Our model

Our vision of an Open Access Cooperative aims to transform the economy of publishing as we know it today.

We think there are more than enough resources in the system to bring this vision into place (indeed there might be scope for a more efficient allocation of existing resources). What is required is an imaginative yet robust redesign of the ecology of partnerships between libraries, funders, authors, learned societies and journals.

To this effect, we are working towards testing a variety of models that will enable flipping members’ subscription journals to open access publications, whilst simultaneously offering long-term economic sustainability to those journals that are already OA.

Specifically, we are proposing that libraries and journals (including learned societies, editors and publishers) come together to form an Open Access publishing cooperative. The cooperative would be funded by redirecting the acquisition funds currently spent by libraries in subscription fees to the cooperative fund. Other sources of external income might include innovation grants, agency funding and in-kind institutional support.

Our model draws on an ever increasing body of scholarly work showing that there are more than enough resources in the system of academic publishing to make an alternative cooperative model viable. You can read more about the rationale for such a transition in a preliminary and tentative financial scenario for LIBRARIA that we published in October 2015 in the OA journal, HAU.

We are now working closely with SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) who is helping us design transition models that will cater to the specific needs of each and every one of our stakeholders.

In July 2015 we became one of the leading pilot sites in the Public Knowledge Project’s MacArthur-funded study on an Open Access Publishing Cooperative.