TOME Initiative Looks to Create OA System for Peer Reviewed Academic Monographs

Peter Potter, director of publishing strategy for the University Libraries at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, was appointed by the Association of Research Libraries as visiting program officer to advance TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem).

LJ: How does the TOME model work?

Peter Potter: TOME is an initiative to create a system whereby academic books can be made available open access. It’s an attempt to create, from the bottom up, a group of institutions and presses working together to ensure that payment is made on the front end of publication, rather than publishers having to rely on sales income. At the moment we have over 70 participating university presses, [and] 13 participating universities.

The press gets the up-front money. If a press is participating, they’re agreeing to publish this book in an open access format. That doesn’t prevent them from turning around and selling the book, which they can do. If there are print sales or ebook sales that they can generate, they should continue doing that.

Contribution from a university is a minimum of $15,000 per monograph. We figured that after this five-year pilot we would come back and revisit that amount to find out if that is actually enough to make this worthwhile for presses. We understand the $15,000 is less than what it typically costs to produce a monograph—Mellon did a study a few years ago in which they said it’s actually well over $20,000. But the idea is by making a book open access you’re not cutting off sale possibilities. The $15,000 jump-starts the book’s availability, it enables the press to go ahead and publish the book [in print format], and then they will see sales that will supplement that.

One of the things that’s important is that these are university press peer-reviewed books. We want it to be clear to provosts and department heads and deans that these are not second class books—they are books that a university press would have published anyway on the basis of quality. We didn’t want the sales potential of the book to get in the way of that. Sometimes decisions get made for a monograph based upon “we don’t think we can sell enough copies,” and this is a way to try to address that problem on the front end.

Source: Peter Potter on Funding OA Monographs

This approach of essentially paying upfront for the book has worked quite successfully for nearly a decade for CALI eLangdell Press. eLangdell Press books are distributed freely with a Creative Commons license that allows faculty to remix the work to tailor it to their course needs. CALI eLangdell currently offers over 30 casebooks and  supplements in over a dozen areas of the law. DUring the Fall 2018 semester eLangdell titles were downloaded over 12,000 times, providing law students with over $1,500,000.00 in value.

Project MUSE offers nearly 300 “HTML5” open access books on re-designed platform | JHU Press

Project MUSE offers nearly 300 “HTML5” open access books on re-designed platform

More searchable and discoverable than PDFs, the improved new format represents the “next chapter” in OA publishing in the humanities and social sciences

Project MUSE offers nearly 300 “HTML5” open access books on re-designed platform | JHU Press

The press release offers no details on the platform though it doesn’t appear to be Pressbooks, already a leader in the OER space.

How we know what we know: The Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) helps unlock millions of connections between scholarly research – Wikimedia Blog

The Wikimedia Foundation, in collaboration with 29 publishers and a network of organizations, including the Public Library of Science (PLOS), the Internet Archive, Mozilla, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and many others, announced the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC), which aims to make citation data freely available for anyone to access.

Scholarly publishers deposit the bibliographic record and raw metadata for their publications to Crossref. Thanks to a growing list of publishers participating in I4OC, reference metadata for nearly 15 million scholarly papers in Crossref’s database will become available to the public without copyright restriction.1 This data includes bibliographic information (like the title of a paper, its author(s), and publication date), machine readable identifiers like DOIs (Digital Object Identifier, a common way to identify scholarly works), as well as data on how papers reference one another. It will help draw connections within scientific research, find and surface relevant information, and enrich knowledge in places like Wikipedia and Wikidata.

https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/04/06/initiative-for-open-citations/

Social Science Research Network confusion leads to calls for boycott

Social Science Research Network confusion leads to calls for boycott https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/07/19/social-science-research-network-confusion-leads-calls-boycott

University of Florida, Elsevier explore interoperability in the publishing space | Inside Higher Ed

University of Florida, Elsevier explore interoperability in the publishing space | Inside Higher Ed  https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/05/25/university-florida-elsevier-explore-interoperability-publishing-space

Nice to know my problem has a name. Meet Extract-Transform-Load.

From ETL for America https://civicquarterly.com/article/etl-for-america/

Many of the problems governments confront with technology are fundamentally about data integration: taking the disparate data sets living in a variety of locations and formats (SQL Server databases, exports from ancient ERP systems and Excel spreadsheets on people’s desktops, for example) and getting them into a place and shape where they’re actually usable.

Among backend software engineers, these are generically referred to as ETL problems, or extract-transform-load operations.

In the case of court opinions the ETL problem is complicated by the fact that the data that comes from the courts is in PDF format and the courts do little beyond dumping it on websites and declaring it sort of published. I’m going to be taking a long look at the handling of the ETL problem in the other branches of government to see what’s going on there.

Are Open Access and Traditional Publishers in the Same Business?