Formed in 2015, the Radical Open Access Collective (https://radicaloa.co.uk/) is an international community of scholar-led, not-for-profit presses, journals and other open access projects. Now consisting of more than 60 members, we promote a progressive vision for open publishing in the humanities and social sciences.
Formed in 2018 ScholarLed (https://scholarled.org/) is a consortium of five academic-led, not-for-profit, Open Access book publishers. Individually we comprise Mattering Press, meson press, Open Book Publishers, Open Humanities Press, and punctum books, and collectively we are developing powerful, practical ways for scholar-led Open Access presses to grow and flourish.
Pop-Up Book Stand
As part of the 2017 OpenAIRE project, “New Platforms for Open Access Book Distribution”, ScholarLed developed a shared book stand, designed to promote Open Access publishing and to present our collective catalogue at conferences, fairs and events. The book stand was designed as a pop-up platform able to be easily transported to and rapidly deployed at relevant conferences attended by conference members. This allows one press to represent the entire collective at a conference, increasing the reach of all participating presses as well as introducing the collective as a non-competitive association of presses. The design of this book stand is available under a CC BY-NC licence, which allows other not-for-profit presses and publishing project to use our step-by-step guide to adapt and develop the stand according to their own needs. The Radical Open Access Collective adapted this low-cost, portable book stand to promote ROAC and ScholarLed members and share our publications at conferences all over the world. As part of this book stand we cross-promote each other’s publications, and promote the ideals and values that sustain our projects: around open access, not-for-profit and scholar-led publishing, experimentation and an ethics of care. Our aim is to advocate these forms of publishing within our academic communities in order to showcase the existence of alternative models for open access publishing. We also want to make a public and political statement about how not-for-profit presses can start to collaborate through these kinds of projects.
A Virtual Book Stand
Now that due to the Covid-19 pandemic our events and conferences have been moving online or are increasingly being completely envisioned online (such as the Open Publishing Fest), we feel the book stand needs to be reimagined too. In many ways the argument can be made that as all our open access publications are already online and openly available for free, our virtual book stand already exists. For example, the function of a virtual book stand is represented through essential organisations such as the DOAJ, the DOAB, and OAPEN (which also hosts the ScholarLed Collection). However, were these discovery platforms and repositories are crucial for the promotion of open access content, they do not necessarily replace the function of a book stand, and the specific targeted promotion that book stands can do at conferences and events. As such we want to explore what a virtual book stand can be for the ROAC and ScholarLed, and we hope to do so together with our community, so please be in touch if you have any ideas or suggestions on what a virtual book stand could look like and what it should encompass for you. For now we have made a start by updating the ROAC’s Latest Publication page and rebranding it as our Virtual Book Stand. You can find our book stand here: http://radicaloa.disruptivemedia.org.uk/latest-publications/