COPIM Community Governance Workshop, May 01, 2020


A COPIM community-workshop in collaboration with University of California, Santa Barbara Library, ScholarLed, and Coventry University

Participating stakeholders:

external: University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library, AmeliCA, University of Toronto, Michigan State University, University of Virginia, SPARC, Anglia Ruskin University, Edinburgh Napier University, California Digital Library, Curtin University, éditions science et bien commun, University of Cape Town, Educopia Institute

internal: Coventry University, Lancaster University, Mattering Press, punctum books

➡️🔍🖺 Documentation available here:

Short overview

COPIM (Community-Led Open Publishing Infrastructures for Monographs) is a 3-year project funded by Research England and Arcadia, that will develop and build the critical underlying modular components to support the sustainable publication of open access (OA) books, including infrastructures, business models, governance procedures, re-use strategies, preservation structures, and outreach programs. These systems and infrastructures will be open and collectively managed for the common good. Towards this end, COPIM aims to develop a significantly enriched not-for-profit and open source ecosystem for OA book publishing that will support and sustain a diversity of publishing initiatives and models, particularly in humanities and social sciences publishing.


COPIM intends to set up an open, community-led and controlled governance structure, a structure which we want to develop together with the community of stakeholders (academics, publishers, librarians, researchers, and knowledge managers) that will be involved in and will be supporting and relying on the infrastructures, workflows and systems that COPIM will create for open access monographs. We want to emphasize horizontalist and cooperative knowledge-sharing endeavours between communities of professional-public academic practice. The aims of the working group are to help:

  • Determine the values and ethos that should underlie COPIM‘s governance procedures. How can we enable equitable, horizontal relationships in scholarly communication? How can we formalize COPIM’s governance structure to guarantee accountability to the consortium’s (future) members (both presses and libraries)?
  • Determine best practices (and what not to do) for community governance.
  • Determine the kind of durable organizational structures for the coordination, governance an administrative support of the project’s community-owned infrastructure.
  • Develop official policies and procedures for self-governance and administrative management of the infrastructure.
  • Determine best practices for governing collaborative community-based book publishing projects of various scales, in line with professed needs of new and upstart publishers.
  • Establish a working group to continue development of COPIM’s governance structure, creating genuine community involvement and collective control, while ensuring the infrastructures won’t be governed by a particular commercial interest.

The outcome of this workshop will be the establishment of a working group for

  • (a) the long-term management of consortial library funding programs, and
  • (b) the identification and fostering of library-publisher experiments and projects that emphasise horizontal and cooperative knowledge-sharing between stakeholders (e.g. librarians, publishers, and researchers).

This working group will identify and/or form the beginning of a governance community of representative stakeholders for the COPIM project.

Header image by Mike Erskine on Unsplash.