Click the headings below to expand (and contract) the FAQs and answers

About Open Access and Opening the Future

In line with our mission and following all the evidence of expanded readership of our books when OA, we are working with this model because it is the most effective way to reduce costs to libraries and provide equitable access to publishing for authors who do not have BPCs available to them.

We agree on the positive benefits of OA as listed in the OAPEN Books Toolkit:

  • Increased readership, usage and citation

  • Wider and more diverse audiences

  • Real-world impact and public engagement

  • Quicker and more lasting impact

  • More possibilities for readers to engage with and improve research

  • Greater author control

  • Compliance with funder mandates

Opening the Future is compliant with funder mandates and most importantly is used alongside BPC funding where available so as not to ‘double dip’ and only apply library funding for those books that do not have alternative sources of funding.

Most of these FAQs are for librarians, but we urge anyone interested in OA for books to read on. For authors there is additional information on our website here: ceup.openingthefuture.net/authors/

The model is designed to service different types of libraries.

If you already have most or all of our backlist books it is likely that you would continue to buy our books in the future, but the more we can make OA the fewer books you would need to purchase. On the other hand, if you want a smaller selection of titles for a very economic price, then buying our backlist packages is for you. All the proceeds go to funding the OA frontlist and again this will broaden the range of books for your readers.

You can either purchase the backlist package(s) if your procurement policies require content in exchange for payment, or you can pay through your OA funds. And we offer an ‘OA membership’ option which comes with no backlist titles but which still helps to fund our open access efforts on the frontlist.

Either way, we are seeing a shift to supporting OA models from acquisitions budgets and we are hoping that this will be the source of support for OA, not only for us, but for all OA initiatives for books. Otherwise it will be impossible to move from pilots to regular practice. Regular revenue like this will greatly ease the way for new initiatives to become established and reliable funding for publishing activities.

Whether you’re interested in acquiring additional backlist titles, or if you have them all already and want to support the frontlist going OA, the cost of our programme is very attractive. Our members are banded according to their size, as recognised by Lyrasis and Jisc, and a three-year subscription for even the highest band library is equivalent to less than an industry average single BPC.

Nothing less than to show a route to sustainable OA for the foundational publications of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

We understand that as a small publisher we cannot change the world alone and that the next few years will require adjustments all along the supply chain including the role of intermediaries and aggregators. We are working closely with others to ensure this transition happens.

No, the model is not based on the support of individual titles. If anything it’s more like a ‘Subscribe to Open’ offer. Participating libraries get unlimited, DRM-free access to curated selections of backlist eBooks at a much cheaper price than buying them in print one at a time. The subscription fees are then used to publish new, frontlist books in OA format. It’s that simple. There are no BPCs charged. Authors at participating libraries do not get ‘preferential’ or ‘discounted’ publishing deals: OA books are chosen on merit, through the normal editorial proposal process and are rigorously peer reviewed. The cost of producing OA books is paid for by the collected library subscription fees: so the more libraries sign up, the more books can be published as OA. If we can get to a fully open frontlist then any authors, including those based at subscribing member institutions, will be able to publish openly with us.

We believe that with the documented success of Opening the Future we have a model that could lead to the widespread transition of university and mission-driven presses worldwide to OA. Others, including the Copim Community and the Open Book Collective, are working on reducing the friction of OA publishing through managing and selling funding schemes to libraries.

Opening the Future information for librarians

All new frontlist titles are at first planned as traditionally-sold ‘closed’ books. But as soon as we have accrued enough library support to fund a book, we change the metadata before any sales are made and our distributors move the book to an OA status. This happens well before the book is published: so far, we’ve estimated between 2-3 months. In this way we hope to avoid libraries buying books because their OA status was announced too late.

Please note that GOBI now indicates if a book is available OA and does so as soon as our metadata is changed to OA status. You are still able to purchase print or digital retail editions as usual.

