Open access community framework phase 2 opens for publisher submissions

After a successful pilot in 2022, the open access community framework (OACF) is now open to submissions from not-for-profit monograph publishers until 5 May 2023.

The OACF connects not-for-profit ‘diamond’ open access publishers – those that operate under a free-to-read, free-to-publish model – with the higher education (HE) sector.

The scheme was launched to support diversity in the open access (OA) marketplace. Changes to this year’s framework, agreed with the HE sector, are also designed to reduce the burden of Book Processing Charges (BPCs).

Under the scheme, UK higher education libraries are invited to pledge their support to publishers over a three-year period.

The OACF can help smaller publishers expand the number of titles they produce, improve data processes and boost marketing efforts to increase sustainability.

The scheme is also being restricted to monographs and books in series to align it with the strategic objectives of sector libraries and the new UKRI monographs policy. Organisers hope phase two will receive submissions from publishers focusing on British-based authors and content.

To increase the chances of all submissions reaching their funding target, the second phase of the scheme will reduce the number of publishers put forward to the pledging stage of the process.  This change to the scheme has been put in place after feedback to the pilot from stakeholders.

The successful publishers will be announced at a special webinar in June. Libraries will then be able to pledge support on the Jisc Licensing Manager platform until December 2023 or until publishers have reached their funding target.

Jisc licensing manager Caroline Mackay said:

“With the UKRI monographs policy launching in January 2024, we are keen to explore and support publishers and libraries with diamond OA initiatives, which collect library funding to operate under a free-to-read, free-to-publish model.

“This can prove an alternative path to BPCs, which are unaffordable and unscalable for many libraries.

“We hope funding from the OACF will improve the sector’s sustainability by boosting rather than replace existing revenue streams.”

Sarah Thompson is assistant director (content and open research) at the University of York’s Library, Archives & Learning Services, which participated in the OACF pilot in 2022.  She said: 

“OACF highlighted several diamond initiatives we weren't already aware of and provided us with an easy route to support those which matched the teaching and research strengths of the University of York.

“The scheme highlights how libraries have an important role in creating a sustainable OA future for book publishing.”

Philippa Grand, press manager of the University of Westminster Press (UWP), one of the successful publishers from the 2022 pilot scheme, said:

“UWP’s experience with Jisc’s open access community framework scheme has been very positive. We are thrilled with the support we have received as a result of taking part. 

“It’s been a fantastic boost internally to have libraries across the UK endorsing UWP’s publishing programme. Schemes like this help libraries and publishers come together to offer a sustainable way forward for small open access publishers.”

To learn more about the OACF’s second phase, including the submission form, licence and additional information, check out the open access pages of the Jisc website