UMP Fund-to-Mission Flyer.pdf – Google Drive

“The University of Michigan Press has been taking steps to develop a publishing program that aligns with our mission and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. This is why the Press is transitioning to an open access monograph model we term “Fund to Mission.”

Fund to Mission demonstrates a return to the origins of the university press movement and moves toward a more open, sustainable infrastructure for the humanities and social sciences.

The FUNDING MODEL

The Press is seeking a total of $250,000 in annual funding from the library community as it transitions to open. This amount acts as a match to internal funding from the University of Michigan. After extensive consultation with libraries, we have adopted a simple approach to reach our annual funding goal. Libraries are invited to continue to participate in the University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection (UMP EBC) by way of our current fair pricing. However, rather than only funding a paywalled collection, an increasing percentage of titles become open access. By committing to purchase one of the UMP EBC packages, libraries:

• Support the conversion to open access of at least half (~45) of University of Michigan Press scholarly monographs in 2022. (We will expand this percentage if we realize our full goal, and will build on it in succeeding years);

• Receive perpetual access to the remaining restricted frontlist titles and term access to the backlist (~1,500 titles), which will otherwise remain closed to non-purchasers;

• Support authors’ ability to publish innovative, digital scholarship leveraging the next-generation, open-source Fulcrum platform….”

Guest Post – Scaffolding a Shift to a Values-driven Open Books Ecosystem – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Pressure from all sides of the ecosystem has propelled growth, experimentation, and commitment to making more scholarship accessible to more people. There is increased awareness, too, that making research open does not resolve all issues of equity and access to knowledge, that more critical engagement with the moral economy of open access is still to come. Living in a pandemic has accelerated the momentum and heightened the sense of urgency, not only in discourse, but in concrete steps being taken and strategies developed by institutions and publishers alike. Libraries, scholars, students, and readers of all kinds have had to move rapidly to adopt and adapt digital resources and tools. Open access books offer increased access to knowledge for the reader, but they also present an opportunity to remake a fragmented ecosystem, and to increase channels of communication about the processes involved in researching, writing, shepherding, financing, publishing, acquiring, and reading research….

Digital books, open or not, require infrastructure. Disintermediating hosting, distribution, and sales helps simplify cost structures. Non-profit presses are developing their own infrastructure to support greater strategic choice. Fulcrum, from Michigan Publishing, and Manifold, from the University of Minnesota Press, are two such developments that expand the new universe of values-aligned platforms. The MIT Press Direct platform launched in 2019 in an effort to disintermediate the relationship between the press and libraries. The platform aligns ebook distribution with the university press mission and opens space for dialogue with libraries. The greater connection with libraries has confirmed a gap in knowledge sharing between librarians, editors, library sales, and authors that, when filled, could make the monograph publication process clearer. Each stakeholder, internal and external to a press, holds valuable information about open access book development, funding, hosting, and discovery. Creating channels to share this information, and doing so through new, collective models, has the potential to benefit the system as a whole….”

LYRASIS and Michigan Publishing Advance Community-owned, Publishing Ecosystem for eBook Distribution and Reading with Open-source System Integration

“LYRASIS and Michigan Publishing announce the successful integration of the Fulcrum platform with Library Simplified/SimplyE and The Readium Foundation’s Thorium Desktop Reader. 

This initiative brings together three open source reading and content delivery platforms, utilizing entirely open standards and technologies. By working together, the partners are improving discovery and access for ebooks and supporting the sustainability and scalability of two community-led social enterprises. …”

Library Publishing Pain Points – Aging Infrastructure | Library Publishing Coalition

“We strongly support community-owned open source scholarly communication infrastructure (we have been building our own open platform, Fulcrum, to support digitally-enhanced book publishing), so it was an easy choice for us to select Janeway (from the Birkbeck Centre for Technology and Publishing) for our next-generation journals platform. We’re hoping to move all of our active journals off DLXS in 2021 or 2022, and transition them to a much more industry-standard JATS/HTML-based workflow that can play well with both existing content conversion tools and vendor offerings. We also plan to build an integration between the two platforms so that Fulcrum’s rich media capabilities can be embedded in Janeway journal articles….”

