Why we are a cooperative

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 At MoreBrains, we have taken the cooperative approach and applied it to our own business of scholarly communications and publishing consulting. We have extended the cooperative values to include some that are particularly relevant to the needs of our community, such as openness, accountability, and innovation. These values support our way of working. 

So, what is a cooperative? Put simply, cooperatives have no outside investors; they are run by and for their members, who may be workers, customers, or both. Cooperatives are driven by values as well as profit; they share internationally agreed principles of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.

The cooperative business model started in the UK, with the founding of the Fenwick Weavers’ Society in 1769, and there are now 2.6 million cooperatives globally with over one billion members. Evidence shows that cooperatives are often more resilient than the investor-driven alternative — famous examples include Credit Agricole in France, Land O’ Lakes in the US, and John Lewis in the UK. In 2011, we published a peer-reviewed article in Learned Publishing that discusses the links we see between cooperation and resilience in the scholarly research ecosystem.

We live in uncertain times, with challenges and crises emerging that affect how we live, how we work, how we learn, and how our economic, social and scholarly infrastructures are sustained. If there was ever a need for taking a cooperative approach, it is now.


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Appledram Barns, Birdham Road, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 7EQ, United Kingdom