TOME – Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem

“TOME brings together scholars, universities, libraries, and presses in pursuit of a common goal—a sustainable open monograph ecosystem.

Monographs remain the preeminent form of scholarly publication in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, but the funding model is broken. TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) seeks to address this problem by moving us toward a new, more sustainable system in which monograph publishing costs are met by institutionally funded faculty book subsidies. These publication grants make it possible for presses to publish monographs in open access editions, which increases the presence of humanities and social science scholarship on the web and opens up knowledge to a truly global readership.

TOME launched in 2017 as a five-year pilot project of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses). The pilot is built on a) participating colleges and universities and b) participating university presses. 

Participating colleges and universities commit to providing baseline grants of $15,000 to support the publication of open access monographs of 90,000 words or fewer (with additional funding for works of greater length or complexity). 

Participating university presses (numbering over 60) commit to producing digital open access editions of TOME volumes, openly licensing them under Creative Commons licenses, and depositing the files in selected open repositories….”

OpenMonographs.org Launches to Flip Funding Model for University Publishing – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses) have launched a new website, OpenMonographs.org, in a bold new effort to change the landscape of scholarly book publishing in the humanities and social sciences.

AAU, ARL, and AUPresses established TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) in 2017 as a five-year pilot project. Monographs remain the preeminent form of scholarly publication in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, but the funding model is broken. TOME seeks to address this problem by moving us toward a new, more sustainable system that meets monograph publishing costs with institutionally funded faculty book subsidies. TOME’s new website, https://www.openmonographs.org/, highlights the innovative nature of this initiative.

Colleges and universities participating in TOME commit to providing baseline grants of $15,000 to support the publication of average-length open access monographs. (Additional funding may be available for especially long or complex books.) These publication grants make it possible for presses to publish monographs in open access editions, increasing the presence of humanities and social science scholarship on the web and opening up knowledge to a truly global readership….”

Download More Than 300 Art Books From the Getty Museum’s Virtual Library | Colossal

“Over the last five years, the Los Angeles-based Getty Museum has developed a program to share more than three hundred books in its Virtual Library. Each unabridged volume, drawn from the Getty Publications Archive, has been cleared for copyright issues and is available for free download. Greg Albers, Digital Publications Manager for Getty Publications, shared with Hyperallergic that books in the Virtual Library have been downloaded 398,058 times to date. The initiative is a way to keep compelling and historically important books available even if they have, literally, gone out of print. Topics in the Virtual Library collection range from fine and decorative art genres to features on specific artists. Dive into diverse titles including “Art and Eternity: The Nefertari Wall Paintings Conservation Project 1986 – 1992” and “Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs”—among dozens and dozens of others on the Virtual Library Website….”

Download More Than 300 Art Books From the Getty Museum’s Virtual Library | Colossal

“Over the last five years, the Los Angeles-based Getty Museum has developed a program to share more than three hundred books in its Virtual Library. Each unabridged volume, drawn from the Getty Publications Archive, has been cleared for copyright issues and is available for free download. Greg Albers, Digital Publications Manager for Getty Publications, shared with Hyperallergic that books in the Virtual Library have been downloaded 398,058 times to date. The initiative is a way to keep compelling and historically important books available even if they have, literally, gone out of print. Topics in the Virtual Library collection range from fine and decorative art genres to features on specific artists. Dive into diverse titles including “Art and Eternity: The Nefertari Wall Paintings Conservation Project 1986 – 1992” and “Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs”—among dozens and dozens of others on the Virtual Library Website….”

Transitioning punctum books to Open Source Infrastructure · punctum books

“Without open source digital infrastructure, open access publishing has no long-term chance of truly remaining open, that is, not only free to read but also free to write, free to edit, and free to publish. Without a commitment to make, as much as possible, the entire book production pipeline open, the decision of who gets to write and who gets to read will always remain beholden to actors that do not consider the public good their first priority.

An overarching profit motive of any of the vendors that punctum books uses as part of its pipeline posits a risk for our open access ideal: we are as weak as our most commercial link. Furthermore, the implementation of GDPR in the European Union obliges us to be much more careful with what happens with the personal data of our authors and readers – and rightfully so. Like knowledge, privacy is a public good that is at odds with the idea of profit maximalization. The open source community, on the contrary, embraces the public sharing of knowledge while safeguarding the human right to privacy.