You can keep track of our OA publishing progress by clicking the button below:

Yes. We’ve already signed a deal with the California Digital Library (CDL) Consortium and are in discussion with others. We aim to pass on any savings in administration costs to libraries. Please contact us to discuss: openingthefuture@copim.ac.uk

Our policy is to first seek funding from other sources and only if that is not available (which it is still not in most cases) would we apply the funds raised from this project to make books open.

Revenue targets can be reached as more libraries join up. Once we get there we can make more books open access, and we can consult our member community on how else we can support open infrastructures and publishing. We wrote a news piece in early 2024 outlining our planned OA frontlist trajectory, which you can read here: ceup.openingthefuture.net/news/111/

We have several relevant criteria regarding what titles to make available OA through OTF funding; primarily that the authors want (or need) to publish their monographs OA, and that there is no other funding available. After that, we assign titles in order of publication date, with as much notice to the libraries as possible through our metadata distributions to ensure they are aware of the status change to OA.

Signing up - money and conditions

Members receive access to packages of 50-200 titles from CEU Press’s extensive backlist on Central and East Europe and the former Soviet Union - the history of the region dating back to the middle ages, communism and transitions to democracy (and in some cases backsliding on democracy).

There are five book packages to choose from and each contains titles proven by recent download figures to be popular and current according to data from Project MUSE. One package has been curated by an independent panel of subject expert library colleagues (the ‘Librarian Selection’). While not a pick and mix model entirely there is sufficient choice for libraries to select what meets their collection and reader requirements best. The newest package, ‘East Meets West’ concentrates on Russia, Ukraine and the context of the Full Scale Invasion.

Library and institutional members are banded according to their size, as recognised by Lyrasis and Jisc. Based on this, our annual membership fees are:

  • €1260 high tier, per year ($1,496 USD / £1,050 GBP)

  • €840 medium tier, per year ($998 USD / £735 GBP)

  • €368 lower tier, per year ($446 USD / £315 GBP)

Membership is for a minimum of three years.
Member libraries and institutions will have unlimited concurrent/simultaneous access to all titles in the package they’ve subscribed to during the term of their three year membership. They will be entitled to perpetual access to that package at the end of their three year membership. You may sign up for access to a separate package at any time - this membership and package access will also be for a minimum of three years.

If you're in the USA or Canada, the simplest way to sign up is through Lyrasis.

For UK HEIs, the easiest route to become a member is via Jisc.

For anywhere else, simply select the package(s) on our site that you wish to subscribe to, follow the link to sign up and fill in the form with your details. The form takes about 1 minute to fill in and we will initiate membership and billing when we receive it.

Member libraries and institutions have unlimited concurrent/simultaneous access to all titles in the package(s) you’ve subscribed to during the term of your three-year membership. You will be entitled to perpetual access to the package(s) at the end of your three year membership. There is no ‘bait and switch’ and packages won’t suddenly change after you have joined.

The books in the subscription packages are hosted on Project MUSE in their standard DRM-free, unlimited-use model for ebooks. Content is delivered in chapter-based PDF format. Full-text searching is available across all books and within individual titles. MUSE supports authentication via IP, Shibboleth, and referring URL. Participating libraries will be able to make use of MUSE’s Library Dashboard to access MARC records and KBART files customised to their holdings, and to retrieve COUNTER 5-compliant usage statistics.
MUSE collaborates with all major library discovery vendors and will ensure the packages are set up as collections to be activated in all pertinent discovery services. Books on the MUSE platform are preserved through participation in PORTICO’s E-Book Preservation service.

Project MUSE is committed to the accessibility of content and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), in a manner consistent with the Web Accessibility Initiative Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA. They have a full accessibility statement on their website:

You can sign up to as many packages as you like - simply fill in the form for each package you want access to, or you can always contact us if you want to discuss it first:

Yes, absolutely. Funds from any budget are accepted. In fact, we are hoping that as libraries see this to be a cheaper way of building collections they will pay for this type of offer through their acquisitions budgets.

Joining takes about 1 minute by filling in a form with your details and the package(s) you wish to have access to. We will initiate membership and billing when we receive your details.

If you're in the USA or Canada, the simplest way to sign up is through Lyrasis.

For UK HEIs, the easiest route to become a member is via Jisc.

