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University of London Press secures funding through Jisc pilot open access initiative


The University of London Press has successfully secured funding through a new Jisc model that aims to support sustainable and affordable open access publishing.

New Historical Perspectives book series

The University of London Press has been awarded three years of funding through Jisc’s Open Access Community Framework (OACF) for their ‘New Historical Perspectives’ series. The funding will be used to support the scaling up of the series to meet the increase in demand in proposals from authors wishing to publish in the series.

The OACF is a new initiative launched by Jisc, in which UK higher education institutions can directly pledge to support open access publishing by smaller non-profit publishers. The publishers each submitted a proposal for how the funds would be used and Jisc member institutions could then select the projects they would like to give funding to using an online platform. Each publisher had a funding target that needed to be reached by the scheme’s closure. The University of London Press was one of three publishers to do so, along with Peer Community and SciPost.

The ‘New Historical Perspectives’ (NHP) series is published in partnership with the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of Historical Research, and focuses on work by early career historians (within 10 years of their doctorate). Each author in the series receives substantial feedback from peer reviewers and series editors, is assigned a contact and ‘mentor’ from the series’ editorial board, and takes part in an Author Workshop to discuss a near complete book with invited specialists. 

The series has generated much interest from its target author community, as well as excellent review coverage and a number of prestigious award nominations for published books, including Scotland’s National Book Awards in 2021. All NHP titles are published as free open access editions, eBooks, and in hardback and paperback formats by the University of London Press, with no author-facing charges. 

Paula Kennedy, Head of Publishing at University of London Press, said: 

“We’re very pleased to have received support through the OACF for our ‘New Historical Perspectives’ series. This successful open access series aimed at early career researchers has high demand from authors, and with OACF funding we can now publish 3 extra titles per year. As a smaller university press publishing on behalf of a society, we wanted to pilot a model that we hope other learned society publishers can benefit from.”

Helen Dobson, licensing portfolio specialist for research at Jisc, said:  

"The OACF has provided a simple mechanism for small publishers to increase awareness of their diamond OA initiatives with our members and we're delighted that the University of London Press were keen to participate. The ‘New Historical Perspectives’ proposal has successfully demonstrated its alignment with the mission and values of several of our members and we are so pleased that institutional support pledged via the OACF will enable the series to publish additional content and showcase a different funding model to their societies, readers and authors.”

The University of London Press is a non-profit, predominantly open access university press located in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. Its programme of cutting-edge humanities research is built on a century of publishing experience and commitment to supporting humanities
research and researchers.