Business Model Development – Metadata for Open Access Books





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Running a business model sprint to define the costs, revenues and value proposition of a new metadata service for open access books.


COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs) is an international partnership of researchers, universities, librarians, open access book publishers and infrastructure providers. It is building community-owned, open systems and infrastructures to enable open access book publishing to flourish.

Research Consulting was commissioned to facilitate a business development sprint to identify potential business models and funding streams for Thoth, an Open Dissemination System (ODS) developed by COPIM to better integrate OA books into institutional library, digital learning, and repository systems.

We used the non-profit business model canvas and a value proposition design process to work with the Thoth team to:

  • Develop a shared understanding of the potential business model for Thoth;
  • Prepare a realistic assessment of the costs associated with Thoth’s operations, in both start-up and steady state forms;
  • Identify the revenue streams that could be used to support Thoth’s activities, with an indication of the desired mix of revenue streams, and the risks attached to each one; and
  • Outline a programme of further work on business models and governance that can be taken forward internally by the COPIM team.

We also facilitated a joint workshop with representatives of the OAPEN Foundation and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) to explore areas for future collaboration, including the joint development of grant proposals and a combined proposition to academic libraries.

Thanks for all your help and input, it has allowed us to firm up the main approach we will take and position ourselves more clearly. The whole process has also helped us identify the key areas and revenue sources we wish to concentrate on, for which we are most grateful.Rupert Gatti, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Open Book Publishers