The OLH Open Consortial Offer


The Open Library of Humanities welcomes expressions of interest from consortia, societies, networks and scholarly projects interested in joining the OLH as a bloc.

We believe that an open offer is advantageous for three reasons:

    1. It is a collective and affordable expression of support for and commitment to scholarly open access.

    2. It can be deployed as a cost-effective alternative to paying APCs for group publications, redirecting scholarly funds towards the creation of new research at the direct/indirect cost of production.

    3. The mechanism of this offer allows larger partners in a group or consortium to support their peers, with each member paying according to their ability and benefiting according to their needs.

We also believe that it is crucial for collective actors to be aware of their options, and of the benefits of acting together in solidarity. The alternative is the prisoner’s dilemma scenario familiar to universities negotiating with legacy publishers. We know that we are all stronger when discussion is frank and transparent. 

First, how does the offer work? The OLH subsidy is banded based on the nationality of a joining institution. The banding also accounts for the relative size of the institution at a national level: for example, the cost for a large institution in the US is USD $2123 per annum, whereas the fee for a smaller US institution is USD $681 per annum.

For more on bands, see https://www.openlibhums.org/plugins/supporters/signup/banding/. Please note that the banding only lists countries that have existing members, and is expanded when a new nation’s institution joins.


Our offer to those joining as a bloc would be as follows:

    • For 10 members joining the OLH consortium, each member would share a discount equivalent to 1/10th of 1 membership at the highest fee of the group.

    • For 15 members joining the OLH consortium, each member would share a discount equivalent to 1/15th of 2 memberships at the highest fee of the group.

    • For 20 members joining the OLH consortium, each member would share a discount equivalent to 1/20th of 3 memberships at the highest fee of the group.

    • For 25 members joining the OLH consortium, each member would share a discount equivalent to 1/25th of 4 memberships at the highest fee of the group.

    • For 30 members joining the OLH consortium, each member would share a discount equivalent to 1/30th of 5 memberships at the highest fee of the group.

The offer continues to scale as outlined above based on the size of your consortium.


This model provides excellent value for money: If we take the example of USD $2123 per annum as the highest band of a group of 30, then each member would enjoy a $353 per annum discount by joining as one. This ranges from a 16.6 per cent discount for a USD $2123 per annum subsidy to a 51.8 per cent discount for a USD $681 per annum subsidy.

In each of these scenarios, the current OLH member institutions are welcome to be part of the joining bloc, sharing in the discount. Since only established consortia may apply, any group will contain a mixture of members and non-members. The offer provides scaling benefits inversely proportionate to institutional size.


In an era of escalating big deal costs and Article Processing Charge inflation, you and your colleagues can choose a new deal instead!

For inquiries, please email martin.eve@openlibhums.org.