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 towards 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.
Twenty-eight TOME-funded books have been published to date, with over thirty more in progress. The site draws attention to individual TOME books while providing a wealth of information and resources for authors and publishers who may be interested in publishing a book under the auspices of TOME. There is also information for university administrators and librarians who may be considering TOME for their institutions.
There are 17 institutions participating in TOME and over 60 university presses that have committed to producing digital open access editions of TOME volumes, openly licensing them under Creative Commons licenses, and depositing the files in selected open repositories. The latest institutions to join the initiative are Rice University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as of fall 2019.
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