Future of Language Science Press

Next to publishing 35 books over the last 3 years, we have also explored ways to finance open access. We identified 5 revenue streams, but our evaluation showed that the most promising one is a “library partnership model”, similar to crowdfunding. Instead of charging readers or authors, we think that small contributions from a wide network of linguistics libraries worldwide are a better solution for long-term sustainability and this is also more in line with the spirit of the linguistics community.

Our target in terms of book publications is 30/year.

For this, we have to collect 115,000 EUR.

Ways to support

Together with Knowledge Unlatched, we have set up the following ways to contribute towards meeting this sum:

We will approach libraries over the next months and propose our financing model to them. Libraries are much more likely to contribute if researchers have talked to their library about the advantages of Language Science Press before, so you can help us immensely by sending just a very brief email to your librarian. (See sample below).

Some numbers

Some numbers might come in handy: with LangSci, a library contributing 1000 EUR can finance 30 high quality linguistics books a year for 33.33 EUR each. Compare this price tag to a random book from a traditional publisher all at about 100 EUR.

Plot 23Our costs for producing a fully open access book (CC-BY) are just below 4,000 EUR (115k€/30). [Update: since there have been some misunderstandings: this is the global sum we need per book. That cost is met by all participating institutions and individuals together] Compare this to the quotes of 10,000 EUR (de Gruyter) or 18,500 EUR (Brill). This is of course due to all the free support we receive from the community, but we are proud of this support we receive from you!

Plot 24While 1,000 EUR yearly contribution is a huge sum for one person, it is not that large in a  library context where subscription fees for one journal can be easily in the 5-digit range.

Make Open Access work!

We think 100 libraries worldwide and 150 individuals should be doable. If this is not the case, then linguistics is probably not ready for open access. So go talk to your library and make the case that researchers can reclaim publishing, make it free and open, and less expensive as well! And if you feel that you have the financial means for making a personal contribution towards making open access work, make an individual pledge.

While personal meetings or phone calls are the best way to get in touch with your  librarians, a simple email would also help. The more personal, the better. Below, we provide a sample email. Use this as a starter if you have a writer’s block. Click here to load this text into your email program.

Dear ___,
as you might know, linguistics is a very progressive discipline when it
comes to open access. The rebellion of the Lingua editorial board
against Elsevier, the resignation of the whole board and the subsequent
founding of Glossa have received wide coverage not only in specialist
media outlets.
Today I would like you to ask you to support open access not only for 
journals, but also for books.

You might have heard of Language Science Press. Language Science Press
publishes fully open access books under CC-BY. They are a community-based
worldwide enterprise with supporters from MIT, Harvard, Yale, Zurich, 
Berlin, Sydney, Hong Kong,etc. To name but a few, Noam Chomsky, Adele 
Goldberg and Steven Pinker support Language Science Press and their 
library partnership model set up by Knowledge Unlatched. I would be very
happy if ______ could contribute towards the success of open access by 
becoming a supporter of Language Science Press at the rate of 1000 EUR/year 
for ~30 books/year. I am happy to provide you with more information or
put you in touch.
Best wishes