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Cooperative Open Access funding

Leipzig University Library is currently involved in the following cooperative open access funding models:

Since 2016, Leipzig University Library has supported the crowdfunding initiative Knowledge Unlatched (KU), both financially and by serving on the KU Selection Committee. Books from the humanities and social sciences as well as STEM subjects are made available by their publishers for a fixed fee under a Creative Commons licence.

Books and journals are compiled by KU into collections (KU Select) and then wait to be ‘unlatched’. The principle is simple: the more libraries, research centres and publishers that participate, the lower the contribution by each institution once a minimum number of supporters has been reached. Since its launch in 2014, over 1,800 publications have been made available worldwide in this way in open access and published on the OAPEN and HathiTrust platforms.

Since 2018, Leipzig University Library has also been involved in three other projects – transcript Open Library Political Science, Peter Lang IT Law and Language Science Press – under agreements KU signed with their respective publishers. New OA publications in specific fields are possible thanks to cost-sharing by all the supporters.

The UK-based Open Book Publishers is the largest independent publisher of scholarly literature, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, yet also in mathematics and the natural sciences. Its declared aim is for science to be fairly and rapidly accessible to all researchers, regardless of their financial background. Publication is therefore free of charge for authors, who receive assistance from other scholars throughout the publication process. Since it was founded in 2008, more than 200 titles have been produced and made available free of charge worldwide. In 2020, there were over 80,000 users per month on the website.

Open Book Publishers covers its technical and staffing costs through the sale of print and e-book editions. Funding is also raised through voluntary cost-sharing by authors, donations, and membership fees from the Library Membership Programme.

Leipzig University Library has been participating in the Library Membership Programme since 2018. In return, it’s offered price reductions on parallel print editions as well as high-quality metadata for inclusion in the library’s catalogues and usage statistics. Online editions can also be stored in the library’s own institutional repositories.

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) aims to establish a sustainable, cost-effective open access model in the social sciences and humanities by simultaneously acting as a publisher, publication platform and megajournal. In addition to the megajournal of the same name, currently 27 gold open access journals are published on the OLH website. They all waive book-processing charges for authors in favour of institutional subscriptions.

While the foundation of the OLH in 2015 was largely financed by start-up funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the running costs are now covered by Library Partnership Subsidies from around 300 libraries, research institutions and research funders worldwide.

Leipzig University Library has supported the OLH consortium since 2017 and thus has a say regarding the inclusion of new journals.

The PhilPapers Foundation is a Canadian non-profit organization supporting online offerings such as, which was launched ten years ago by the School of Philosophy at the Australian National University. From its humble beginnings, the platform has grown into the largest OA archive on philosophy and contains bibliographical information on 2.5 million journal articles, books and online documents – mainly from the English-speaking world – as well as biographies, event listings and job offers.

Since 2014, the platform’s costs have been covered by crowdfunding models, with public institutions invited to take out a subscription to support its staffing and technical costs. Leipzig University Library has had an annual subscription since 2018.

The SciPost Foundation – a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands – has been dedicated to developing and maintaining modern and electronic science communication since 2016. The foundation operates the portal, where 15 journals (2021) from the fields of mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry and political science are published.

At SciPost, the entire publication process from submission, editing, peer review, layout and production to publication is carried out jointly by scholars. Under a system of two-way access, publications are free of charge for authors and readers.

Since 2018, Leipzig University Library has made an annual payment to support the operation of the portal and the administrative costs of all activities related to the website. In addition, the subscriptions cover the production costs and the creation of high-quality metadata. Members benefit from advance information about the portal’s latest features and can influence the development of new publication forms at the annual members’ meeting.

SCOAP³ stands for Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics. It’s a consortium of libraries and research institutions coordinated by CERN to promote OA in the field of high-energy physics (HEP). Since its foundation in 2014, SCOAP³ has funded nearly 40,000 OA articles in 13 recognized journals. A total of 11 journals are participating in the current second phase of the project. All articles are freely available under a Creative Commons licence (CC BY) as soon as they are published.

Since 2017, Leipzig University Library has contributed towards the consortium’s costs. The amount reflects the share of articles accounted for by our authors in the participating journals. In return, HEP authors can publish open access without publication charges, while the licence fees (subscriptions) of the participating journals are reduced depending on their proportion devoted to HEP.

Transcript Open Library Medienwissenschaft

transcript is planning to make its media studies program area completely open access. Working in partnership with (an information service for media, communication and film studies), a library consortium is currently being set up for this purpose to make all new publications in this program area open access.

The publisher guarantees authors in the Media Studies Open Library free publication (print and e-book editions) in a format meeting the standards of the discipline. Charges are only made for special features implemented at the author’s request.

Leipzig University Library is a full sponsor of the Open Library Community 2022.