Thoth Archiving Network

Supporting Small and Scholar-led Publishers with Repository-Led Preservation of OA Books




repositories, Open Book Futures, preservation of OA books


Watch VIDEO.

Small and scholar-led presses make up much of the “long tail” of publishers without an active preservation policy in place, putting their significant contributions to the scholarly record at risk. As a recent study dissecting the archiving and preservation status of Open Access books suggests, there is “reason for concern for the long tail of OA books distributed at thousands of different web domains as these include volatile cloud storage or sometimes no longer contained the files at all” (Laakso, 2023).

And while large-scale publishers have existing agreements with digital preservation archives, such as CLOCKSS and Portico, small presses often languish without financial or institutional support, alongside challenges in technical expertise and staff resources (cf. Barnes et al. 2022). There are similar concerns over the long tail of open access journal publishers and projects like Project JASPER are working on preservation options for OA journals with no current preservation in place.

The Thoth Archiving Network, a recently-launched community initiative developed under the remit of the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project, seeks to address this gap and help small and scholar-led book publishers with finding ways to preserve their publications for generations to come. The Thoth Archiving Network would not solve every issue, but it will be an initial step towards essential community infrastructure, allowing for presses to use a push-button deposit option to archive their publications in multiple repository locations. This will create an opportunity to safeguard against the complete loss of their catalogue should they cease to operate.

With this presentation, we would like to provide an overview of the first steps taken so far to establish the Network, with a proof-of-concept now in place that provides a simple dissemination workflow for small publishers to archive their monographs in a network of participating institutional repositories (Internet Archive, Figshare/Loughborough, and, soon, DSpace/Cambridge). Several universities have already expressed their interest, and the team working on the Thoth Archiving Network would like to extend an invitation for more university repositories to take part, particularly from outside the UK.

The Thoth Archiving Network receives funding from the Research England Development Fund and Arcadia under the Open Book Futures project grant, which has been awarded to significantly expand and accelerate uptake of the open infrastructures developed in COPIM.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Gareth Cole, Loughborough University

Dr Gareth Cole is the Open Research Development and Discovery Lead at Loughborough University, based in the University Library. Gareth manages the repository and open research team (responsible for ensuring the visibility and compliance of publications, Etheses, research data etc.) as well as leading the library’s support for open research. He is also the co-work package lead for archiving and preservation on the Open Book Futures project.

Miranda Barnes, Loughborough University

Dr Miranda Barnes is Research Associate in Archiving and Preserving Open Access Books on the Open Book Futures Project, based in the School of Design and Creative Arts at Loughborough University. She held a similar role on the earlier COPIM Project and also served as Open Access Librarian at Loughborough. Previous to these roles, Miranda was the Research Publications Librarian at Bath Spa University. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and is an editor at Consilience and co-editor of Poetrishy, literary journals at the intersection of poetry, science, and mathematics.

Toby Steiner, Thoth Open Metadata

Toby Steiner has studied in Hamburg and London, and holds an M.A. in Television Studies from Birkbeck, University of London. Over the past thirteen years, Toby has been involved in a variety of projects dealing with Open Scholarship from different perspectives (e.g. Open Education, Open Source software, Open Data, Open Access publishing). Prior to his recent job of Product Manager on Thoth Open Metadata, Toby has been supporting the Principal Investigators Dr Janneke Adema and Prof Gary Hall in his role of Project Manager on the international Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project, which ran between 11/2019 and 04/2023.


Barnes, M., Bell, E., Cole, G., Fry, J., Gatti, R., & Stone, G. (2022). WP7 Scoping Report on Archiving and Preserving OA Monographs. Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM). DOI:

Barnes, M. (2023). Thoth Archiving Network Workshop, November 2022. Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM). DOI:

Laakso, M. (2023), "Open access books through open data sources: assessing prevalence, providers, and preservation", Journal of Documentation. DOI:

Additional Files



How to Cite

Cole, G., Barnes, M., & Steiner, T. (2023). Thoth Archiving Network: Supporting Small and Scholar-led Publishers with Repository-Led Preservation of OA Books. Septentrio Conference Series, (1).