The Scaling Small philosophy (see e.g. Adema & Moore, 2021) that COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) has followed is explicitly and intentionally an alternative to large-scale, commercial approaches to academic publishing. This principle has guided COPIM’s main outcomes and objectives, and has supported us in building various models, systems, and platforms as part of our work to remove the hurdles preventing new and existing open access book initiatives from adopting open access workflows. In addition to creating the community-led governance structures, archiving and preservation best practices, and experimental book pilots and resources to support this, Scaling Small comes to the fore very clearly in three of COPIM’s main outputs: the Open Book Collective (OBC), a UK charity governed by its members that brings together open access publishers, libraries, and publishing service providers to enable sustainable collective funding for open access books without charging authors; ‘Opening the Future’ (OtF), a revenue model which enables the transition of legacy publishers to OA by offering their closed access backlist to libraries via a subscription scheme, and using the revenue to fund new OA books; and Thoth, an open dissemination system that enables publishers to share their open access books much more widely, by easily creating high quality open metadata in a wide variety of formats.
As COPIM concludes and we look towards the launch of the Open Book Futures project, we discuss and extend the organisational principle of Scaling Small in several ways, and with a variety of collaborators, while also thinking ahead about what our next steps will be in the future.