Opening Access

The Association views Open Access (OA) to scholarship as an ideal fully in line with our mission, and a practice that must align with our values. The majority of member presses have undertaken OA publishing projects, and the Association works to support active learning and productive advocacy around OA modes of publishing. 

The Open Access Task Force completed two years of work in Summer 2021, reporting results from two OA surveys and a raft of recommendations to the Board of Directors. The most immediate effect of the recommendations was the formal establishment of an ongoing Open Access Committee, charged with developing resources, recommendations, and knowledge for our global community.

Under the joint leadership of this committee’s inaugural chair, John Sherer (North Carolina), and the task force’s past chair, Erich Van Rijn (California), the Association applied for and was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study the impact of OA editions on print sales of scholarly books. This research question grew directly from the perspectives on OA sustainability and OA/print sales experiences that member presses shared in the 2019 and 2020 OA surveys. Work on the study has begun and will continue into 2023.

AUPresses continues to work with our partners ARL and AAU in the TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) project, now in its final pilot year. More than 100 books have been published or are under contract through this program. The TOME partners are looking ahead to an assessment of the impact, challenges, and promise of the OA-book funding model this program innovated. As a first step in this assessment of the TOME pilot, AUPresses sponsored a study of the costs that participating publishers incurred in publishing TOME books. This work was undertaken in fall 2021 into winter 2022 by consultants Nancy Maron and Kim Schmelzinger, and a final report shared in late spring 2022.