We recently welcomed mediastudies.press as an OASPA member in the Scholar Publisher category. mediastudies.press joins 190 OASPA members and more than 60 others in the Scholar Publisher category.
We asked Jeff Pooley, Director, a few questions so we could learn more about the organisation and its connection to open scholarship and decision to become an OASPA member.
mediastudies.press is a nonprofit, scholar-led publisher of OA books in the media studies fields. We also publish a journal, History of Media Studies, which recently launched. The press was founded in 2019, and published its first books in 2020 on the Knowledge Future Group’s PubPub platform—selected for its multimedia and versioning support. Among mediastudies.press’s Open Access Principles is a commitment to diamond, fee-free publishing. Our aim is to demonstrate, on a small scale, an open-access publishing model supported by libraries rather than author charges. We pride ourselves on transparency, including open metrics and financials. We were recently accepted into the ScholarLed collective, and our journal is supported through LYRASIS’s collective funding pilot, OACIP.
Why did you decide to join OASPA and what do you hope to get out of your OASPA membership?
OASPA was on our radar screen from the moment the press was established. Long before we applied for membership, we benefitted from OASPA’s webinars and blog posts. Since joining, we have taken extensive advantage of the organization’s programming, including the 2021 conference. We recognized the important role that OASPA plays in providing a voice for OA publishing and, when appropriate, a platform for civil debate. We also appreciated how OASPA’s membership process would help to vet and legitimate our still-nascent initiative. We are grateful to the way the organization takes organization size, and other factors, into account for membership and other fees.
What are the short and medium-term priorities for your organisation/publication in relation to open scholarship?
Our primary aim is to develop a sustainable operation supporting 5 to 10 books per year, across our four series. We are also very keen to demonstrate the viability of a no-fee model for book and journal publishing, on the understanding that direct, collective funding schemes represent the only fair future for OA publishing. We plan to continue to experiment with, and advocate for, new models of collective funding, like LYRASIS’s OACIP and COPIM’s forthcoming Open Book Collective.
What do you think are the main challenges for the communication of scholarship generally in the near future?
The biggest challenge is how to manage the transition to open access without erecting new barriers to authorship in the form of book- and article-processing charges. A related challenge is to re-allocate the more-than-ample current spending in the system to academy-led, nonprofit publishers and infrastructure, and away from large commercial firms.
How do you think OASPA can help mitigate those challenges?
OASPA’s webinars, blog posts, and conference sessions should continue to showcase thinking and experimentation on collective funding, resource sharing, and community governance.