Central European University Press Opening the Future

CEU Press’s Opening the Future (OtF) funds open access (OA) monograph publishing without financial barriers to authors or readers, while also broadening library collections through an affordable subscription to closed content.

OtF is a simple and sustainable OA subscription/membership model that gives participating libraries access to a specially-priced selection of the Press’s backlist, DRM free and with perpetual access after a subscription period of three years. The membership revenue generated is used to make newly-published books openly accessible to anyone. When the revenue target is met and the entire monograph frontlist is openly accessible, future membership fee rates can be lowered. An established model since 2021, it has incrementally flipped an increasing proportion of the Press’ monograph frontlist to OA, and will continue to do so with ongoing library financial support.

Benefits of the model

  • Libraries enhance their local collection with backlist titles relevant to their research/teaching needs and keep those titles in perpetuity.
  • The available packages of backlist books are extremely cost-effective (see table below).
  • The revenue from the subscription/membership is used to fund frontlist titles to be published immediately OA. The more subscribing members they have, the more books the Press can publish OA.
  • Library subscription/membership fees pay for only those books that do not already have funding.
  • The outcome of this approach is to continue to yield a sustainable source of revenue for the press while achieving the desired commitment to making more titles OA.
  • Given ongoing budget pressures, and an increasing number of OA funder mandates worldwide, a consortial model of funding promises a cost-effective solution for OA that means no single institution bears a disproportionate burden, and no authors are barred from publishing OA through a lack of funds.

What do participants get for their investment?

Members receive access to a package of 50-200 titles from CEU Press’s extensive backlist on Central and East Europe and the former Soviet Union - the history and politics of the region dating back to the middle ages, communism and transitions to democracy. There are five packages to choose from and each contain titles proven by recent download figures to be popular and current according to data from Project MUSE. One package is curated by an independent panel of library colleagues and one added in 2024 presents the many faces of the Russian empire from the tsarist era to recent upheavals and conflicts.


Lyrasis assists with organizing library participation. Access to the titles is provided by Project MUSE, along with MARC records and KBART files. Subscribers also have access to COUNTER compliant statistics.


Membership is open to libraries and institutions worldwide. Library and institutional members are banded according to their size. Participation requires a three-year commitment, after which members keep the backlist titles in perpetuity.

Annual Pricing Per Package (US$) U.S. Classification (Carnegie Classification-Basic) Canada Classification (CRKN Bands)
$446 Associate's Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
$998 Baccalaureate/Master's Bands 6, 7, 8, 9
$1,496 Doctoral Bands 10, 11, 12, 13

How to participate

To support CEU Press’ Opening the Future, register an institutional pledge at https://ceup.openingthefuture.net/.

About CEU Press

Established in 1993 to reflect the intellectual strengths and values of its parent institution, the Central European University, CEU Press is a leading publisher in the history of the region, communism and transitions to democracy. It is widely recognised as the foremost English-language university press dedicated to research on Central and Eastern Europe and the former communist countries. It publishes approximately 40 new monographs and research-based edited collections a year and has a backlist of over 500 titles. Stringent peer review, editorial and production standards are a feature of the press.

After the three-year commitment, participants gain perpetual access to 50 closed backlist titles. In lieu of a license, the vendor uses Shared Electronic Resource Understanding (SERU), a NISO Best Practice governed by Copyright Law. To participate, register your institution's name with the SERU Registry. Get started here.

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