The OLH Model

The Library Partnership Subsidy model

The OLH recognises that the economics of the humanities work differently to other disciplines. The current level of Article Processing Charges (APCs) makes Gold OA publishing unaffordable for the majority of unfunded humanities scholars. The APC model concentrates costs on a specific part of the system (whether the academic or the institution), but the money is not necessarily available at those places. Our consortial funding model for open access solves this problem by bringing the distribution of the economics to the basis of our business model. We are funded through a model of Library Partnership Subsidies (LPS) that collectively fund the platform and its array of journals. Over 300 libraries and institutions worldwide already support us, which makes for a sustainable, safe platform. 

Thanks to the support of our members, the OLH has expanded from 99 supporting institutions and 7 journals in 2015 to more than 345 supporting institutions and 31 journals in 2023. The OLH employs 8 full-time members of staff and has developed our own field-leading, open source publishing platform, Janeway, which was launched in 2017 and is developed fully in-house by our team of software developers.  

For more information read, Eve, M. P., Vega, P. C., & Edwards, C. (2020). Lessons From the Open Library of Humanities. LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries, 30(1), 1–18.

Publishing Costs

We currently publish c.560 articles across 28 journals (with 3 more journals joining OLH in 2023-3024). Below is a breakdown of our operating costs for 2021-2022. 

Breakdown of operational costs 
Percentage of overall costs 

Journal operations 

This includes tech staff costs for our Janeway in-house publishing platform, journal tech support, maintenance, and ongoing platform development, as well as our editorial staff who support journal editors.


Publication costs 

This includes triaging customer support for our journal editors, copy-editing and proofreading for some journals, indexing, archiving, typesetting, web and server hosting costs. 


Marketing and Communications  

This includes staff costs for our marketing team, finance administration, support for open access advocacy, community support, and graphic design for promotional campaigns.


Publishing Partnerships 

This includes OLH funding for university press partnerships to co-publish a limited number of journals.


Business overheads 

Since the OLH merged with Birkbeck, University of London we no longer pay for our overheads, including estates and office space, HR, corporate management and administration, insurance, legal support, taxes, and other business costs. 


Publishing Revenue

Several revenue streams fund the publishing costs at the OLH.  

The OLH Library Partnership Subsidy (LPS) was set up in 2015 when the OLH launched as an open-access publisher of peer-reviewed journal titles. Since 2015, we have built up a loyal LPS membership list of 345 university libraries worldwide, with support from library consortia in the US (LYRASIS) and the UK (JISC), and national-level funding councils including The Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the Ministry of Education in Greece, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Sweden), and the UK’s Wellcome Trust. LPS members contribute via an annual subsidy payment that is banded according to institutional size, with options for higher-tier members

We also generate income through the OLH’s in-house publishing platform Janeway. Our tech team provide bespoke publishing solutions and customer support for more than 30 university clients. This client list has been built up since Janeway launched in early 2018 and in this time Janeway has established itself as a leading player in digital publishing solutions, offering affordable publishing solutions through innovations in software, automation, and bespoke digital packages. 

The OLH is also active in pursuing grant funding for ongoing research and development. To date, the OLH has received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (an initial planning grant of £90,000 was awarded in April 2014 and a follow-on grant of $741,000 was awarded in July 2015) Arcadia ($200,000 awarded in May 2021). 

Further information

OLH annual membership fees

Interested librarians can: