Posted by Tom Grady on Feb. 1, 2024 at 1220
It’s been another busy and productive year for CEU Press and our Opening the Future programme.
New Library Members and Subscription Renewals
CEU Press has been happy to welcome several new subscribing library members in 2023: Miami University, the Australian National University Library, the University of Fribourg, Liverpool John Moores University, the Library at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, and the Central Library of Zürich. Many of these subscribed to multiple packages of backlist books for their collections, and some of our established members, such as the University of Cambridge library and Iowa State University, decided to expand their membership in 2023 by taking on additional packages. This perhaps reflects the continuing relevance of our titles during the times of upheaval in Eastern and Central Europe, Russia and the post-communist countries.
These subscriptions mean that our network of member libraries has grown in the US, UK and Europe, as well as broadening it further afield to Australia.
As some of our early-adopter library subscriptions are nearing the end of their 3 years of membership they will retain perpetual access to the backlist package collection from their original membership, and they are now actively renewing their support for another three years due to the success of the model. We’ve also added to the backlist offering with a fresh package of 50 books. We are happy to report that several members have already decided to continue in their support of CEU Press’ OA ambitions: Johns Hopkins, KU Leuven, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Rhode Island, with others soon to follow. We are extremely grateful for this and consider it a mark of confidence in the quality of our collections, and the viability of our Opening the Future programme as a means of funding a fundamental shift in the way we disseminate scholarship.
We’re also pleased that our collective model is eligible for authors with UKRI funding under the terms of their new policy guidance. We look forward to hearing more from UKRI on the details.
Eight new books were published fully OA, and with no charge to the authors, in 2023 via Opening the Future funding. These highly relevant and timely publications covered the historical and political context to the Russia-Ukraine war, Eastern European political history, and genocide studies. They were:
Ukraine's Patronal Democracy and the Russian Invasion, The Russia-Ukraine War, Volume One, by Bálint Madlovics, Bálint Magyar (eds).
Russia's Imperial Endeavor and Its Geopolitical Consequences, The Russia-Ukraine War, Volume Two, by Bálint Madlovics, Bálint Magyar (eds).
Belarusian Nation-Building in Times of War and Revolution, by Lizaveta Kasmach.
Anti-Fascism in European History: From the 1920s to Today, by Jože Pirjevec, Egon Pelikan, Sabrina P. Ramet (eds).
The Beginnings of Anti-Jewish Legislation: The 1920 Numerus Clausus Law in Hungary, by Mária M. Kovács.
An Older and More Beautiful Belgrade: A Visual Chronicle of the Milošević Era, by Mileta Prodanović.
2024 promises to be a busy year, with another 16 fully funded titles forthcoming. Details on those to be announced soon.
Become a subscribing member of OtF
We would all like to thank the participating libraries for enabling our OA publishing achievements with their support, without which this would not have been possible. We are committed to going full OA for our entire monograph frontlist through OtF in the coming years and we therefore hope that these libraries will continue to subscribe, and that new libraries sign up. If you are not currently a subscribing member, and are interested in learning how your library can increase its own local collection with relevant titles while simultaneously funding new OA frontlist titles, please visit our Package page for more information: ceup.openingthefuture.net/packages
In addition to our original subscription packages of 150 books, we would also like to highlight a new collection of 50 titles called East Meets West, which focuses on 19th and 20th century Russian political history, and provides vital context for more recent Russian imperialism.
Additionally, for those who wish to contribute to our OA frontlist funding separately from our book packages, we have an OA Supporter Membership.
Three year retrospective
With the end of 2023 came the end of the first three years of this project. We published a retrospective earlier in 2023, which highlighted the increased usage of our OA publications, shown by usage data to be downloaded up to 36 times more frequently than similar closed access titles, and across a far wider range of countries, demonstrating the increased equity of access to scholarship that OA provides. For a very small press publishing in a specialist area of study this is progress beyond anything we hoped to achieve when we set out with the COPIM project to launch Opening the Future.
Through the pioneering use of this funding model, CEU Press, and its network of supporting libraries, have contributed considerably to the global, open collection already, and will continue to do so. Our earlier retrospective also demonstrates that we have been very successful in our aims to reach larger and wider audiences.
We reached a landmark tenth publication funded this way with the publication of Rolling Transition and the Role of Intellectuals: The Case of Hungary in late 2022, and expect to publish nearly twenty in 2024.
We are excited about what we can achieve this year, and in the years to come, as we expand on, and consolidate, our collective funding model.
Emily Poznanski (Press Director) and the team
What is Opening the Future?
Leveraging the collective contributions of academic libraries worldwide, OtF funds presses to publish new OA monographs, while libraries simultaneously benefit from access to closed content, and no single institution bears a disproportionate burden. For a modest annual fee libraries get DRM-free, unlimited access to a closed-access selection of the press' backlist, with perpetual access after three years. The press then uses the membership revenue solely to produce new OA monographs, moving towards an affordable, sustainable model for academic publishing and creating a collection of OA books that are open for the world. More info: openingthefuture.net