Copim and SCONUL: exploring practical problems and potential strategies to fund equitable OA book publishing

Start & End Date : 
Thursday, January 25, 2024


10.00 - 12.00

A summary of this event, by Kira Hopkins (Birkbeck, University of London/Opening the Future), together with the recording and chat transcript can be found here:


SCONUL and Copim Open Book Futures invite you to join a webinar UK library leaders from a range of institutions to explore the difficulties of funding open access books, and how different libraries have developed strategies to tackle these challenges.


There is a growing shift towards open access (OA) for books, with policies such as UKRI mandating OA publication and a number of OA presses springing up at different universities. But when some institutions are not eligible for funding, and budgets are under increasing pressure, can libraries support this shift to open access for books? If so, how might it be done?


The challenges include: budget constraints, a lack of adequate funding (or byzantine administration to access it), scant institutional buy-in higher up the chain, and even “we don’t know where to start”. When one-off Book Processing Charges (BPCs) cost too much to be practical, what other options are available? This session will begin with a frank discussion of the challenges of supporting OA for books, before featuring case studies of how some different libraries have devised solutions and potential routes to OA for books. These include exploring collective programmes, in which each library pays a small amount to jointly fund OA initiatives; setting up an institutional outlet of one’s own; new strategic policies and ringfenced OA budgets, and more.


This webinar will create a forum for discussion, and equip attendees with advice and practical strategies, with case studies from a range of libraries in the UK that have begun to make important steps in this direction. Institutions of different sizes and types will explain what conversations they’ve had internally, what they’ve done, how they’ve done it, and the persuasive arguments they used. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion from the audience.



  1. Chaired by Andrew Barker - Library Director, Lancaster University
  2. Peter Barr - Head of Content & Collections, University of Sheffield
  3. Phil Brabban - Library Director, Coventry University
  4. Dominic Broadhurst - Head of Content & Discovery, The University of Salford
  5. Elaine Sykes - Head of Open Research, Lancaster University    


This is open to all staff at SCONUL member institutions. E-mail for the registration details.