Last week was the official launch of the Open Access Books Network. Held remotely (it’s 2020 after all) the event was attended by academics, open access advocates, librarians, scholarly communications professionals, publishers and policy-makers from all over Europe and beyond. The launch was a great opportunity for the founding members of the Network to introduce ourselves, and to demonstrate the Humanities Commons site that we hope will become a hub of conversation, events, and readings about OA books.

We also introduced the format for a series of events we’ll be putting on over the autumn (and hopefully beyond) called bOokmArks: Open Conversations about OA Books. We’ll invite people doing interesting work on aspects of OA books to participate, and we’ll:

  • Publish a post (ideally by them) about their work on our blog
  • Solicit feedback and questions via comments on the post, on the discussion boards and on Twitter (@oabooksnetwork).
  • Have a live open conversation with them (remotely, of course) based on these questions and our own, and inviting contributions from attendees.
An image showing the dates for the autumn bOokmArk events
bOokmArk events, Agata Morka, CC BY.

We’ll have a page up (probably on our blog) with an updated schedule and ‘how to attend’ information for these very soon — meantime they’re listed on our calendar.

Most of all, however, the launch was a chance for us to meet some of the people we hope will take part in the Network, and to hear your comments, questions and suggestions about what you’d like the OABN to do.

You said:

  • You’d like to have a regular open meeting to discuss what you’re working on and catch up with OA books developments — we’re currently working on the format and hope to launch this in Open Access Week. More details soon! Contact us with any suggestions.
  • You’d like a jobs thread on the discussion boards to circulate vacancies – this has been created! Please add to it with any job opportunities in the field of OA books.
  • You wanted to know if we welcome languages other than English in the Network – we absolutely do, and we have added a note to this effect on the discussion boards and our welcome blog post. Please contact us if you’d like to propose an event in a language other than English.
  • You asked if we will share slides from our bOokmArks events — if our speakers agree we certainly will, and we’ll deposit them in the CORE repository.
  • You asked if we could integrate the Humanities Commons site with the Open Access Book Community Slack channel (email us if you’d like to be added to the Slack) and we’ve done so, with a bot updating the #humanities-commons channel whenever anything is added to the site.

We were thrilled to see such a large and varied audience at the event, and we hope all of you will want to take part in the Network in whatever way is most useful to you. If you weren’t able to make it, no problem — you can find out how to sign up here, so please join in! And please spread the word to anyone you think would be interested in the Network.

As ever, drop us an email if you’d like to get in touch, or else you can post on the boards, or tweet us.

More soon!


CC BY 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.