Our Mission and Values

photo by Alex Shute of Scrabble tiles spelling out 'mission'

Image credit: Image by Alex Shute on Unsplash.

Vision Statement

COPIM envisions and supports an open, inclusive, diverse, and community-led ecosystem for the creation and dissemination of open access books, one in which all knowledge producers are maximally empowered to communicate their research to the benefit of society without economic or technical barriers. We imagine a world in which open access books in all their forms are produced and disseminated anti-competitively and collaboratively, while also being responsive to, as well as driven by, the community of communities dedicated to public knowledge and the love of the book.

Mission Statement

COPIM is as a community-led research project and incubator. It creates and maintains open publishing infrastructures that are inalienably owned by the community and that support and bring together knowledge communities through the processes of open access book publishing in all its shapes and forms.

COPIM brings together many different publishing initiatives and encourages and supports those collectively by ‘scaling small.’ Instead of standard approaches to organisational growth that tend to flatten community diversity through economies of scale, scale is nurtured here through intentional collaborations between community-driven projects that promote a bibliodiverse ecosystem, while also providing resilience through resource sharing and other kinds of collaboration.

To realise our vision, COPIM therefore strives to:

  1. build and bring together open socio-technical infrastructures enabling smaller publishers to thrive independently, while at the same time stimulating connections and interactions between knowledge producers;
  2. develop organisational frameworks, governance structures, and economic and funding models that will provide more durable foundations for community-driven publishing standards;
  3. encourage resilient longstanding collaborations and enable partnerships with the community of communities dedicated to public knowledge and the love of the book.

Our Values and Principles

All of our principles are based on our values. However, as all values are always contextual and situated, we will always remain critical of friction-free utopias. Hence, we see our values and principles as a process of working towards, of working with and across difference. They should be read as a reflection of intention. We don’t see friction or conflict in defining our values and principles as a hindrance but as part of our working mode. Therefore, we will continue to update them as we progress forward and as our surrounding environment changes, following our living/versioned document or processual publishing approach.

Bibliophilia (love and care for books)

We care for books and profess a dedication to quality content, good design, good open principles, user-friendliness, and a dedication to (different forms of) quality peer review. We care for the preservation and archiving of open access books and argue for care-full and broad open dissemination. We work to enable open books of many kinds being shared as widely as possible.

Community-led (driven by the community of communities dedicated to public knowledge and the love of the book)

  • We pledge to create inalienable systems that cannot be co-opted or overtaken by the interests of a few players or commercial entities;
  • We will remain community-driven and non-competitive, and encourage horizontal structures empowering the community to make strategic, operational, and financial decisions;
  • We want to support a broader network or ecosystem of community-led scholarly communications organisations dedicated to the production and long-term maintenance of an open commons.

Open and public knowledge (inclusive, open source, open access, open ways of working)

  • We support open infrastructures and interoperability between open infrastructures, and pledge to work towards openness in all of the ways in which we run our projects and organisations;
  • We will be dedicated to public knowledge that is open and shareable across multiple borders;
  • We support open-source, portability, open standards and metadata, reuse, and reproducibility (copyright).

DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion)

  • We will be governed by representatives from a broad cross-section of stakeholders;
  • We work towards supporting a plurality of research subjects, technologies, approaches, languages, nations, agents (scholars, the academic and research community, the general public) with the aim to traverse multiple discipline, geographic, national, and institutional boundaries;
  • We strive for inclusivity in all our community structures, spaces, and interactions;
  • We will empower community members to take collective action, provide spaces for the community to grow, and encourage different voices, perspectives, and approaches;
  • We will strive to recognise potential barriers to participation and work to avoid and overcome them in the structures we create.

Scaling Small (collaboratively networked with like-minded entities)

  • We aim to bring people together who are interested in developing a shared vision for open access;
  • By working together, we will scale small in order to enable equitable participation in the development of open access books;
  • To enable open access book publishing we will design and build infrastructures of different types and scales that can be engaged with and adopted in a range of different levels by actors of different sizes and backgrounds, who share our vision.

Anti-competitive (opposed to the competitive practices that pit presses as well as other stakeholders in open publishing against one another in the pursuit of financial profit)

  • By bringing like-minded entities together, we will nurture an anti-competitive ecosystem for open access book publishing.

Non-hierarchical (pro-horizontal relationships)

  • Within COPIM, we strive towards non-hierarchical or horizontal ways of working. We also want to promote these ways of working through our partnerships with stakeholders who are working within the same terrain to create open ecosystems.