For anywhere else, simply select the package(s) on our site that you wish to subscribe to, follow the link to sign up and fill in the form with your details.

About the books and collections

The first four packages of 50 titles each have been assembled in different ways. The first covers History and is primarily made up of the most accessed titles on the Project MUSE platform. The second is Political Science, again selected by their subject ranking on Project MUSE. The third (Editors’ Choice), selected by the editors at CEU Press, is wider in subject areas and includes gems in literature, such as the Classics list, gender studies, Roma, labour, public health, nationalities, Jewish studies, human rights and more. The fourth is a package made up of titles selected from the other three packages, by a small independent panel of librarians (‘Librarian Selection’).

The fifth package is the newest. Called East Meets West, it is a collection of books that shed light on the war between Russia and Ukraine.

There is also the opportunity to support the programme even without buying any of the backlist packages. Should you already have all or most of our titles then the OA supporter membership is for you. For a fraction of the cost of a single typical BPC you will be contributing to reducing your future spend on closed titles as more and more of our frontlist books go open.

No, all backlist package titles that you are subscribed to will be DRM-free and accessible by multiple users simultaneously.

The new titles funded by the program to be published open access will be hosted on Project MUSE, and OAPEN and ORL. OA books will be available in PDF format with CC BY NC ND licences. Project MUSE supports open access books with MARC records, KBART files, and metadata sharing with major library vendors, to ensure that OA content is widely discoverable through library systems. The books will also be listed in DOAB.

You can keep track of our OA publishing progress at:

We update our progress page on the website, and issue news items on https://ceup.openingthefuture.net/forthcoming/ as well as send details through listservs. We also include a note of new OA titles in our librarian newsletter, which you should receive as a confirmed customer. All titles get distributed to as wide a network as possible, this includes JSTOR, Project MUSE, DOAB, ORL, ProQuest, EBSCO, De Gruyter etc - this way, if you are set up to receive catalogue data from any of these services, you will get details of our OA titles as well wherever you choose to make them available.

Yes. All OA titles are available to purchase in print form. Print books can be bought through the normal channels.

Yes. We appreciate that some institutions may not wish to sign up to a book package, or may not be able to. However they might still want to support, and help to fund, the open access monographs that CEU Press publishes. For these institutions we have created an ‘OA Supporter Membership’. It is simple and quick to join: just fill in the sign up form with your details and we’ll do the rest. No further action is required from you once we have processed the payment.

For those institutions that want to commit a larger budget, the OA Supporter Package also comes in 2x and 3x the value per year (equivalent to subscribing to 2 or 3 packages per year).

About the CEU and OtF partners

Central European University has a distinct academic and intellectual focus, combining the comparative study of the region's historical, cultural, and social diversity with a global perspective on good governance, sustainable development and social transformation. Founded in 1991 at a time when revolutionary changes were throwing off the rigid orthodoxies imposed on Central and Eastern Europe, the University is based on the premise that human fallibility can be counterbalanced by the critical discussion of ideas and that this critical spirit can be sustained best in societies where citizens have the freedom to scrutinise competing theories and openly evaluate and change government policies.

The CEU is fully behind this Press initiative. The University provides a level of financial support/subsidy for its Press that is consistent with other universities and without which this programme would not be possible. This is truly a partnership between the Press, its parent institution and the library community: from subscribing members to platform providers like MUSE, OAPEN and DOAB, OA communities like Copim, and library experts like Jisc and Lyrasis.

Transitioning to open access is hard and we’re in the midst of a transition where we need to accommodate the needs of libraries with a model that is still quite new. We understand that libraries often need to go through extensive deliberations amongst their own stakeholders to see if it is worth investing in our particular offer. As a small press we do not have the resources to talk to every librarian, so we rely on trusted library partners like Lyrasis and Jisc who are already communicating with librarians every day.

Copim is a community of people and organisations working to build a fairer, more open future for scholarly books. Together, they collaborate on community-led and values-driven initiatives, which help to support open access authors, publishers and readers. CEU Press has been provided with assistance in implementing the OtF model through Copim.