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St Andrews University joins Open Library of the Humanities

Last month the University of St Andrews joined the Open Library of the Humanities - an open access mega-journal and book publisher (see previous post on OLH here). Dr. Martin Paul Eve, a founder and director of OLH, welcomed St Andrews:
“It is wonderful that the University of St Andrews has joined the OLH LPS [Library Partnership Subsidy] programme. With the help of institutions like St Andrews, we can build a way for OA to work in the humanities that is sensitive to the different environment within which these fields operate.” 
John MacColl, University Librarian and Director of Library Services, added:
“St Andrews has a track record of supporting innovative Open Access platforms such as Peer J, Open Book Publishers and Knowledge Unlatched. This latest membership offers many opportunities for humanities researchers in St Andrews and beyond to make their work Open Access free of charge”
The University of St Andrews is now part of an international consortium of over 80 other institutions that financially supports OLH through membership fees. These fees cover the cost of publication and ensure that there are no author facing charges (APCs). The reason for this type of publishing system is that many researchers feel that the regular “gold” open access system, where authors have to pay APCs, is geared more towards researchers in STEM disciplines, where there is often more money available to cover such charges. For many in humanities disciplines, these charges can present a barrier to open access publication. OLH is seeking to redress this imbalance by offering an alternative publishing system that is tailored specifically to the academic landscape of the humanities.

OLH is directed by Dr Martin Paul Eve and Dr Caroline Edwards of Birkbeck, University of London. Initially, the platform was given start-up support by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Last month Birkbeck awarded OLH a further three-year grant of $741,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr Eve had this to say:
“The successful conclusion of our previous planning grant, awarded by the Foundation in 2014, has shown us that there is substantial appetite among libraries, journals and authors for a new model to achieve open access.
“By lowering costs for the international library community, while maintaining peer-review standards and professional publishing practices (such as digital preservation), the OLH offers a new and viable route to open, online publication in the humanities.” Birkbeck, University of London.

Open Library of the Humanities is set to launch in September 2015, with an initial 7 journals.

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