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….”

Worried About the Future of the Monograph? So Are Publishers – The Chronicle of Higher Education

From your perspective as the AUP’s new president, what are the most important issues facing scholarly publishers?

Crewe: Our biggest challenge remains the low sales of scholarly monographs, such as revised dissertations or scholarly books with a narrow focus in a small field. Libraries share copies, and individuals don’t purchase the new books in their fields as they did 20 years ago.

We want to publish these books. They are the building blocks of our own reputation and they are often groundbreaking, field-changing works. We’re looking for publishing grants to support them, and we try each season to publish enough profitable books to cover the losses on monographs.

But today’s model isn’t sustainable. There are a number of experiments under way to figure out how to publish specialized monographs in a freely available open-access format….”

TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)

TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) advances the wide dissemination of scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members through open access editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited monographs.

Scholars face growing difficulty in finding publishers for their monographs as academic library budgets shrink and demand for monographs falls. To collaboratively address this problem, the Association of American Universities (AAU)Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses) launched this initiative in spring 2017. 

In each of the first five years, colleges and universities participating in TOME are providing at least three baseline publishing grants of $15,000 to support the publication of open access monographs. Publishers accepting these grants—for eligible books that have been approved through the usual editorial and peer-review processes—are making high-quality, platform-agnostic, digital editions freely available. These TOME-supported monographs will make new research freely available online, increasing the presence of humanities and social science scholarship on the web and opening up knowledge to more readers….”

TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)

“TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) advances the wide dissemination of scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members through open access editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited monographs.

Scholars face growing difficulty in finding publishers for their monographs as academic library budgets shrink and demand for monographs falls. To collaboratively address this problem, the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses) launched this initiative in spring 2017. 

In each of the first five years, colleges and universities participating in TOME are providing at least three baseline publishing grants of $15,000 to support the publication of open access monographs. Publishers accepting these grants—for eligible books that have been approved through the usual editorial and peer-review processes—are making high-quality, platform-agnostic, digital editions freely available. These TOME-supported monographs will make new research freely available online, increasing the presence of humanities and social science scholarship on the web and opening up knowledge to more readers….”

Facing Censorship: A Statement of Guiding Principles

“As scholarly publishers we believe in the free exchange of ideas. As university presses, we are especially vigilant defenders of academic freedom because it is fundamental to the work we do. In this, we stand with our universities, our authors, the greater scholarly community, and with each other against all restrictions imposed on the dissemination of our work….

Because of the increasingly digital nature of scholarly communications, requests to restrict access to specific elements of a larger digital collection within a given market seem likely to become a more common form of attempts at government censorship. AUPresses encourages university presses generally to withhold their consent to any such request, whether made directly or via a third-party aggregator, even if doing so results in the unavailability of the entire digital collection within that market….”