-member BoS will be up for (re-)election, as outlined in Article 24 and 25 of the OBC’s Articles of Association.

The elections for these posts will take place as part of the AGAC. For the next AGAC we will have elections for two Stewards representing the publishers caucus, and one Steward representing the library caucus. All the OBC member organisations who opted into being a Full Custodian are expected to nominate a representative to attend the AGAC (to assure we reach quorum) and take part in any binding votes, or they will be able to nominate a proxy to attend on their behalf.

We are happy to announce we have received the following nominations for the Steward positions on the BoS that are available for election:

Nominations for the 2 open positions in the Publisher caucus

  • Rupert Gatti (Open Book Publishers): I am Fellow and Director of Studies in Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge. I am a co-founder and a Director of Open Book Publishers, which is a partner in the COPIM (2019-23) and Open Book Futures (2023-26) projects and a founding member of ScholarLed and the Open Access Book Network

    I am fully committed to the concept of 'scaling small' and in building open infrastructures to support inclusive open access book publishing, particularly for small and medium sized publishers. I have been co-lead on several work packages within both the COPIM and OBF projects and played an active role in the development of the OBC platform within the COPIM project. I am also a co-founder and Director of Thoth Open Metadata — another output from the COPIM project and itself a Full Custodian of the OBC — and have been actively involved in several OPERAS projects supporting open access book publishing. I would be delighted to be able to continue my close involvement with OBC by representing the publisher community on the Board of Stewards. I believe that the OBC has the potential to become a major vehicle for supporting and sustaining a diverse ecology of open access book publishing initiatives and in creating an active community working collectively to protect scholarly book publishing from commercial capture. The next few years are a critical time for the development and success of the OBC, and I would be excited to be part of the leadership team over this period.

  • Joe Deville (Mattering Press): I hereby confirm my intention to seek re-election to the OBC Board of Stewards. Within the board, I am particularly keen to represent the work of OA publishing, as well as feed into Board discussions the onging work of the OBC Management Team. I am one of the co-founders of Mattering Press, a small scholar-led Diamond Open Access book publisher, publishing books in and around the field of Science and Technology Studies. Related to this, I am also one of the co-founders of ScholarLed, which was set up to advocate for publishers doing similar work to Mattering Press. As such, I like to think I have a very good understanding of the work of OA book publishing and the potential that the OBC has to support such work. Further, as one of the co-founders of the OBC, with former Steward Eileen Joy, and current OBC Managing Director, I have a detailed understanding of the work of the OBC and its plans for the coming years. I hope the board and members agree that, to date, having a dual role both on the Board and being involved in the day to day management and work for the OBC has worked well, partly as it provides a good route of communications flow between the Board and the Management Team. In addition, as the Principal Investigator of the Open Book Futures grant, which is funding almost all of the OBC's work until the end of April 2026, I am well positioned to feed into Board discussions the wider work of the Project and how this relates to OBC priorities. I do hope you will consider supporting my election to the Board and am very happy to answer any questions either members of the Board or the wider membership might have. 

Nominations for the 1 open position in the Library caucus

  • Demmy Verbeke (KU Leuven Libraries): Demmy Verbeke is Associate Professor of Open Scholarship at KU Leuven and Head of KU Leuven Libraries Artes. He is responsible for library collections and services for the Arts and Humanities and contributes to the strategic development and operational management of KU Leuven Libraries as a whole as a member of the management team with primary responsibilities for open research and collections. Demmy teaches information science in the humanities; his research focuses on non-profit and community-driven forms of scholarly communication in the humanities and the origins of open research.

    Demmy is a member of the Open Science task force of KU Leuven, coordinates the Open Science working group about the future of scholarly publishing and is, together with Laura Mesotten, responsible for the day-to-day management of the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access. He serves on several national and international working groups and projects focused on scholarly communication and open scholarship infrastructure, as well as on library advisory boards for Open Access publishers such as Open Library of Humanities and punctum books. His ORCID profile is available at

  • Samuel Moore (Cambridge University Library): Dr. Samuel A. Moore is a scholarly communication specialist at Cambridge University Library and a research associate of King’s College Cambridge specialising in critical information studies and the digital humanities. His research explores the ethics and politics of academic knowledge production and research communication, specifically on topics relating to academic publishing, open research and community governance. He has a PhD in Digital Humanities from King’s College London and is also one of the organisers of the Radical Open Access Collective.

Full Custodians will be required to vote even if we have received the same amount of nominations as there are positions available in a caucus. Voting will open at the start of the AGAC, and the results will be announced shortly afterwards.

We are grateful to all the Full Custodians for opting to be fully involved in the OBC governance, which as a member-led organisation depends on their contribution.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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