JSTOR and University Press Partners Announce Path to Open Books Pilot | SSP Society for Scholarly Publishing

“JSTOR, part of the non-profit ITHAKA, and a cohort of leading university presses announced today Path to Open, a program to support the open access publication of new groundbreaking scholarly books that will bring diverse perspectives and research to millions of people.

Launching as a pilot, Path to Open libraries will contribute funds to enable participating presses to publish new books that will transition from licensed to open access within three years of publication. The initial pilot will produce about one thousand open access monographs. If successful, it will lay the foundation for an entirely new way to fund long-form scholarship while vastly increasing its impact….”

The MIT Press opens spring 2023 list of scholarly monographs via Direct to Open model with support from over 240 libraries worldwide

“The MIT Press today announced that it will open its spring 2023 list of monographs via the Direct to Open (D2O) model. First launched in 2021, D2O harnesses the collective power of libraries to support open and equitable access to vital, leading scholarship.

So far this year, 240 libraries from around the world have signed on to participate in D2O. Institutions include Duke University Libraries, Rocky Mountain College, KU Leuven, EPFL Switzerland, Johns Hopkins University Libraries, University of Manchester, University of Toronto Libraries, Massey University Library, Southern Cross University and more. To allow for expanded library participation, the D2O commitment window has been extended through June 30, 2023. 

Thanks to these supporting institutions, over 40 scholarly monographs and edited collections from 2023 will now be freely accessible worldwide. These new works join the collection of 80 monographs made freely available during the first year of the D2O model. Titles published via D2O are always accessible on the MIT Press Direct platform….”

The cost of our journal publishing programme

“We strive to publish high-quality journals as efficiently as we can. We have a diverse portfolio of journals and business models, with more than half of the journals we publish being owned and editorially managed by our society partners. This chart shows how our journal revenues are spent across our full journals publishing programme, supporting investment decisions from authors, funders and institutions….”

Welcoming Radboud University Press as an OASPA member – OASPA

“We recently welcomed Radboud University Press as an OASPA member in the Small Professional Publisher category. The Press joins a growing list of over 200 OASPA members. 

We asked  Natalia Grygierczyk, Director, a few questions so we could learn more about Radboud University Press and its connection to open scholarship and the decision to become an OASPA member….”

Oxford University Press and the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries sign read and publish deal

Oxford University Press (OUP) and the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries (CSAL) have reached a two-year read and publish agreement. Coming into effect on January 01, 2023, the agreement will provide full access to OUP’s full journals collection and increased open access publishing opportunities for researchers at CSAL’s member and customer institutions.

Can publishers resist self-censorship in China? | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Five years on from Cambridge University Press’ controversial compliance with a Chinese government request to make more than 300 articles unavailable to Chinese readers, publishers are increasingly self-censoring content on ‘sensitive’ topics….

The issue came to light five years ago, when it emerged in the UK’s national press that Cambridge University Press (CUP) had removed “sensitive” content from its prestigious China studies journal, China Quarterly. Since then, other publishers have faced similar accusations of bowing to pressure from Beijing. Springer Nature has restricted access to more than 1,000 articles, while Taylor & Francis, Sage Publishing and Brill have navigated strict content restrictions.

Although some publishers have found routes to navigate these restrictions without self-censoring their online platforms, others appear to be more deeply enmeshed in China’s censorship apparatus – and in recent years, the access constraints facing so-called controversial papers have gone much further than many believe, straying beyond familiar red-flag topics on an unprecedented scale.

By comparing UK-based and China-based IP addresses and the content discrepancies between the two, I’ve managed to gain some handle on the scale of publication data that is now inaccessible in China. My analysis suggests that more than 28,000 records of publication have been suppressed on publisher platforms accessible by Chinese scholars or the public….”

 

Can publishers resist self-censorship in China? | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Five years on from Cambridge University Press’ controversial compliance with a Chinese government request to make more than 300 articles unavailable to Chinese readers, publishers are increasingly self-censoring content on ‘sensitive’ topics….

