Open Library Political Science

Open Access with transcript

Going beyond the general Open Access transformations, we wanted to set new impulses for OA and scholarly content that go even further. Therefore, in cooperation with the National Open Access Contact Point OA2020-DE, we have launched the transcript Open Library Political Science, a pilot project to open up an entire discipline within our publishing programme to Open Access. It is an innovative package model with the aim of making entire subject collections within our publishing programme available in Open Access via crowdfunding.

Below you will find detailed information on the model, the pledgings and packages of the individual years as well as the sponsors and enablers involved.

The Model

Open Access Transformation of E-Book Packages

The transcript Open Library Political Science aims to make an entire subject area within our publishing programme available as e-book packages in Open Access via crowdfunding.

With conventional funding models, the Open Access transformation remains limited to individual titles. In contrast, our ‘Open Access Package Model’ enables the Open Access transformation of entire subject collections (in this case: political science) by distributing the costs incurred among a broad enabler community (the Open Library Community, the FID and the authors).

Enabling, Not Purchasing

Based on the established acquisition model of fee-based ‘e-book packages’, we are bundling our frontlist, i.e. all planned new publications of the subject area of Politics, into one package. Instead of purchasing the e-book licence as usual, the participating libraries enable OA publication via a fee. In this way, the libraries' acquisition funds go towards financing free availability for all instead of the purchase of paid e-books for a single library.

Key elements of the model

  • Open Access publication of an entire subject area frontlist
  • Network formation (combination of FID and other libraries)
  • The network co-finances the publication of OA monographs
  • Licence costs for e-books are eliminated: funding possible through reallocation of funds
  • "Crowdfunding": fixed fee per title - the more institutions participate, the lower the cost per institution

Commitment of scientific institutions

The final conditions for the Open Access publication of the frontlist Political Science depend largely on the number of co-financing institutions. For lasting success, we invite all academic institutions each year to make the content available to all stakeholders through their participation, instead of limiting themselves to e-book licence acquisitions. The project is founded on solidarity and, through your participation, enables economically viable, future-proof and sustainable OA publishing. Once the minimum number of supporters has been reached, the costs for each sponsor will decrease. The further the individual price can be lowered, the less incentive there is for potential free riders to exploit the community's commitment.

Sponsoring Benefits

  • Co-funding institutions (full sponsors) receive a free print copy of each title in the package on request.
  • They take an active role in OA transformation and support OA as a publication standard in science.
  • All participating institutions are given the opportunity to have a say in the selection of titles by suggesting (political science) works by authors from their own institution for inclusion in the Open Library Political Science or by encouraging authors to submit the publication proposal to the publisher.
  • Full sponsors are included as ‘enablers’ in the imprints of the publications and thus receive additional visibility and reputation. All sponsors will also be listed with the institute's logo on the book presentation page and included as a community in the reporting data of the publications.


The provision of the metadata and the book files as well as all accounting is handled by our project partner Knowledge Unlatched. Details on fees and billing can be obtained directly from them or via the affiliated library suppliers Dietmar Dreier, Missing Link and Schweitzer Fachinformation. Invoicing is possible at any time after the funding period has opened. Should the invoice amount decrease after invoicing due to the participation of further institutions, the difference will be credited.

The Advantages of the Consortium Model
  • Crowdfunding makes the OA transformation financially viable for all stakeholders: The costs per book and participant are usually a fraction of the usual book processing charges and are comparable to regular retail prices of specialist literature. Three price levels enable even smaller institutions to support the OA transformation.
  • The cost calculation is completely transparent.
  • By providing OA with a Creative Commons licence, the works are available to the entire scientific community without any follow-up costs.
  • The book package offers a well-known programme with a proven selection of titles and assured quality control, in compliance with Open Access quality standards, as well as active dissemination and promotion of the publications.
  • The OA issues are professionally disseminated by the publisher, supported by the infrastructure of Knowledge Unlatched (KU Open Services).
  • By making the entire subject area available, all authors are given the same opportunity to publish their work in open access, regardless of the "funding pot" of their academic institution.

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