FREE UKSG webinar – Digital Scholarship and the Future of the Book | UKSG

“Scholarly authors are increasingly using digital tools. They want to produce enhanced ebooks and interactive scholarly works, but these tend not to fit into existing publisher and librarian workflows. Fulcrum is a platform developed at the University of Michigan that supports authors who want to push the boundaries of the book. The University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection (UMP EBC) includes an increasing number of enhanced titles and takes full advantage of the rich features on the Fulcrum platform. Thanks to the support of purchasing libraries, UMP EBC is able to sustain the publication of new forms of scholarship, including open access titles, and sustain the open-source, community-based scholarly infrastructure. In this webinar attendees will learn about this new form of scholarship, including how it is being sustained by the community via UMP EBC and Fulcrum, and walk away with inspired to sustain this burgeoning community.”

Investment from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation enhances Fulcrum publishing platform to strengthen ACLS Humanities E-Book Collection | ACLS Humanities E-Book

“Michigan Publishing has received $750,000 in support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to re-envision the American Council of Learned Societies Humanities E-Book Collection (ACLS HEB) on its open source Fulcrum publishing platform. 

ACLS HEB is a collection of over 5,500 backlist books carefully selected by ACLS scholars from leading scholarly publishers, including university and society presses. Such scholar-led curation is unique among ebook collections and has made ACLS HEB a core resource for more than 800 academic libraries of all sizes for almost 20 years. 

The Foundation’s generous investment will strengthen Fulcrum’s capacity to support large collections of ebooks. The focus will be on developing new ways to explore the corpus, richer usage reporting, and interoperability with other tools and platforms. The two-year grant also supports a program of research and engagement aimed at enriching ACLS HEB’s value to publishers, learned societies, and libraries….”

The Monograph Is Broken. Long Live the Monograph. – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Despite the steadfast nature of this trust dynamic in publishing, scholarly-book publishing has been in a self-professed state of crisis for at least the past quarter century, even as the number of scholarly books published increases each year. This crisis is rooted in the desire of — and necessity for — scholars to publish monographs at a time when sales of such books continue to dwindle. These conflicting pressures are exacerbated by other changes, such as the growth of digital publishing and open access….

So what do we need to do to get this digital transition right?

Acknowledge that scholarly engagement with monographs varies from discipline to discipline and that this might warrant changes in some areas that aren’t appropriate for others.

Don’t focus on print sales but on usage and on what that usage enables. This applies to authors, tenure committees, and publishers alike.

Get all backlist titles online, and not just as e-books but in as many forms as possible.

Beware the fetishizing of print. We know, we know, that this is a grim imperative to the book-lover’s ear. We love books too (we’re publishers after all). But a monograph’s jacket and price often say more about the funding of a publisher than about the quality of or audience for a given book.

Devote more resources to digital: tagging, metadata, indexing, citation, etc. We need to establish new standards to improve discoverability and track usage.

Embrace new ways of promoting scholarship, such as organic (e.g., nonpaid) search-engine optimization.

Support — via participation and sponsorship — innovative experiments, such as:

  • The University of North Carolina Press’s Sustainable History Monograph Pilot, working to establish acceptance of a new publishing model for specialized scholarship.
  • The University of Michigan Press’s Fulcrum and the University of Minnesota Press’s Manifold, open-source platforms, which offer authors the opportunity to create interactive monographs.
  • MIT Press’s PubPub, a hosting platform for the multimedia-enhanced publishing needs of journals, books, labs, and conferences.
  • The University of British Columbia Press’s and the University of Washington Press’s RavenSpace, a collaborative site for indigenous-studies publishing.

For scholarship that adds value primarily to the more esoteric realms of the academic corpus and that increasingly may not be seen as a reliable investment for publishers (even university presses), we need new models, including “pay to publish.”  …”