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Open Library of Humanities Project Wins Open Publishing Award

The online platform was awarded the Coko Foundation’s 2019 Open Publishing Award in the category of Open Publishing Models.

The Open Library of Humanities project (OLH) was recognised as a ‘force of nature’ in the Open Publishing Awards, with the judges noting that their Open Access economic model is ‘comprehensive and inspiring.’

The Open Publishing Awards were set up by the Coko Foundation, an organisation that facilitates the scholarly communications sector to take control of their infrastructure. The awards were held at the Force2019 conference in Edinburgh on 15 October and celebrated open projects in scholarly publishing.

The OLH is an online publishing platform founded by Dr Caroline Edwards and Professor Martin Eve from the Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing. It was created to address the issue of high subscription costs for academic journals and the ‘serials crises’ in the sector, as library budgets struggle to keep up with the prices set by the publishers.

The platform recognises that humanities subjects are not afforded the same level of funding as STEM subjects and seeks to redress this disadvantage by getting funding through a model of Library Partnership Subsidies, instead of Article Processing Charges, to fund a number of journals and its own multidisciplinary journal. Since its conception, the platform has gained a number of supporters throughout the world, ensuring its success as a sustainable platform.

Professor Eve commented: "It is fantastic to achieve recognition for our work on the Open Library of Humanities. Open-access publishing has benefits for authors and readers alike, but its underpinning economics remain challenging, particularly within the humanities disciplines. This award from the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation acknowledges our innovative economic premise that now delivers open access to 27 peer-reviewed journals, free to read, and for which we never charge authors. This is all due to library support, without which we couldn't operate. We hope that existing publishers will now seize upon our success and implement their own versions of our model for equitable open access in the humanities."

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