Open Book Publishers

Open Book Publishers (OBP) is an independent open access academic press, publishing rigorously peer-reviewed and prizewinning monographs, edited collections, textbooks, critical translations and more. We are a non-profit social enterprise based in the UK and run by academics: our mission is to make high-quality research freely available to every reader. We do not charge authors a fee to publish with us, and our Library Membership programme supports this policy.

OBP has published over 300 books, all of which are open access. OBP publishes around 40 titles per year in subjects that range across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as a growing number of titles in STEM disciplines. While we do not have a specialised focus, over time we have developed areas of strength including Eastern European Studies (and particularly Russian literature, arts and culture), a strong collection of Classics titles, and outstanding series in Semitic Languages and Cultures, and World Oral Literature, among others. We work closely with authors to present their research in the best way possible, including innovative techniques that take advantage of the possibilities of digital formats where appropriate, such as embedded video and audio content, zooming functions for images and manuscript reproductions, and updateable bibliographies on Wikiversity.

By joining OBP’s Library Membership programme, you will be joining over 250 libraries all over the world who help to support what we do, as well as receiving a number of benefits for your institution. All staff, students and alumni of member libraries can freely access all of the digital editions of every one of our titles (including formats they usually charge for), and libraries will also receive a discount on any paper copies purchased. Member libraries are entitled to an effective discount of 20% on any purchase made by the university library itself. Member libraries can also upload any digital edition of OBP’s titles to the library’s own digital repository or ebook collection to keep permanently and will receive regular COUNTER-compliant usage statistics for their institution, as well as high-quality metadata.

Mission

It is our mission to ensure that high-quality academic research is freely available to every reader. In order to do so, as well as publishing our own open access academic books we aim to foster a powerful, resilient, and inclusive OA books landscape that is community-led and collaborative in nature, and that is open in the way it operates as well as the research it publishes.

Besides our book publishing division, we have two other areas of significant activity: our software development division, which is entirely grant-funded, and our outreach and advocacy work, which we undertake alongside our publishing activity. These are central to our mission to develop and expand equitable OA book publishing so that high-quality academic research is freely available to all. We have developed and released open source software related to book production that is freely available for other presses to use (including our EPUB-XML conversion software and our accessibility plug-in) and we have done significant work on book usage data with the HIRMEOS project, resulting in the creation of the OPERAS Metrics Portal. We have worked closely on the development of Thoth and the OBC as a partner in the COPIM Project, and we have released our new website as a ‘white label’ site for any publisher to use. 

As part of our outreach and advocacy work we help to coordinate the Open Access Books Network and our staff are regularly invited to speak about OA books, as well as being members of a number of advisory boards on OA-book-related community projects and writing papers and posts on issues related to OA publishing.

Values

  1. Equity: We believe that high-quality, rigorously peer-reviewed academic research should be freely available to read. We also believe that authors should not have to pay to publish their work, as this is fundamentally unequitable. We  have devised a business model that enables us not to charge our authors to publish with us, and library support is central to that model via our Library Membership Programme. Libraries work with us to support our vision of a world in which research is freely available to all.  
  2. Innovation: We believe in innovation in academic publishing, and we support innovative projects by academics who want to develop new ways of sharing their work, as well as creating high-quality traditional monographs with care and rigour. As a scholar-led press, we also believe in supporting our authors andin making sure they have an excellent experience when publishing with us.
  3. Collaboration and mutual support: We believe in the philosophy of ‘scaling small’: of growing open access book publishing via collaborative relationships and community projects, such as our Library Membership Programme and the COPIM Project. Our involvement in COPIM, and our open software development and advocacy work, are concrete and daily contributions we make towards creating the world we want to see.
  4. Openness: Finally, we believe in openness in our working practices, as well as in our published output. We share as much as we can about our work via our website and blog, and our staff are always happy to answer any questions about the press.

Governance

OBP was founded in 2008 and is registered in the United Kingdom as a Private Limited Company and a Community Interest Company (CIC).

Dr Alessandra Tosi and Dr Rupert Gatti are the two directors of the press. They are supported by an Editorial Board and Advisory Panel who are listed on our website.

Future Plans

We will continue to publish 40 books per year in a wide variety of subjects, and to grow the number of series we produce. We will continue to seek out ambitious and innovative book projects so that we challenge and change the idea of what an academic book can be, while giving an excellent service to all our authors. We will also continue to pursue our software development and advocacy work with energy and commitment.

Over time we want to continue to grow our Library Membership Programme, and consequently to reduce the level of grant income we require. We currently ask authors, if they are able, to apply for grants to defray the cost of publishing their book (although this is never a condition of publication and we regularly publish books with no grants attached). We would like to be able to fund our operations entirely from sales revenue and our Library Membership Programme, so that any additional revenue from grants enables us to do more than we otherwise would without it – rather than grant income being necessary for us to break even. We believe that the OBC will be important in helping us to achieve this goal. 

