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The Open Library of Humanities merges with Birkbeck

The merger is important in supporting the work of the Open Library of Humanities; a journal publisher that aims to strengthen open access to scholarly work in the humanities disciplines, allowing everyone the freedom to access academic research.

Today, extending their existing partnership, and cementing the future of the platform, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) has merged with Birkbeck. 

The merger allows OLH to maintain its charitable status, while ensuring its ongoing financial sustainability and reducing redundant administrative overhead.

Professor David Latchman, Vice-Chancellor of Birkbeck, commented: “The OLH has had a firm association with Birkbeck ever since its launch. Both Birkbeck and OLH have a commitment to dissemination of higher education research solely in the service of the public good. The founders of OLH are academics at Birkbeck, and all staff who work on the OLH are employed by the College.”

Professor Martin Paul Eve, co-founder and CEO of OLH, said: “When we established the OLH, it was a firm condition of its operation that the organization be charitable. We’ve seen too many mergers in the scholarly publishing sector that have led to top-down acquisitions and appropriations of community assets. However, running an independent charity has enormous accounting and administrative overheads. This merger enables us to continue our activities, under a charitable umbrella, for the public good, while focusing on our publishing and platform activities, rather than on formal organizational tasks.” 

The OLH is an academic-led, gold open-access publisher (articles are freely and permanently accessible for everyone, immediately after publication) with no author-facing charges. Having received past funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Arcadia, a charitable fund of Dr Lisbet Rausing and Professor Peter Baldwin, the platform covers its costs by payments from an international library consortium, rather than any kind of author fee. OLH will be governed by an advisory board of academics, both internal and external to the College.

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