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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Open Library of Humanities

Second Mellon Grant for Open Library of Humanities

Sarah Shaffi | July 6, 2015

Birkbeck, part of the University of London, has been awarded a grant of $741,000 (£476,372) to “cement and expand a new model for open-access publishing in the humanities disciplines”.
The grant, from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, will go towards the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) platform which will allow access to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles without requiring readers to pay.
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The platform does not charge authors to publish and is instead funded by an international library consortium “whose members recognise that the greatest benefit for the academy and society will only be realised when access to scholarly work is not based on an exclusionary pay-to-read system”.

<more at; related link: [About: The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a gold open access, peer-reviewed, internationally-supported, academic-led, not-for-profit, mega-journal, multi-journal and books platform for the humanities. It is funded by an international library consortium and so has no author-facing charges. Open access refers to peer-reviewed academic research that is available freely to read and re-use online. Gold open access means that this service is provided by publishers. This usually means that a new business model is needed as if the material is free to read, it cannot be sold as a subscription. Many publishers are implementing this through article and book processing charges (APCs and BPCs). These, though, are often unaffordable in humanities disciplines. The OLH works differently with a small contribution from a large number of libraries covering the costs of publication; a cost pool. The OLH thereby offers an extremely cost-effective solution for open access that means that no single institution bears a disproportionate cost. Participating libraries not only invest in a community shared service that would not otherwise be feasible but are also given a governance stake in the project. The OLH has been internationally recognised as an important development in open access for the humanities and for its innovative business model.
The platform has initial funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. David Armitage, the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard writes that “there is hardly a more important project in train for scholarship in the humanities today”. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, the Head of Scholarly Communications at the MLA, notes the “crucial changes in the debate surrounding open access” that the project has already triggered. There are three components in the platform. The OLH Megajournal is a new, trans-humanities journal, focusing on rigorous peer review and fast publication. Additionally, OLH Journals are existing publications that can join the model subject to approval by the academic and library boards. When journals with other subscription-based or fee-based publishers opt to leave their current providers and join OLH, libraries will see direct cancellations and a transition to OA. This will eventually provide demonstrable and real savings to library budgets. Finally, should we achieve the requisite levels of support and if participating libraries wish, we are in preliminary discussions to publish a series of open-access books in partnership with Cambridge University Press, Harvard University Press, Open Book Publishers and Oxford University Press.]>

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