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Open Book Publishers

Open Book Publishers (OBP) is an independent open access academic press, publishing rigorously peer-reviewed and prizewinning monographs, edited collections, textbooks, critical translations and more. We are a non-profit social enterprise based in the UK and run by academics: our mission is to make high-quality research freely available to every reader. We do not charge authors a fee to publish with us, and our Library Membership programme supports this policy.

OBP has published over 300 books, all of which are open access. OBP publishes around 40 titles per year in subjects that range across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as a growing number of titles in STEM disciplines. While we do not have a specialised focus, over time we have developed areas of strength including Eastern European Studies (and particularly Russian literature, arts and culture), a strong collection of Classics titles, and outstanding series in Semitic Languages and Cultures, and World Oral Literature, among others. We work closely with authors to present their research in the best way possible, including innovative techniques that take advantage of the possibilities of digital formats where appropriate, such as embedded video and audio content, zooming functions for images and manuscript reproductions, and updateable bibliographies on Wikiversity.

By joining OBP’s Library Membership programme, you will be joining over 250 libraries all over the world who help to support what we do, as well as receiving a number of benefits for your institution. All staff, students and alumni of member libraries can freely access all of the digital editions of every one of our titles (including formats they usually charge for), and libraries will also receive a discount on any paper copies purchased. Member libraries are entitled to an effective discount of 20% on any purchase made by the university library itself. Member libraries can also upload any digital edition of OBP’s titles to the library’s own digital repository or ebook collection to keep permanently and will receive regular COUNTER-compliant usage statistics for their institution, as well as high-quality metadata.

Mission

It is our mission to ensure that high-quality academic research is freely available to every reader. In order to do so, as well as publishing our own open access academic books we aim to foster a powerful, resilient, and inclusive OA books landscape that is community-led and collaborative in nature, and that is open in the way it operates as well as the research it publishes.

Besides our book publishing division, we have two other areas of significant activity: our software development division, which is entirely grant-funded, and our outreach and advocacy work, which we undertake alongside our publishing activity. These are central to our mission to develop and expand equitable OA book publishing so that high-quality academic research is freely available to all. We have developed and released open source software related to book production that is freely available for other presses to use (including our EPUB-XML conversion software and our accessibility plug-in) and we have done significant work on book usage data with the HIRMEOS project, resulting in the creation of the OPERAS Metrics Portal. We have worked closely on the development of Thoth and the OBC as a partner in the COPIM Project, and we have released our new website as a ‘white label’ site for any publisher to use. 

As part of our outreach and advocacy work we help to coordinate the Open Access Books Network and our staff are regularly invited to speak about OA books, as well as being members of a number of advisory boards on OA-book-related community projects and writing papers and posts on issues related to OA publishing.

Values

  1. Equity: We believe that high-quality, rigorously peer-reviewed academic research should be freely available to read. We also believe that authors should not have to pay to publish their work, as this is fundamentally unequitable. We  have devised a business model that enables us not to charge our authors to publish with us, and library support is central to that model via our Library Membership Programme. Libraries work with us to support our vision of a world in which research is freely available to all.  
  2. Innovation: We believe in innovation in academic publishing, and we support innovative projects by academics who want to develop new ways of sharing their work, as well as creating high-quality traditional monographs with care and rigour. As a scholar-led press, we also believe in supporting our authors andin making sure they have an excellent experience when publishing with us.
  3. Collaboration and mutual support: We believe in the philosophy of ‘scaling small’: of growing open access book publishing via collaborative relationships and community projects, such as our Library Membership Programme and the COPIM Project. Our involvement in COPIM, and our open software development and advocacy work, are concrete and daily contributions we make towards creating the world we want to see.
  4. Openness: Finally, we believe in openness in our working practices, as well as in our published output. We share as much as we can about our work via our website and blog, and our staff are always happy to answer any questions about the press.

Governance

OBP was founded in 2008 and is registered in the United Kingdom as a Private Limited Company and a Community Interest Company (CIC).

Dr Alessandra Tosi and Dr Rupert Gatti are the two directors of the press. They are supported by an Editorial Board and Advisory Panel who are listed on our website.

Future Plans

We will continue to publish 40 books per year in a wide variety of subjects, and to grow the number of series we produce. We will continue to seek out ambitious and innovative book projects so that we challenge and change the idea of what an academic book can be, while giving an excellent service to all our authors. We will also continue to pursue our software development and advocacy work with energy and commitment.

Over time we want to continue to grow our Library Membership Programme, and consequently to reduce the level of grant income we require. We currently ask authors, if they are able, to apply for grants to defray the cost of publishing their book (although this is never a condition of publication and we regularly publish books with no grants attached). We would like to be able to fund our operations entirely from sales revenue and our Library Membership Programme, so that any additional revenue from grants enables us to do more than we otherwise would without it – rather than grant income being necessary for us to break even. We believe that the OBC will be important in helping us to achieve this goal. 

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