Day/time: May 10, 2023, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ETD

Title: Stronger Together: The Growth of Open Access Library Hosting in Scotland

Presenter: Rebecca Wojturska, Open Access Publishing Officer, University of Edinburgh

Description: Library hosting services are growing across the UK. In 2018, the University of Edinburgh submitted a proposal to create a shared service governed by the Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries (SCURL). The aim of the service was to equip member institutions with a hosting solution to fulfil their Open Access publishing activities, with the development time charged to the University of Edinburgh (which covers costs and is invested back into the service). The service launched with three members – Heriot Watt University, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh – and four years later has grown to include ten partners, with more members interested in signing up.

Although the shared service caters to members engaged in both publishing and hosting activities, we have seen a growth in library partners requesting to join so they can launch their own diamond Open Access library-based hosting initiatives. These initiatives – similar to the one at Edinburgh which is called Edinburgh Diamond – aim to support academics, staff and students in their publishing endeavours by providing a free publishing workflow system, as well as a hosting platform for journal and book content. The University of Edinburgh sets partners up with an Open Journal System (OJS) or Open Monograph Press (OMP) installation and provides full technical support as well as system training and publishing advice and guidance, which the member institution can use to mould their service. The shared service members meet three times a year to shape the service according to user needs and requirements.

This presentation will explain how the shared service grew, explore how and why hosting services are developing within Scottish libraries, and provide conclusions and recommendations for institutions considering creating similar initiatives.

Title: Canada’s Library Publishers: Low-Key Load-Bearing


  • Mike Nason, Open Scholarship & Publishing Librarian, UNB Libraries
  • Sonya Betz, Head, Library Publishing and Digital Production Services, University of Alberta
  • Emma Uhl, Publishing Support Specialist, Public Knowledge Project

Description: In Canada, academic libraries occupy a critical role in scholarly journal publishing. Commercial journal publishers rely on institutional subscriptions as a primary revenue source, and Canada’s research libraries expend significant percentages of their budgets to license packages of journals from major publishers. In 2021 alone, CRKN spent $143,083,913 on licensing fees, with a substantial portion of these funds directed to major international commercial journal publishers. It is unsurprising, then, that much of the discourse regarding open access has happened from the perspective of libraries as customers. Through negotiations, they express justifiable concerns regarding unsustainable price increases, lack of ownership and control of the digital content we purchase, and the ever-increasing oligopoly of major publishing companies.

However, recent research has demonstrated a near absence of commercial publishers in the Canadian context – almost all of the journals published here in Canada are affiliated with organizations such as universities, scholarly associations, not-for-profit presses, and academic libraries.

This presentation will explore the critical role occupied by library publishing and hosting programs in supporting the Canadian independent scholarly journals that comprise our national research literature. We’ll quantify the number and nature of journals our libraries support, describe the services and support we’re collectively offering, and position these programs within the broader Canadian journal publishing ecosystem. We hope attendees will leave this presentation with an improved understanding of our journal hosting/publishing programs’ critical role within our broader efforts to ensure that Canada’s research publishing landscape is open, equitable, and sustainable.

Title: Scottish Universities Press: Collaborating across Scotland to Develop a Library-Led Open Access Press

Presenter: Dominique Walker, Publishing Officer, Scottish Universities Press

Description: 18 academic libraries across Scotland, through SCURL (Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries), are collaborating to develop a not-for-profit open access publishing platform that is owned and managed by the participating libraries. The aim of the Scottish Universities Press (SUP) is to provide a straightforward and cost-effective OA publication route for academics across Scottish HEIs, in response to changes in funder policies and Plan S. The Press also wishes to explore alternative approaches to academic publishing that have the needs of the academic community at the core.

In this talk, Dominique Walker will set out the background to the project, discussing how SCURL’s experience of delivering cooperative developments for Scottish HEIs provided the foundation and the framework for creating a collaborative OA press. She will provide an overview of the development of the Press throughout 2022, including how the governance structure of the Press fosters a sense of collaboration and common good across all 18 institutions, our open call for Editorial Board members and how we aim to keep costs as low as possible for our institutions by using the skills available across the SCURL network. She will also discuss next steps, such as plans to help Early Career Researchers publish their work OA and to help smaller Scottish institutions publish content OA where previously they may not have had a budget to do so.

Overall, we wish to demonstrate how SUP’s collaborative model can help the development of good and equitable OA practices both in the UK and internationally. The talk will be of particular interest to Institutions or Consortia who may wish to start their own collaborative OA Press