The Open Library of Humanities
The British Library. 17th November 2017.
Professor Martin Paul Eve, Birkbeck, University of London
Drivers of Publication
The Symbolic Economy Maps onto the Real Economy
Brief recap: Open Access (OA)
Background image © PLOS. Used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.
- Peer-reviewed research
- Free to read online
- Permission to re-use
- Gold: at publisher/source -- NOT a business model
- Green: institutional/subject repository
- Gratis: free to read
- Libre: free to re-use
There are 100 people in a room for a talk
- They have $10 each
- The speaker speaks for free
- The venue needs $50 to cover its staff costs
- There are 40 talks per year
- Each person pays $0.50 and hears the talk
- No payment, no entry
- Each person can only afford half of the talks
- The general public cannot attend
OA with an Article Processing Charge logic
- The speaker pays the full fee ($50)
- The problem is that the speaker only has $10
- The general public and all others can attend
OA with consortial logic
- 5 people attend each talk and pay $10 each
- They let anyone else attend for free
- Everyone can hear 50% of the talks, including the public
This is how OA looks in a dry funding climate
- Is the "venue" overcharging?
- The distribution of the economics is the most important thing
- APCs do not work well in the humanities and elsewhere
How much does it cost to publish a (digital) book?
- Mellon Ithaka study (2016): $15,140 - $129,909
- Palgrave: $95 x 200 copies = $19,000
- Palgrave: Book Processing Charge: $17,000
- CUP: Book Processing Charge: $10,000
- Ubiquity Press: Book Processing Charge: £6,020
Where do these costs go?
Assume fixed costs:
- 3x staff + on and estates costs
- CLOCKSS, Crossref, COPE, COUNTER memberships
- Crossref membership
- Around £190k per year
Assume production costs:
- Typesetting: £500
- Copyediting: £500
How many books with 3x staff?
BPCs for monographs scale badly + concentrate costs
- 5,023 monographs in UK in 2013 by largest 4 publishers (source: Crossick)
- At a £5,050 BPC (UP price): £25,366,150
- At a £6,500 BPC (CUP price): £32,649,500
- At an £11,000 BPC (Palgrave price): £55,253,000
- UK spend on all books 2010/2011: ~£60,000,000 (source: SCONUL)
BPCs for monographs scale badly
Our Solution for Journals
Megajournal / Multijournal / Not-for-profit / Collectively Funded
Support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- $90,000 planning grant
- University of Lincoln, UK, 2014-2015
- $741,000 sustainability grant
- Birkbeck, University of London, UK, 2015-2018
The Subscription Model as it Exists
The OLH Library Partnership Subsidy Model
>~240 Libraries Financially Supporting the OLH in First Two Years
23 Journals on or Supported by the Platform (909 articles in first year)
Cost per institution per article: around $1.10 per institution per article. Target of 300+ libraries by end of year three.
118,686 unique readers. Average of 131 readers per article. $0.008 per institution per reader.
Ongoing Project to "Flip" Subscription Journals
Six additional journals joined in January 2017
Spreading The Model
Presentation licensed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license. All institutional images excluded from CC license.
Available to view online at https://meve.io/BL2017.