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….”

Cambridge Open Engage

“The collaborative platform to upload, share and advance your research

Cambridge Open Engage is the new early content platform from Cambridge University Press, designed to provide researchers with the space and resources to connect and collaborate with their communities, and rapidly disseminate early research. The platform is currently under development using a co-creation approach and we’re inviting researchers to actively input to help us shape the features and functionality. Register your interest below to stay up to date and to participate in its progress!…”

Mapping the Publishing Challenges for an Open Access University Press

Abstract:  Managing a New University Press (NUP) is often a one-person operation and, with limits on time and resources, efficiency and effectiveness are key to having a successful production process and providing a high level of author, editor and reader services. This article looks at the challenges faced by open access (OA) university presses throughout the publishing journey and considers ways in which these challenges can be addressed. In particular, the article focuses on six key stages throughout the lifecycle of an open access publication: commissioning; review; production; discoverability; marketing; analytics. Approached from the point of view of the University of Huddersfield Press, this article also draws on discussions and experiences of other NUPs from community-led forums and events. By highlighting the issues faced, and the potential solutions to them, this research recognises the need for a tailored and formalised production workflow within NUPs and also provides guidance how to begin implementing possible solutions. 

 

On Plan S/transformative publishing, or … A disptach in the wake of the Charleston Conference

“–Depending on how much APC funding eventually shifts from libraries to the federal government, will the price mechanism for APCs adjust to accommodate the readiness of grant funding agencies to bankroll APCs?  If so, can we assume the government will have a more price-elastic posture than universities historically have had, given the latter’s tenure and promotion demand-side incentives to publish in high tier journals regardless the cost? If federal agencies are not elastically responsive to prices (i.e., if they reward publication in high priced journals without regard to prices), don’t we just perpetuate the high pricing that librarians have so long lamented, therefore shifting this malaise’s remedy to the public’s dime? Is this fair to the citizenry? How does this affect public funding for other federally funded initiatives?

–Concerns about “existential threats” now appears in discussions about scholarly publishing. Scholarly societies have them. Can societies be assured of stable revenue streams, erstwhile from library journal subscriptions, if some complex admixture of federal government grant funds and university funds fund APCs?

–There seems to be no discussion among librarians about an “existential threat” to their own profession. If funding of journals shifts from universities to federal funding agencies, doesn’t this cut out librarian involvement in selecting and funding journals? Correlatively, wouldn’t this reduce their budgets? Also, would this reduce their collection development role  to APC bean-counting, much of which will become the purview of offices of research whose involvement will merely be one of marking APCs as a line item in grant funding disbursement accounting? Would this be a good or a bad thing? 

–Where is discussion about the opportunity cost of diverting a portion of hard-to-get state-funded research dollars to funding APCs? What research, e.g. for renewal energy, or cancer or agricultural research for developing countries, now goes by the wayside?  

–Will societies and university publishers just gradually assimilate the newly emerging APC regime for their economic survival in funding membership activities, without discussions about possible threats to financial stability or discussions about the larger philosophical premises of doing so?

 

–On the philosophical issues, shouldn’t society publishers worry about governmental ideological manipulation of who within their memberships gets grant-funded APCs?  Sure, one could make that argument about federal grant funding per se. But doesn’t the latter arguably addresses an externality that (in an ideal world) concerns the common good, while APC funding is an externality that does *not* necessitate federal subsidizing–given that scholarly publishing mechanisms can and should be developed that don’t require federal subsidy?  These are points everyone should ask regardless of political affiliation.

–From what one speaker at Charleston said, the complexities of negotiating with publishers has a new overlay: tortuous internecine discussions among consortial members. If  this is true of all consortia, one has the sense that consortial leaders now have to have to engage game theoretic scenarios not only with respect to publishers, but also their individual members. Just imagine how much more complicated all this will now become with the pressures on libraries to pay for APCs. Isn’t it undesirable to introduce this added complexity, at least at this juncture? Why not just work on contracting the number of journals published, about which . . . 

–I’ve been arguing for contracting the number of journals, a la something like Bradford’s Law. A refinement on that: we need to distinguish two rationales for contracting the journal space. These are:

Rationale (1.) An argument on the principled basis that it is desirable to contract the number of journals, given that the ever-growing glut of journal articles undermines the common good of discoverability and assimilation of research findings.

Rationale (2.) An argument from economic reality: library budgets are relatively flat so we need to deconstruct Big Deals or even the number of subscribed journals regardless the journal sales model.

Shouldn’t big consortia use their negotiating power to argue that the ever-rising prices of journals (not to mention pressures for APCs merely to replicate the price dynamics of toll-access publishing) necessitates contracting the number of journals?  This point extends not just to toll-access publishing, but also gold ones? If so, pursuing rationale (1) for contracting the journal space aligns neatly with rationale (2) for doing so. I.e., rationale (2) becomes the vehicle for accomplishing rationale (1).

