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.
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 the 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.
Work on the grant is scheduled to start in 2019 and the first grant-funded OA monographs will be available in 2020. At the conclusion of the grant in June 2022, the Press will openly share a robust, blended OA model that the university press community can adopt, and adapt, paving the way for the many scholarly monographs published each year by university presses and other mission-based scholarly publishers to be more readily discovered, accessed, and shared.
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