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Supporting open science services with the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access

The KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access is devoted to secure a sustainable and divers open science ecosystem, i.a. by stimulating non-profit and community-led publishing initiatives and open infrastructures.

Published onApr 27, 2023
Supporting open science services with the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access


Research libraries have a long tradition of funding the market for academic publishing through the acquisition of monographs, standing orders for series, and subscriptions to journals and databases. It therefore comes as no surprise that they are currently expected to play a role in the funding of open publishing and research infrastructures focused on the dissemination of research results. However, the mainstream for-profit approach towards funding an ecosystem for scholarly communication risks putting so much strain on library budgets that there is no money left to foster alternatives. This should not deter research libraries from investing, but rather incentivize them to prioritize support for approaches to open publishing and open research infrastructure which are better aligned with academic values. That is the reason why KU Leuven Libraries set up a Fund for Fair Open Access in 2018, which is exclusively devoted to stimulating the development of non-profit and community-led initiatives. This is achieved by supporting Diamond OA programs, by library memberships to sustain open scholarship infrastructure, and by subsidizing OA books published by Leuven University Press.


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Author biographies

Laura Mesotten (KU Leuven) works as Process Manager Research and Open Scholarship at KU Leuven Libraries Artes. Laura is the team leader of the KU Leuven Libraries Artes Research Team with a job focus on scholarly communication and open scholarship. She is committed to promoting a cost-effective and sustainable implementation of open science that puts the academic community back in the driver’s seat. Together with Demmy Verbeke, she is responsible for the management of the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access.

As Head of KU Leuven Libraries Artes, Demmy Verbeke (KU Leuven) is responsible for library services and collections for the Arts and Humanities. As a member of the management team with primary responsibilities for open science and collections, he also contributes to the strategic development and operational management of KU Leuven Libraries as a whole. He combines this position in the library with an appointment as associate professor of open scholarship at the Faculty of Arts. His research and teaching focus on (the role of libraries in) scholarly communication and digital scholarship in the humanities.

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