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Fordham UP to Participate in Mellon-funded Sustainable History Monograph Pilot (SHMP)

4th May 2019

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The University of North Carolina Press is leading an experiment to significantly lower the cost of producing scholarly books — an important step toward a sustainable open-access publishing model for monographs.

Lindsay McKenzie – Inside Higher Ed

University presses across the country, led by The University of North Carolina Press, will be embarking on a project that has the potential to radically change accessibility to scholarly work.

Lindsay McKenzie of Inside Higher Ed reports on open-access monographs, which are immensely expensive to produce, but offer many benefits for readers. This is precisely the reason why many colleges and universities have experienced with this technology, but were unable to sustain it. The present project proposes a 90-day period in which access to digital books is free, and based on the demand garnered in that time period, colleges and universities can decide if providing a monograph for specific works is sensible enough to move to print.

A project that aims to slash the cost of producing monographs could help make more of them available to the public for free. But will scholars participate?

The goal is attainability – by providing monographs which are free to access digitally, universities and colleges are hoping to sell more print versions, which studies have shown scholars in the humanities prefer over digital ones. The Sustainability History Monograph Pilot program has already recruited 19 university presses to participate, one of them being Fordham University Press. To learn more about this initiative, as well as Fordham’s efforts, click the link here.

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