Strong Ideas from MIT Libraries and the MIT Press – MIT Press Podcast

“In this episode, Gita Manaktala, Editorial Director at the MIT Press, and Ellen Finnie, Co-Interim Associate Director for Collections at MIT Libraries, discuss the Ideas series: a hybrid print and open access book series for general readers, that provides fresh, strongly argued, and provocative views of the effects of digital technology on culture, business, government, education, and our lives….”

Strong Ideas from MIT Libraries and the MIT Press – MIT Press Podcast

“In this episode, Gita Manaktala, Editorial Director at the MIT Press, and Ellen Finnie, Co-Interim Associate Director for Collections at MIT Libraries, discuss the Ideas series: a hybrid print and open access book series for general readers, that provides fresh, strongly argued, and provocative views of the effects of digital technology on culture, business, government, education, and our lives….”

Exploring subscriptions to support open-access monographs

“MIT Press published its first open-access book in 1995, but leaders of the university press are still trying to figure out the best way to make more scholarly books available to the public for free….

MIT Press is looking at another route: institutional subscriptions. The press started selling its ebooks directly to libraries through a platform called MIT Press Direct earlier this year. Amy Brand, director of MIT Press, plans to find out whether these libraries would be willing to consider supporting open-access publishing as part of their subscription to paywalled content. This model will be explored as part of a new research project. 

“When I joined the press, I made it a priority to come up with an open-access model that honored both the value of print and the need to disseminate scholarship as broadly as possible,” said Brand. She wants to pursue a model that doesn’t compromise the production value or marketing costs of the press’s titles. She also wants to respect the preferences of individual authors — not all of whom want to publish openly….

MIT Press announced earlier this month that it had secured a three-year $850,000 grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund founded by academics and philanthropists Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, to conduct a monograph publishing cost analysis and develop a business plan for publishing open-access monographs.

The research will assess whether libraries would be willing to subsidize open-access monograph publishing at MIT Press and develop a subscription model, said Brand. In communication with authors and libraries, the press then hopes to use a large portion of the grant to facilitate a transition to this model. Though MIT Press will be the guinea pig, Brand hopes to share insights and make recommendations so that the model can be scaled and employed at other university presses. The press has commissioned Raym Crow, a senior consultant at SPARC, to assist with the research….”

Open Access Week 2019 | The MIT Press

“The MIT Press has been a leader in open access book publishing for two decades, beginning in 1995 with the publication of William Mitchell’s City of Bits, which appeared simultaneously in print and in a dynamic, open web edition. Over two decades later, we’re still adding books and journals to our collection of open access resources….

In fact, in the year since the last Open Access Week, we have added four new open access journals to our catalog: Data Intelligence, Quantitative Science Studies, Neurobiology of Language, and the Harvard Data Science Review. We also now have 106 open access books available. All of this work is driven by our commitment to ensure the broadest possible access, impact, and audience for the ground-breaking, and frequently field-defining, work of our authors and contributors….”

The MIT Press receives a generous grant from the Arcadia Fund to develop and pilot a sustainable framework for open access monographs | The MIT Press

“The MIT Press has received a three-year $850,000 grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, to perform a broad-based monograph publishing cost analysis and to develop and openly disseminate a durable financial framework and business plan for open access (OA) monographs. The Press, a leader in OA publishing for almost 25 years, will also undertake a pilot program to implement the resulting framework for scholarly front and backlist titles.

Amy Brand, director of the MIT Press and principal investigator for the grant, sees it as an opportunity to explore alternatives to the traditional market-based business model for professional and scholarly monographs. “Until the mid-1990s, most U.S. university presses could count on sales of 1,300–1,700 units, but today monograph sales are typically in the range of 300–500 units,” says Brand “Many presses make up this difference with internal subsidies or subventions from institutional or philanthropic sources, but this is not sustainable and often unpredictable. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, this generous award from Arcadia will allow us to develop and test a flexible OA sustainability model that can then be adapted to the needs of our peers.”

