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Professor Martin Paul Eve shortlisted for Guardian University Award

Martin Paul Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, has been shortlisted for a Guardian University Award for Inspirational Leadership. 

Having been nominated and shortlisted by the Guardian University Awards judging panel, those in the running for the Award will be chosen through a vote by the Guardian Higher Education Network’s readers.

The Award looks to recognise inspirational leadership in the UK higher education sector and this year, is open to leaders in any aspect of university life. It aims to reward an individual who has brought out the best in their team, produced excellent results in a specific field and delivered real change for their institution; through showcasing best practice, it is expected that this change will have resonated throughout the rest of the higher education community.

Professor Eve has previously been instrumental in establishing the Open Library of Humanities and, jointly with Dr Caroline Edwards, is Director of the platform. He secured a three-year grant of $741,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to cement and expand this new model for open-access publishing in the humanities disciplines, which allows access to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles without requiring readers to pay.

Unlike many emerging “gold” open-access models, the Open Library of Humanities does not charge authors to publish. Instead, it is funded by an international library consortium whose members recognise that the greatest benefit for the academy and society will only be realised when access to scholarly work is not based on an exclusionary pay-to-read system.

The finalist chosen for the Award, as voted by Guardian Higher Education Network readers, will be announced on Wednesday, 29th March at a ceremony in London.

Commenting on his nomination, Professor Martin Paul Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, said:

"I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for a Guardian University Award for inspirational leadership. Universities certainly face tough times at present. However, I have long believed that it is not sufficient to merely point out problems in the face of difficulties but to attempt to solve them.

“In my practical work on open access and higher education policy I try to further the educational mission of Birkbeck in enabling people to access high-quality research material on the basis of their desire to learn, rather than their ability to pay.”

Professor Matthew Innes, Vice-Master at Birkbeck, added:

“Martin's energy and vision have led to a truly remarkable set of achievements for an early career academic.

“As well as establishing a stellar reputation in his own specialist area, Martin has made a series of agenda-setting interventions which have national and international reach – both in his practical work in delivering open access and promoting the digital humanities, and in his astounding reach of his policy work.

“Birkbeck was founded to promote 'the universal blessings of the benefits of knowledge' by opening up access to all; a mission which Martin's work is making real in the very different demographic and technological context of the early 21st century.”

Libraries outside the US and UK interested in joining the OLH Library Partnership Subsidy model should contact Professor Martin Paul Eve. UK-based libraries can join through Jisc Collections. US-based libraries can join through LYRASIS.

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Published: 02 March 2017