Award to Scholarly Publications Program
Funded by SSHRC, the ASPP is a competitive funding program designed to assist with the publication of scholarly books on topics in the humanities and social sciences.
The Federation supports Open Access and has established a policy to actively promote and facilitate Open Access publishing of ASPP-funded books.
The ASPP offers 180 Publication Grants of $8,000 and five Translation Grants of $12,000, contributing 1.5 million dollars annually to the dissemination of Canadian research.
York University Libraries contribute to the Knowledge Unlatched program which employs a crowdfunding business model to support open access monograph publishing. The premise of the program is that "many libraries from around the world share the payment of a single Title Fee to a publisher, in return for a book being made available on a Creative Commons licence via OAPEN and HathiTrust as a fully downloadable PDF".
The Libraries are also a member of the international consortium of libraries that fund the Open Library of Humanities, a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs).
The open access monograph publishing landscape
In the interest of maintaining scholarly legitimacy and guarding against predatory practices, the scholarly open access (OA) monograph publishing landscape focuses heavily on peer review and accreditation. There is also a shift to libre copyright models, demonstrated by a preference for the adoption of creative commons licensing.
The OAPEN Library is a central repository for hosting and disseminating OA books, while the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) serves as a discovery service for books deposited in the OAPEN Library. These initiatives are the work of the OAPEN Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with a goal of "achieving a sustainable publication model for academic books in humanities and social sciences".
The OAPEN Library "contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences. OAPEN works with publishers to build a quality controlled collection of open access books, and provides services for publishers, libraries and research funders in the areas of deposit, quality assurance, dissemination, and digital preservation."
To contribute to the OAPEN library, publishers must be members of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), which maintains a list of exhaustive membership critera. For those seeking to publish an OA monograph, OASPA's list of members provides a list of reputable OA monograph (and journal) publishers.
Publishing an OA monograph may require authors to provide financial assistance to the publisher to offset the costs of the publication process (i.e. editorial work, layout, copyediting, graphic design, marketing). A helpful introduction to OA monograph business models can be found in the Guide to Open Access Monograph Publishing, as well as the The Open Access Directory. The author-pays model (described above) and the freemium model are common. In the freemium model, the publisher makes a basic version of the monograph available free of charge (HTML for example), while the ebook, PDF and/or print versions are sold for a cost. The freemium model may be used to help supplement financial shortfalls when authors lack sufficient subventions.
The following readings may be of interest:
- A Review of OA Monograph Publishing conducted for the Association of Canadian University Presses (ACUP)
- The OAPEN-UK sourcebook provides multiple valuable resources, including a guide to creative commons, and a guide to open access monograph publishing.
- The Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook describes the landscape of OA monograph publishing to publishers, including an outline of some business models.
- This FAQ from Wellcome Trust answers key questions about OA monograph publishing.
- Open Access and Scholarly Monographs in Canada
A selected list of OA monograph publishers
This partial list is intended to showcase variety as well as Canadian press options for OA monograph publication. See the OASPA member list for other OA publisher recommendations (note that monograph and journal publishers are interwoven).