–I’ve also argued that consortia with journal negotiating power should educate their faculty about the need to contract the journal space. A refinement to that, too: the discussions should focus on rationale (1) above, rather than (2), which concer

The open access shift at UWA Publishing is an experiment doomed to fail

“A statement released by UWA claims the changes will help “to guarantee modern university publishing into the future”, foreshadowing “a mix of print, greater digitisation and open access publishing.”…

The notion that a respected publishing house can be replaced by open access publishing is disproved by examining other Australian university presses, such as the now-closed University of Adelaide Press, founded in 2009 with a mission to be an open access publisher….

Sydney University Press, which was relaunched in 2003 after closing in 1987, has employed a “hybrid approach” to open access. It is now returning to a more standard university publishing model….

Open access has an important role to play in academic publishing, but it is laughable to claim UWA Publishing’s cultural impact can simply be replaced through open access….

 

Open access monographs: from policy to reality (2 October 2019)

“This one-day symposium took place at St Catharine’s College at the University of Cambridge on 2 October 2019 and explored the policies, economics and future directions of open access monograph publishing. Attendees had the opportunity to discuss innovations in the sector, share their enthusiasms and concerns about current developments, and learn more about the opportunities for and realities of publishing an open access book.? Keynote speakers included Professor Martin Eve (Birkbeck, University of London) and Professor Margot Finn (President of the Royal Historical Society) and the panel discussions were comprised by representatives from Research England, The Wellcome Trust, academic experts on the subject as well as various publishing houses. The panel discussions aimed to create a forum for researchers to express the challenges and benefits they foresee if open access monographs becomes a requirement.

Full details of the speakers and panellists can be found in the event programme flyer.

The symposium was supported by the Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

Open access monographs: from policy to reality (2 October 2019) – Symposium programme
Welcome – Dr Jessica Gardner
The Economics and Political-Economics of Open-Access Monograph Publishing – Prof. Martin Paul Eve
Open research publishing in the humanities – Dr Nicola Kozicharow
Open Access Monographs: From Policy to Reality – Perspectives from the Royal Historical Society – Prof. Margot Finn
Policy and practice: Moving towards Plan S and REF – panel discussion featuring Dr Steven Hill (chair), Prof. Martin Paul Eve, Prof. Margot Finn, Hannah Hope and Prof. Roger Kain
Perspectives from Cambridge University Press – Ben Denne, Matt Day, Helen Barton and Chris Harrison

Definitions of Open? – Matt Day
Open Access monograph publishing: Benefits and Challenges – Helen Barton
Sharing Knowledge is Cool: OA experiments in context – Chris Harrison

Innovations in open monograph publishing – panel discussion featuring Patricia Killiard (chair), Janneke Adema, Ben Denne, Dr Rupert Gatti, Rosalind Pyne and Lara Speicher

Radical Open Access – Janneke Adema

Reflections of the day – Dr Ruper Gatti, Dr Steven Hill, Prof. Roger Kain and Dr Helen Snaith
Closing remarks – Niamh Tumelty….”

Open Access And Scholarly Monographs in Canada – Publishing @ SFU

Abstract:  The unprecedented access to knowledge enabled by the internet is a critical development in the democratization of education. The Open Access (OA) movement argues that scholarly research is a common good that should be freely available. In theory, university presses concur, however, providing such access is largely unsupportable within current business model parameters.

This study presents an overview of OA in North America and Europe, focusing on the Canadian context. Given their relatively small market and current funding models, Canadian scholarly presses differ somewhat from American and European publishers vis-à-vis OA. Drawing both on information from industry stakeholders and relevant research, this paper aims to clarify how Canadian university presses might proceed with respect to OA. While the study does not make specific recommendations, possible business models are presented that might help university presses offset the cost of offering OA to the important body of scholarship that they publish.

UH Press releases 90 classic books as online open-access titles | University of Hawai?i System News

“University of Hawai?i Press announced Hawai?i Open Books, a collection of 90 newly digitized and freely available academic titles from UH Press’s backlist, many of which have been out of print or unavailable for years.

Titles include seminal works of scholarship in Hawaiian, Pacific and Asian studies, as well as grammars, dictionaries and other resources for languages from throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The works are accessible from various online platforms, including UH’s institutional repository ScholarSpace, a newly created Hawai?i Open Books website, JSTOR and Project MUSE.

Hawai?i Open Books is the culmination of more than two years of work funded by two generous grants totaling $190,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Humanities Open Book program….”

JHU Press celebrates Open Access Week by releasing 100 out-of-print titles online for free | Hub

“Johns Hopkins University Press is marking International Open Access Week this week with the release of 100 newly digitized open access books, including many seminal works by distinguished scholars that have been unavailable in recent years. The works are accessible for free through Project MUSE, the massive online collection of scholarship based at Johns Hopkins, which now offers opportunities for publishers to host free and open access content.

The release also represents the halfway point of the Hopkins Open Publishing: Encore Editions initiative, which aims to create open access digital editions as well as print-on-demand paperback editions of more than 200 titles drawn from the Press’s backlist of noteworthy but currently out-of-print titles. The initiative is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities….”