The issue came to light five years ago, when it emerged in the UK’s national press that Cambridge University Press (CUP) had removed “sensitive” content from its prestigious China studies journal, China Quarterly. Since then, other publishers have faced similar accusations of bowing to pressure from Beijing. Springer Nature has restricted access to more than 1,000 articles, while Taylor & Francis, Sage Publishing and Brill have navigated strict content restrictions.

Although some publishers have found routes to navigate these restrictions without self-censoring their online platforms, others appear to be more deeply enmeshed in China’s censorship apparatus – and in recent years, the access constraints facing so-called controversial papers have gone much further than many believe, straying beyond familiar red-flag topics on an unprecedented scale.

By comparing UK-based and China-based IP addresses and the content discrepancies between the two, I’ve managed to gain some handle on the scale of publication data that is now inaccessible in China. My analysis suggests that more than 28,000 records of publication have been suppressed on publisher platforms accessible by Chinese scholars or the public….”

 

MIT Press Takes Agile Approach to Launching COVID-19 Overlay Journal: Interview with Nick Lindsay

“When COVID-19 first hit, MIT Press was quick to respond, making relevant book and journal content freely available to help scholars and the general public better understand the pandemic. But, the press’ publishing team wanted to do something more. Like so many in academia, they were becoming concerned with rising instances of false scientific claims entering the mainstream media and eager to stop the spread. Recognizing misinformation in preprints as well as misinterpretation of preprint findings as two primary causes, they began considering ways to flag questionable preprint information while boosting the signal of promising new research.

“Our Press Director Amy Brand and I were talking one day about what we could do, and that’s when the notion of launching an overlay journal of preprint reviews popped up,” said Nick Lindsay, MIT Press’ Director of Journals and Open Access. Lindsay and Brand brought the idea back to their team and began planning what would become Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 (RR:C19), the first multi-disciplinary OA overlay journal for peer reviews of coronavirus-related preprints. MIT Press launched RR:C19 in August 2020….”

Dædalus reaches expanded audiences through open access

“The MIT Press and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences are pleased to announce that Dædalus, the journal of the American Academy, has significantly increased its audience through moving to open access. During the journal’s first year as an openly available publication, Dædalus saw an increase in online readership, downloaded articles, and citations.

In January 2021, the Press and the Academy announced that Dædalus would transition to an open access journal. At that time, decades of volumes and hundreds of essays were ungated and made freely available. All new issues of Dædalus are now published openly. …”

Guest Post – Charleston 2022 — Finding Paths to Open Access Book Publishing – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In 2015, my former boss and current Scholarly Kitchen Chef/PLOS CEO Alison Mudditt led a team at the University of California Press who launched our Luminos open access monograph publishing program. The program survives to this day largely unchanged. Briefly, the program starts with the assumption the baseline cost of publishing a monograph is roughly $15,000. In order to recover those costs, Luminos uses a cost-sharing model that involves direct contributions from the author’s institution, money from a library membership fund, direct subsidy from the Press, and sales of print copies of the book. The elevator pitch for the program was (and is) that these funds combined allow for the global digital distribution of an openly licensed edition of the monograph. When it was launched, the Luminos program was one of the very few initiatives that was really trying to tackle the whole issue of open access books. Since then, many others have now waded into the fray, including the TOME project, which was launched in 2017, and Luminos is far from the only initiative that allows for open access book publication.

At dinner one night in Charleston, another publisher leaned over to me and asked bluntly, “Is Luminos working?” My answer at the time was, yes. But this question forced me to reflect a bit more carefully about the economics of Luminos and of OA monograph publishing more generally and what the library’s role in facilitating open access for books can really be. Answering the question about Luminos’s success depends a lot on what the measures of success are and how publishers, particularly university presses, deal with the difficult problem of the relationship between the costs of open access and the revenue derived from sales, largely to individuals, of their lengthy backlist of previously published books. Looking at Luminos strictly as a financial proposition, I think the results are a mixed bag. However, looking at Luminos as a way to create a pathway to immediate, unembargoed open access for the monographs published in the program that enhances these books’ impact and usage, I think it’s hard not to argue that it has been a success.

