Past Events
Wednesday 22 February 2017

How to Build a Successful Open Access Books Programme


Seminar Highlights: read the post on the ALPSP Blog by Martyn Lawrence 'Just do it'

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Chair: Frances Pinter, Founder, Knowledge Unlatched

Frances Pinter photo


Venue: Arundel House, 13-15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX (map

Scholarly book publishing is changing and changing fast.  This one day seminar will examine the evolving landscape of open access book publishing, from the perspectives of publishers, librarians, authors and funders. What do we mean by open access books? Why publish open access books? Speakers from across the industry will identify the key players, examine the different models and address some of the practical challenges both pre and post publication. 

Why attend

The seminar aims to offer practical information and advice which will be relevant both to publishers just setting up OA book publishing and those who wish to develop their existing programme. Participants will gain a better understanding of the tensions, challenges and rewards that companies face when trying to implement OA book publishing programmes and how these challenges can be met.


09:30  Registration and Coffee  
09:45 Welcome and introduction from the Chair  
10:00 Why OA book publishing?
Funding for OA Books: balancing the benefits and challenges
Ben Johnson, Higher Education Policy Adviser, HEFCE
Ben Johnson photoPublic research funders want to maximise the public benefits of the research they fund, and OA publishing presents an opportunity to do this through increased visibility, efficiency and reusability in scholarly communication. But ensuring that key systems of quality assurance and researcher evaluation are not disrupted is a big challenge, and the risks and rewards must be carefully balanced. This is perhaps more acute for book publishing disciplines, where scholars depend to a significant extent on a delicate ecosystem of academic and society custodianship with fragile economics that produce outputs with real material and personal significance to readers and authors alike. This talk will outline how this balance is being struck by public funders in the UK in their policies for OA books, offering longer term perspectives that can challenge us to innovate and develop in ways that can enhance quality and promote talent while maximising reach and impact through new modes and models of publishing.  
Inside out and outside in: libraries and open access monographs
Simon Bains
, Head of Research Services & Deputy Librarian, University of Manchester
Simon Bains photoLibraries have been at the forefront of Open Access for decades, but their focus has been on journals rather than books. While there is innovation happening in terms of both textbooks and monographs, the challenges are more costly and complicated than they have been with journal papers. Additionally, there are fewer financial and policy incentives for OA monographs. This presentation examines these issues and provides examples of how the University of Manchester Library supports OA monograph publishing. It also assesses the challenges associated with collection development, management and discovery, where existing processes and systems are not designed to handle such content, and more pressing demands for change may be coming from other quarters.
So you want to give our books away?
Alan Jarvis
, Global Editorial Director, HSS Books, Taylor & Francis
The focus of the talk will be on trying to get buy in for a gold OA programme within a relatively large, commercially orientated publisher. What are the practical obstacles? How do you align the interests of key internal stakeholders? Having launched a programme, how in turn do you get critical mass given the relatively limited volume of funds available for funding OA books? Are there lessons to be learnt from journals? What might make it successful in the long run? As you can see at the moment there might appear to be more questions than answers…
Open the accesses to the open-access
Xinyuang Wang
, Post-doctorate researcher, UCL Department of Anthropology
Xinyuang Wang photoFrom the perspective of an author of open-access books with UCL Press, this talk is not only about the experience of publishing open-access books, but also about the strategy of dissemination of the global academic project ‘Why We Post’ where open-access publication has been playing an essential role. Furthermore, based on the experience of promoting open-access books in China in 2016, the cultural differences of open-access publication as well as a detailed analysis of the practice of promotion will be discussed.
OA in Academic Research: An interdisciplinary perspective
Vanesa Castán Broto,
Senior Lecturer, Bartlett Development Unit, UCL
Vanesa Castan Broto photo
Most academics develop their research out of a combined sense of curiosity and public service. Academic output is only growing. However, academics continue to write for very narrow audiences within their disciplinary field, seeking peer recognition rather reaching a broader audience. Most academic writing emerges from a tension between reaching a generalist audience and meeting the perceived requirements of the academic field. Open access offers great advantages for the academic writer. There are immediate advantages in terms of reaching audiences that may be excluded by traditional academic publishers. OA writing requires development as both an academic and a communicator. There are other less understood advantages related to challenging the publishing model in academia and making a writer and reviewer- friendly system. However, there are also contradictions when publishing OA, such as the different recognition afforded to OA publishing and the difficulties to translate actual downloads into citations.
11:00 Coffee  
11:20 Who are the players in the OA book publishing market?
Case Study: Cambridge University Press
Matt Day,
Head of Open and Data Publishing, Cambridge University Press
Photo Matt DayCambridge University Press, like other major academic publishers, has come a long way in embracing Open Access. For journals, that transition has reached the point where OA is the predominant source of growth and stability; for books we are far earlier in the journey but the direction of travel is similar. While many tasks in publishing an OA book are no different to publishing any other book, lots of adjustments have been needed to our systems and processes, our interactions with other organizations, and, perhaps most importantly, to our ways of thinking.
Not just another business model
Sam Bruinsma, Senior VP Business Development, Brill
Sam Bruinsma photoWhile STM led the way down the OA trail HSS tried to follow those well-trodden paths. But scholarly publishing in HSS is book dominated and differs in many aspects (funding, acquisition, author expectations, distribution channels, predominance of print sales etc.) So this time we have to find our own way, mapping the landscape as we go along. This contribution specifically explores the dynamic interplay between print and digital book exploitation when OA comes into play. It also looks at how BRILL managed first to introduce and then to integrate OA into its publishing model and work practices.
Developing a new University Press - a case study of the University of Huddersfield
Sue White, Director of Computer and Library Services, University of Huddersfield
Sue White photoThis session will outline the motivations behind setting up a new library-based university press, and some of the key challenges and enablers of success. The funding model will be described, along with an evaluation of the impact of the Press and its publications to date. The presentation will cover the role that OA plays when thinking about a library- based university press.
The Micro-Press, the Publishing Network and Collaboration
Andrew Lockett
, Press Manager, University of Westminster Press
Andrew Lockett photoOpen Access monograph publishing is changing with new or transitioning academic publishers cropping up in a wide diversity of places. From the perspective of a new press this presentation reflects on lessons learnt, on developing trends and on the platforms and the possibilities thrown up by a digital environment where there are many choices to make for both small and larger organisations when seeking to reach readers. What kinds of constellations are emerging and how may the micro-press co-exist with and flourish alongside larger players in a very diverse landscape?
12:30 Lunch  
13:30 What are the practical challenges around OA book publishing - pre-publication
From Cost to Pricing: Challenges and opportunities for new and existing publishers
Nancy MaronFounder & President, BlueSky to BluePrint
Nancy Maron photoWe know that monographs are more involved to produce than journal articles, but what are the implications for cost … and price? This session will share findings from a study of 20 American university presses in the recent Mellon-funded report, The Costs of Publishing Monographs (2016) and offer thoughts on how publishers are thinking about using detailed cost data when considering how to price scholarly OA books. The presentation will address which publishing activities are the most costly, the activities that may change (or disappear) in an OA model, and how publishers are considering the implications of cost and price for author-side payments.
From an OA publisher to a publisher with OA
Jan-Peter Wissink, 
Managing Director, Amsterdam University Press

