Open Access Book Prize | ACLS

Submissions open July 1, 2023.

The ACLS Open Access Book Prize for authors and the Arcadia Open Access Publishing Award aim to expand free and open access to scholarly books in the humanities. The awards are made possible by a generous grant from Arcadia.

In its initial competition, the first-of-its-kind $20,000 ACLS Open Access Book Prize, among the largest for scholarly books, will be awarded to two authors of open access monographs published between 2017 and 2022. The publishers of the winning titles will receive the Arcadia Open Access Publishing Award in the amount of $30,000 to support forthcoming books that would not otherwise be published open access. 


Monographs that were published as immediate open access between 2017 and 2022 are eligible.

Publishers may submit up to three titles in each of the following categories:

historical and cultural studies
born-digital, multimodal monographs in any humanistic discipline that demonstrate effective and innovative use of the online environment.

Full eligibility criteria will be available by May 31, 2023.


ACLS Launches Open Book Prize to Expand Access to Knowledge – ACLS

“ACLS) today announced its inaugural ACLS Open Access Book Prize for authors and Arcadia Open Access Publishing Award for publishers at the organization’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. ACLS is launching these prizes to expand free and open access to scholarly books in the humanities – removing obstacles to ensure that students, instructors, librarians, and anyone in the world can access important research and information on literature, history, music, art, and other related fields. The awards are made possible by a generous grant from Arcadia.

Expanding access to high-quality academic research books that focus on the human experience – past, present, and future – can help democratize and improve education. Open access publishing brings scholarly material to all people regardless of race, gender, or class, including teachers and students who cannot afford to purchase books and do not have access to major research libraries. This is especially important as the rising costs of education and expansion of student debt has caused society to lose faith in higher education….”

Path to Open – About JSTOR

“Open Access (OA) publishing faces many challenges, including misgivings about quality and difficulties with funding and distribution. But we believe that the benefits of sharing knowledge with researchers everywhere, including in low-income nations, far exceed the obstacles. This is why, in line with our mission to expand access to knowledge and education for everyone, we are collaborating with university presses on Path to Open, a new pilot program that supports libraries’ efforts to increase cultural diversity and invest in sustainable OA solutions while reducing financial risk for academic publishers to invest in authors and their scholarship.

Path to Open was developed in partnership with the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), University of Michigan Press, and The University of North Carolina Press to bring about equitable access and impact for the entire scholarly community. This funding model will provide libraries with affordable access to diverse, high-quality frontlist titles; support small and medium university presses in open access publishing; help authors reach a global audience; and advance equity of access to underserved researchers around the world….”

Data Inclusion Specialist, Open Environmental Data Project

“At Open Environmental Data Project, the ACLS Leading Edge Fellow would take on the role of Data Inclusion Specialist to help improve and sustain OEDP’s data collection and stewardship processes. OEDP centers the creation of inclusive socio-technical systems that value and highlight multiple forms of data. We do this to address how current systems perpetuate injustice, ensuring that information gathered in communities is (i) usable throughout our governance structures, (ii) that communities and researchers can use other forms of scientific data, and (iii) that communities are equitably represented in scientific data and regulatory information flows. While these systems by and large include quantitative  information, our work is deeply qualitative in nature, integrating local experience, history, and geography. Supervised by the Director of Policy Initiatives, the Fellow will work across our Research and Policy programs to apply nuances in the collection, discovery, access, use, interpretation, and inclusion of diverse environmental data in our governance systems. …”

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….”