About

Opening the Future is a collective subscription model that, through its membership scheme, makes library funds go further: achieving the dual objectives of increasing collections and supporting Open Access. Members pay a small annual fee to get DRM-free, unlimited access to a selection of the well-regarded CEU Press backlist, with perpetual access after three years; the membership revenue is used to produce new OA monographs.

CEU Press

Established in 1993 to reflect the intellectual strengths and values of its parent institution, CEU Press is a leading publisher in the history of communism and transitions to democracy. It is widely recognised as the foremost English-language university press dedicated to research on Central and Eastern Europe and the former communist countries. It publishes approximately 25 new titles a year and has a large backlist of over 450 titles with e-books already available through several platforms.

Sustainable funding for OA monographs

Building on library journal membership models such as Open Library of the Humanities and ‘Subscribe to Open’, CEU Press is creating a sustainable OA publishing model that will give members access to a selection of the extensive backlist, DRM free and with perpetual access after a subscription period of three years. This membership revenue will be used to make newly-published books openly accessible to anyone.

When the revenue target is met and the entire monograph frontlist is openly accessible, future membership fee rates can be lowered. The model has support from LYRASIS who will assist with organizing library participation in the programme and has support from OAPEN. Project MUSE will host the books, providing MARC records, KBART files and supporting discovery systems, and subscribers will have access to COUNTER compliant statistics. Membership is open to libraries and institutions worldwide. There are no catches and no hidden fees - members won’t be asked to pay more on top of their annual fee to access ‘more’ or ‘better’ titles. Packages won’t suddenly change.

Key benefits for OA

The revenue from the membership – that yields access to the backlist – will be used to fund the frontlist to be OA. Library membership fees will pay for only those books that do not already have funding. If a proposal for a book comes to CEUP with partial OA funding, the Press will use Opening the Future membership fees to share the production costs and publish the book OA.

The aim of this approach is to continue to yield a sustainable source of revenue for a press while achieving the desired commitment to making more titles OA. Given the current global library environment and existing budget pressures that have now been exacerbated by Covid-19, a consortial model of funding promises a cost-effective solution for OA that means no single institution bears a disproportionate burden.


Supported by COPIM

COPIM is an international partnership of researchers, universities, librarians, open access book publishers and infrastructure providers supported by the Research England Development Fund (REDFund) as a major development project in the Higher Education sector with significant public benefits, and by the Arcadia Foundation. CEU Press will be provided with assistance in implementing this model through Work Package 3 of the COPIM programme including documentation of this ‘working model’ as a step towards creating a free, open toolkit and roadmap for other book publishers considering OA.