Our first step was to find a replacement of the technically most complicated part of the book production process, the book design itself. This brought us to the good folks of Editoria, who are very close to cracking the nut of creating an open source online collaborative environment for the editing of scholarly texts combined with an output engine that creates well designed EPUB, HTML, PDF, and ICML output formats.

Through the COPIM project of Scholarled, punctum books was also already involved in the development of a metadata database and management system (under the codenames Thoth and Hapi) that will be the first free and open source system to generate ONIX, MARC, and KBART records….”

Transitioning punctum books to Open Source Infrastructure · punctum books

“Without open source digital infrastructure, open access publishing has no long-term chance of truly remaining open, that is, not only free to read but also free to write, free to edit, and free to publish. Without a commitment to make, as much as possible, the entire book production pipeline open, the decision of who gets to write and who gets to read will always remain beholden to actors that do not consider the public good their first priority.

An overarching profit motive of any of the vendors that punctum books uses as part of its pipeline posits a risk for our open access ideal: we are as weak as our most commercial link. Furthermore, the implementation of GDPR in the European Union obliges us to be much more careful with what happens with the personal data of our authors and readers – and rightfully so. Like knowledge, privacy is a public good that is at odds with the idea of profit maximalization. The open source community, on the contrary, embraces the public sharing of knowledge while safeguarding the human right to privacy.

Our first step was to find a replacement of the technically most complicated part of the book production process, the book design itself. This brought us to the good folks of Editoria, who are very close to cracking the nut of creating an open source online collaborative environment for the editing of scholarly texts combined with an output engine that creates well designed EPUB, HTML, PDF, and ICML output formats.

Through the COPIM project of Scholarled, punctum books was also already involved in the development of a metadata database and management system (under the codenames Thoth and Hapi) that will be the first free and open source system to generate ONIX, MARC, and KBART records….”

West Virginia Inmates Will Be Charged by the Minute to Read E-Books on Tablets – Reason.com

“Inmates at several West Virginia prisons are getting free electronic tablets to read books, send emails, and communicate with their families—but there’s a catch.

Any inmates looking to read Moby Dick may find that it will cost them far more than it would have if they’d simply gotten a mass market paperback, because the tablets charge readers by the minute.

Under a 2019 contract between the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (WVDCR) and Global Tel Link (GTL), the company that is providing electronic multimedia tablets to 10 West Virginia prisons, inmates will be charged 3 cents a minute to read books, even though the books all come from Project Gutenberg, a free online library of more than 60,000 texts in the public domain.

The WVDCR says the tablets provide access to educational materials, incentives for good behavior, and an easy way to stay in touch with loved ones. But the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a nonprofit that offers free books and education to inmates, says the fee structure is exploitative….”

Recruiting a COPIM Research Associate

“The Community-led Open Publishing Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project is looking to recruit a Research Associate to work on two of the project’s key work packages. The Research Associate will support three of the project’s team leaders in the following two areas: (1) Developing and Piloting a Revenue Management Platform for OA Books; (2) Researching and Piloting Alternative Business Models for OA Books….”

It’s No Secret – Millions of Books Are Openly in the Public… | HathiTrust Digital Library

“Since 2008 the HathiTrust Copyright Review Program has been researching hundreds of thousands of books to find ones that are in the public domain and can be opened for view in the HathiTrust Digital Library. Over the past 11 years, 168 people across North America have worked together for a common goal: the ability to share public domain works from our libraries. As of September 2019, the HathiTrust Copyright Review Program has performed copyright reviews on 506,989 US publications; of those, 302,915 (59.7%) have been determined to be in the public domain in the United States. The opening of these works in HathiTrust has brought the total of openly available volumes to 6,540,522.

The Copyright Review Program, now an operational program of HathiTrust, began as a grant-funded ambition of the University of Michigan Library, under the leadership of Melissa Levine. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded three consecutive grants enabling the University of Michigan Library and grant collaborators to build a copyright review management system. The program is still going strong eleven years later, resulting in hundreds of publications determined to be in the public domain each week.

One way the Copyright Review Program determines the copyright status of items in the HathiTrust corpus is to determine whether they were properly renewed. In the United States, the copyright in works published between 1924 and 1964 had to be renewed about 28 years after the item was published; works could move into the public domain when their initial term of protection expired. The Stanford Copyright Renewal Database was one of the first to host monograph renewal records in an open access database, but much of the initial copyright registration information remains difficult to search. …”