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The OBC Welcomes University of Manchester Library

Published onMar 06, 2023
The OBC Welcomes University of Manchester Library

The Open Book Collective is delighted to welcome the University of Manchester Library as our first supporting library member.

As a member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group, Manchester University is recognised as a world-leading research institution. You can read more about the University’s commitment to Open Access (OA) at their website here. Thanks to Manchester University’s support, the flourishing of a more bibliodiverse landscape for scholarly books is better assured.

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 and groups that are building important technical infrastructure for the creation and curation of OA books, and are also able to combine initiatives in any way they see fit, as well as support the OBC as a whole, thereby enabling libraries to support OA books in ways that allow them 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 books and to moving away from author-facing Book Processing Charges. 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.

We believe that libraries and librarians have a critical role to play in the future of OA books and that is why the OBC was actually built with librarian advisors from all over the world working hand in hand 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,, African Minds, White Horse Press and more to come), 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, sitting 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 is highly unique and demonstrates the 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 which 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 University of Manchester Library 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 protected].

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