Verbeke and Mesotten (2022). Library Funding for Open Access at KU Leuven

Verbeke, Demmy, and Laura Mesotten (2022). Library Funding for Open Access at KU Leuven. Insights 35: 1. http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.565

As main buyers of scholarly literature, research libraries have always provided essential economic support for sustaining the market of academic publishing. With the switch to open access (OA), libraries are now faced with transitioning this support from the demand (subscriptions) to the supply (publications) side. The way in which this is currently done, in general, risks strengthening the preponderance of the for-profit approach to scholarly communication. We therefore believe that it is essential to apply library budgets to foster a greater diversity. That is exactly the purpose of the Fund for Fair Open Access, set up by KU Leuven Libraries in 2018, which is exclusively devoted to stimulating the development of non-profit and community-led initiatives. This is achieved by library memberships to sustain open scholarship infrastructure, by supporting diamond OA programmes and by subsidizing OA books published by Leuven University Press. In this article, we will demonstrate the accomplished successes of the fund and share some insights we have gathered along the way, such as our decision to cease financing article processing charges, even in a Fair OA business model.

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