There is growing consensus within the university press community that publishing academic monographs through a durable OA model may be the best way to advance scholarship and fulfill our mission. The U.S.-based Association of University Presses comprises 148 member presses that collectively publish approximately 15,000 monographs per year. Crafting and promoting a viable OA model for this community—and leading the way as the MIT Press intends to do—would represent a major breakthrough….”

The Harvard Data Science Initiative and The MIT Press launch the HARVARD DATA SCIENCE REVIEW to publicly promote the latest research, educational resources, and commentary from the leading minds in data science | The MIT Press

The Harvard Data Science Initiative (HDSI) and the MIT Press are pleased to announce today the launch of the Harvard Data Science Review (HDSR). The multimedia platform will feature leading global thinkers in the burgeoning field of data science, making research, educational resources, and commentary accessible to academics, professionals, and the interested public. With demand for data scientists booming, HDSR will provide a centralized, authoritative, and peer-reviewed publishing community to service the growing profession.

The first issue features articles on topics ranging from authorship attribution of Lennon-McCartney songs to machine learning models for predicting drug approvals to artificial intelligence (AI). Future content will have a similar range of general interest, academic, and professional content intended to foster dialogue among researchers, educators, and practitioners about data science research, practice, literacy, and workforce development. HDSR will prioritize quality over quantity, with a primary emphasis on substance and readability, attracting readers via inspiring, informative, and intriguing papers, essays, stories, interviews, debates, guest columns, and data science news. By doing so, HDSR intends to help define and shape the profession as a scientifically rigorous and globally impactful multidisciplinary field.

Combining features of a premier research journal, a leading educational publication, and a popular magazine, HDSR will leverage digital technologies and advances to facilitate author-reader interactions globally and learning across various media….”

HDSI Launches Harvard Data Science Review | The Harvard Data Science Initiative

Today, the Harvard Data Science Initiative announced the launch of the first issue of the HARVARD DATA SCIENCE REVIEW, the inaugural publication of the HDSI published by MIT Press. Combining features of a premier research journal, a leading educational publication, and a popular magazine, HDSR leverages digital technologies and data visualizations to facilitate author-reader interactions globally. The first issue of the freely available digital edition features articles on topics ranging from authorship attribution of Lennon-McCartney songs to machine learning models for predicting drug approvals to artificial intelligence….”

The Society for the Neurobiology of Language and MIT Press Launch New Open Access Journal: Neurobiology of Language | The MIT Press

The Society for the Neurobiology of Language and the MIT Press are pleased to announce the launch of Neurobiology of Language. This open access journal will publish interdisciplinary articles addressing the neurobiological basis of human speech and language….”

Open Knowledge Institutions: Reinventing Universities

Can 13 authors, from the USA, Germany, Australia, China and South Africa, many previously unknown to one another, get together and, from scratch, write a 150-page book –– on a topic none of them has tackled before –– in 5 days?

If the group in question is committed to the same goals as MIT’s PubPub platform, to “socialize the process of knowledge creation”; and if the process they use is a Book Sprint, a professionally facilitated “collaborative process that captures the knowledge of a group of experts in a single book,“ then the answer is yes.

What drew our diverse group together is “open knowledge.” By this we mean not just the technical specifics of open access publishing or open source computing, and not just a general commitment to an open society, open government or open science, but a need to understand how these technical and social possibilities can be brought together in open knowledge institutions.

Specifically, how can the most long-lasting, successful and expanding version of a knowledge institution –– the university –– face the mounting challenges of global, digital and contested knowledge systems, in order to transform universities into Open Knowledge Institutions?

We present the results of our work here to the wider community for annotation, commentary, constructive criticism and engagement, with a view to extending the collaborative spirit further. We want the book to gain further analytical richness and precision from crowd-sourced expertise. You are invited to join us as we work through some of the issues that may enable or stand in the way of socialising knowledge itself….”    

Journal editor hopes mass walkout quickens open access progress | Times Higher Education (THE)

The editor of a journal whose editorial board staged a mass walkout has said that he hopes that the decision encourages others to do the same.

After more than a year of crisis talks, the full editorial board of The Journal of Informetrics, a quarterly, peer-reviewed title published by Elsevier, resigned on 12 January, citing immovable differences over the publisher’s lack of progress towards open access….”