Michigan State University

BTAA Joins Open Library of Humanities

Joshua Sanchez

Logo of the Open Library of Humanities, with an OLH wordmark and the full title below.

The Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) have signed a three-year collective agreement that provides multi-year support for OLH from all of the BTAA’s fifteen member libraries. This move was made possible thanks to the OLH Open Consortial Offer, an initiative that offers consortia, societies, networks and scholarly projects the opportunity to join the Open Library of Humanities Library Partnership Subsidy system as a bloc, enabling each institution to benefit from a discount.

The Open Library of Humanities is an award-winning, academic-led, gold open-access publisher with no author-facing charges. With initial funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and subsequent support from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Dr. Lisbet Rausing and Professor Peter Baldwin, the platform covers its costs by payments from an international library consortium, rather than any kind of author fee. This enables equitable open access in the humanities disciplines, with no financial charges to readers or authors.

“We are delighted to welcome the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) to our library board”, said Paula Clemente Vega, Marketing Officer for the Open Library of Humanities. “Some of the consortium members were already supporting OLH and it is great to see that they have decided to unite together through our consortial offer to support our diamond OA platform. This kind of commitment allows us to operate a high-quality OA offering for the humanities disciplines that does not rely on authors’ fees. We owe our existence and success to all our supporting institutions.”

Professor Martin Paul Eve, co-founder of the Open Library of Humanities, added: "We are absolutely delighted to have the support of the Big 10 consortium of US libraries. Our ongoing sustainability relies on libraries coming together to fund a platform that works for the common good, through open access. To date, we've seen such efforts succeed in high energy physics, for instance, where the SCOAP3 purchasing consortium has had great impact. This support from the Big 10 will allow us to cement an ongoing, open future for the humanities disciplines -- to ensure that these fields, which study human cultures, histories, and artforms are accessible to people all over the world."

Rob Van Rennes, Associate Director, Library Initiatives at the Big Ten Academic Alliance stated, “We’re pleased to support the Open Library of Humanities as we move forward with fostering a more equitable and sustainable ecosystem for the academic community. Collective action by our members is one more step in fulfilling the goals of open science and open scholarship.”

The Big Ten Academic Alliance is the United States’ preeminent model for effective collaboration among research universities. For more than half a century, these world-class institutions have advanced their academic missions, generated unique opportunities for students and faculty, and served the common good by sharing expertise, leveraging campus resources, and collaborating on innovative programs. Governed and funded by the Provosts of the member universities, Big Ten Academic Alliance mandates are coordinated by a staff from its headquarters in Champaign, Illinois.

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