General news Open research

Open access publishing and the power of the collective

The Open Access Community Framework (OACF) was launched as a pilot scheme in 2022 to connect not-for-profit open access (OA) publishers, operating under the diamond model (OA publishing with no subscription or author facing fees), with the higher education (HE) sector.

Phase 2 took place in 2023 and focused on monographs and books to align with the strategic objectives of sector libraries, the new UKRI open access policy for long-form, and to support bibliodiversity in the OA marketplace.

books on brown wooden shelf

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

Below, the three successful presses discuss what membership of the OACF means to them and outline the impact it has had on their publishing activity.

Paula Kennedy, University of London Press 

We’ve been delighted to be involved in both rounds of Jisc’s OACF initiative. For us, it’s genuinely exciting to see what’s possible when libraries and smaller publishers can work directly like this. We’re very grateful to all the libraries which have supported our publishing through the scheme, and to Jisc for running it.

Our new OACF submission focuses on human rights and social justice, and we’re hoping to secure funding to support an extra nine books to publish in this important area. Pledges are still open for this round, which will support the publishing costs of the books and enhanced marketing to help us reach non-academic audiences likely to benefit and use the research in their work such as NGOs and charities. Beyond the individual authors supported by the OACF, we’ve also seen other positive impacts such as demonstrating viable alternatives to Book Processing Charges (BPCs) to our own institution and more broadly and offering new funding models which other learned societies might be able to learn from.

brown wooden book shelves in libraryPhoto by Shunya Koide on Unsplash

Philippa Grand, University of Westminster Press 

Membership of the OACF has had a huge impact on UWP. We launched in 2015 and have grown substantially over the last eight years. This success meant we had to find new ways to sustain our books programme as the internal funding we receive no longer covered costs of all our publishing activities. The OACF has meant we can maintain our ‘diamond’ open access roots and do not have to convert to a BPC model.  This was a high priority for us in deciding the way forward: our home institution is one of the most diverse universities in the UK and questions of equity, accessibility and inclusion – hallmarks of the ‘diamond’ approach – are of utmost importance to us.

Being part of the scheme also means we can create a bit of a buzz around the Press and our publishing priorities through regular calls for proposals. The Cultural China series is particularly exciting as Chinese Studies is an area that Westminster has a long association with through the China Visual Arts Project Archive, founded in the 1970s, and the Contemporary China Centre, founded in the 1990s. The series – as the University does – will forefront a much-needed humanities perspective in a field dominated by geo-political and economic concerns.

Ultimately, it just means so much to us to have this external endorsement of UWP from our wonderful library supporters and to see these schemes working in practice. We sincerely thank our supporters for putting their faith in us and take that responsibility very seriously. And we very much look forward to a big year for us in 2024 – starting to commission for the Cultural China series and publishing our first OACF titles towards the end of the year.

white book on brown wooden table

Photo by Elisa Calvet B. on Unsplash

Kate Petherbridge, White Rose University Press (WRUP)

WRUP were really pleased to be part of the 2023 OACF initiative. The External authors project, that OACF funding supports, helps WRUP engage with the wider academy and fund publications beyond its home institutions. It has also enabled us to begin to explore non-BPC models as we review our approaches to project funding. This funding has helped us progress this in ways we would not have otherwise been able to, and we are so very grateful to Jisc and the institutions who have supported this so far.

four person hands wrap around shoulders while looking at sunset

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Further information

Full details of all the OACF 2023 agreements are available on Licence subscriptions manager. Simply search the catalogue using ‘OACF 2023’ or by following the individual links below.

Orders are open until July 2024 (or until we reach our target), with fees payable over two years. To find out more, please contact


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By Anna Hughes

Scholarly communication and engagement officer

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