A chief challenge of the business of open access book publishing for university presses, however, has been the tremendously high costs of publishing a book. These are well documented in the 2016 Ithaka S+R study on the costs of publishing monographs, which is still in my opinion a highly valid and very important study, although not everyone agrees with the conclusions. The $15,000 figure that Luminos has used since its launch in 2015 is on the very very low end of the spectrum that is documented in that report, and is likely not realistic. But while not dismissing the cost side of the equation, I think what a lot of folks are beginning to consider is the revenue side, which is how university presses actually recover their costs of operation since most of us receive a small amount of direct institutional support at best….”

New digital texts shake up monograph publishing (opinion)

“Is A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures—an interactive, open-access, born-digital monograph developed by Brown University Digital Publications and published in August by MIT Press—the monograph of the future? Asking readers to imagine Islam anew, as a vast web of interconnected traces seen through the prism of time, the book opens with a networked table of contents. Portals lead to different time periods across different parts of the world, inviting readers to explore Islam via a path of their choosing. In designing a one-of-a-kind trajectory that follows their own interests and queries, the reader, effectively, creates their own journey while traversing the world of ideas and evidence that has been curated by the author.

This groundbreaking interface, says author Shahzad Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities at Brown, “performs, rather than simply states, the book’s argument—namely, that we see pasts and futures as fields of unlimited possibility that come alive through a combination of close observation and ethical positioning.” …

In working together to produce and disseminate essential knowledge for broad audiences, Brown University Library and the MIT Press are also addressing issues of scalability and sustainability. A critical goal of the series is to mobilize knowledge creation and sharing. To this end, On Seeing will comprise a publication suite that includes a multiplicity of forms. The print book, providing a revenue stream to help offset costs, will be offered at a reasonable price and distributed globally in order to reach the widest possible readership. The enhanced, open-access digital publication will be developed using the open-source publishing platform PubPub, which introduces a less bespoke approach to interactive design and development….

We are seeing the payoff from these investments through the expansive reach and impact that this approach to digital publication, together with presses gravitating to open access….”

Transition to Open Access: Tackling Complexity and Building Trust – Publishing Perspectives

“This spring, Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) presented a special “OA Innovation Seminar Series.” On behalf of Publishing Perspectives, Christopher Kenneally revisited comments from two guests who appeared in this series and are seeing positive outcomes in their transitions to open access….”

A year in review: Open Access at OUP | OUPblog

“Currently, more than a third (36%) of our journal content is available OA—that’s without barriers to access or re-use—and we are working to see that number increase with new partnerships and through cooperation with the scholarly community by working with authors, society publishing partners, institutions, and funders to move towards an open world.

Last year, we celebrated the significant milestone of 100,000 articles published OA. Since then, our teams have been busy launching new OA journals and books, signing Read and Publish agreements, and impacting government policy through the publication of critical research, all whilst ensuring our commitment to high-quality is maintained. Our rigorous editorial and peer review processes and our focus on publishing impactful research has led to mean lifetime citations for gold open access articles published in our journals reaching 29.34*—placing us in the top two of all major academic publishers. …”

The Bookseller – News – CUP announces new series of Open Access journals to address ‘global c

“Cambridge University Press (CUP) has announced a new series of Open Access journals that will address “global challenges by bringing together researchers across national and subject boundaries”. 

Cambridge Prisms promises to “shape solutions to major scientific, technological and medical challenges with cutting-edge research and reviews”. The scope of each journal will be built around broad, subject neutral topics. In 2023 these will be Coastal Futures, Precision Medicine, Global Mental Health, Extinction, Plastics and Water. The journals will “encourage collaboration between researchers from different disciplines and make it easy for readers to find relevant content”. 

Jess Jones, the publisher and senior scientific editor at the press overseeing the series, said: “As a publisher, we often see papers submitted where we know another author’s work in peer review would have strengthened its reach and impact. We want to break down these barriers and be involved in accelerating the formation of new research networks. ”

Scottish Universities Press

SCURL member libraries are collaborating in an exciting new venture to establish a fully open access and not-for-profit publishing press that is owned and managed by the participating HEIs.

The press aims to provide a clear and cost-effective route for researchers to make their work freely available to a global audience, with the ambition to extend the impact of research across the whole of society.

We plan to open for proposals later in 2022. Please subscribe to our newsletter or check back soon.