Welcome to the Guide to Open Access Monographs!
The scholarly monograph has received considerably less attention from the Open Access movement than journals and journal articles have. Nevertheless, the scholarly monograph should not be excluded from the Open Access movement. There are three main reasons for this:
- “a full-length scholarly book (two in some instances) [is] a de facto condition of tenure in humanities departments.“ (Cronin & La Barre, 2004, 87);
- as John Willinsky has pointed out, the scholarly monograph is a sign of research maturity and in-depth analysis: “It might well seem […] that any decline in the ability of scholars and researchers to turn to this particular device for thinking through a subject in full, both as writers and readers, speaks to a troubling reduction in the extent and coherence of what we can know of the world.” (Willinsky, 2008, 1)
- The ongoing crisis in the publishing world has lead to a decline in the publication of scholarly monographs (Renfro, 1997). Open Access scholarly monographs seem to be a great opportunity for everyone involved in scholarly communication.
This blog wants to give some guidance on Open Access e-books. There are many great scholarly books out there – for immediate use, delight and learning.
This useful resource is provided by OASIS: Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook. Practical steps for implementing Open Access. The objectives of the site is, according to OASIS:
“The online content is intended to provide training and resources for anyone or institutions who wish to provide open access to their research publications. The objectives are:
• to increase the number of trainers and centres of expertise worldwide
• to expand the knowledge base of open access implementation
• to share resources and best practices
• to demonstrate and record successful outcomes of OA around the world”
The site touches upon the value of scholarly monographs, the publishing of Open Access e-books and Open Access as a business model.
The Open Monograph Press is yet another project from the Public Knowledge Project. The site offers insight into a promising new project: the development of the equivalent of the successful Open Journal System:
“Open Monograph Press, a new open source publishing product under development by the Public Knowledge Project, will establish an online workspace for publishing monographs, edited volumes, and scholarly editions, while keeping an archival record of the process (compatible with the Fedora repository).”
Open Humanities Press is another promising project. No books have been published yet, but it does sound and look promising:
“Open Humanities Press is pleased to launch a new series in literary and cultural theory published in conjunction with the University of Michigan Library’s Scholarly Publishing Office. Each Critical Climate Change book will be freely available as an electronic book (open access) and as reasonably priced paperbacks.”
More and more libraries are involved in the design and maintenance of digital repositories – and even the publishing of e-books, as in the case of the University of Michigan Library. For more on Open Access Monographs and University Presses, please see the post on University Presses below.
This is a comprehensive list at the Open Access Directory, a wiki devoted to Open Access issues. The list includes all kinds of publishers, including University Presses and commercial publishers.
The Pakistan National Digital Library offers this extensive list of e-books provider. Worth a visit!
This digitization project is from one of the best German research libraries. Not exactly about Open Access in the strict sense, but a great resource for all book lovers.