245 Jan-Peter Wissink
With more than 500 monograph titles available in Open Access, Amsterdam University Press is one of the early adopters of Open Access for monographs. To be successful as a publisher this presentation aims to show that it is more important to focus on good quality, excellent service and relevance for chosen subject areas, than to consider a particular business model like open access as an end in itself.  A number of open access publishing and business examples will be presented as a warning and as a source of inspiration.
The Innovative Publisher, Open Access, and the Academic Ecosystem
Jen McCall, Publisher, Science & Society, Emerald Publishing
Jen McCall
Emerald has expanded its book publishing operation in the past year, putting in place infrastructure and workflows necessary to build a new and thriving book list alongside its established journals program. This session examines ways in which an innovative, independent publisher, committed to publishing cutting-edge research in innovative formats, might embrace the ‘open’ in a range of different ways, providing a service and support to its author base in the social sciences.
14:45 Tea  
14:55 What are the practical challenges around OA book publishing - post-publication
Why discovery of open books is a challenge
Eelco Ferwerda
, Director, OAPEN Foundation
Photo Eelco Ferwerda colorOne might think that searching and discovering free books on the internet is the easiest part of open access book publishing, but actually, it is one of the key challenges. The reason is that OA books are not properly integrated into the existing workflow and discovery systems for academic books. There are multiple seemingly insignificant issues that need to be solved to make the discovery of OA books easier, and one of the key advantages of the open access model. A central part of the solution comes from using the right metadata for the book.
Rupert Gatti, Co-founder and Director, Open Book Publishers
Rupert Gatti photoThis session will identify the major distribution channels for OA books presently, and discuss some of the challenges faced in distributing OA books through traditional print and ebook distribution channels.  (Slides) (Audio)
Marketing and Sales
Lara Speicher,
Publishing Manager, UCL Press
Lara Speicher photoHow do you sell and market open access books and build your publishing brand? Is it any different from selling and marketing priced books? This presentation explores some of the decisions taken during the setting up of UCL Press, a completely new open access university press launched in June 2015, in particular with regard to its sales and marketing strategies. The talk will consider brand identity and the university press’s relationship with its parent institution, as well as the challenges of selling print books through traditional channels while simultaneously making open access versions freely available on multiple platforms.
What Difference Does it Make?
Euan Adie,
Founder, Altmetric
photo Euan AdieInstitutions and funders remain keen to see and showcase the broader impact of the research they're supporting. What exactly do they want to see, and what approaches can publishers and others in scholarly communications take to support them? How are these approaches different for open access content, and especially for open access books & other non-article outputs?
16:30 Conclusions
Sam Bruinsma, Senior VP Business Development, Brill
16:30 Drinks and informal networking  

Twitter #alpspoabooks


For further information, please contact:

Lesley Ogg E:; T: +44 (0)1245 260571

Registration fees (including lunch)

ALPSP Member: £209.00 excl VAT (£250.80 incl VAT @ 20%);
Academic: £235.00 excl VAT (£282.00 incl VAT @ 20%);
Non-Member: £347.00 excl VAT (£416.00 incl VAT @ 20%)
Payment may be made by credit/debit card or you may request an invoice


Upcoming Dates for this event

  • Wed 22 Feb 2017
  • Wed 22 Feb 2017
  • Arundel House, ,