The MIT Press is pleased to announce the publication of its first open access (OA) monographs on the MIT Press Direct platform. Supported by a generous grant from the Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, the project is part of a larger initiative to explore alternatives to the traditional market-based business model for professional and scholarly works on specialized subjects.
In 2019, the MIT Press received a three-year $850,000 grant from the Arcadia Fund to perform a broad-based monograph publishing cost analysis and to develop and openly disseminate a durable financial framework and business plan for OA monographs. As part of the project, the Press will also undertake a pilot program to implement the resulting framework for scholarly front and backlist titles.
The following open access books are currently live on MIT Press Direct, the Press’s institutional eBook platform, with many more slated to be released in the coming months:
- The Immigrant-Food Nexus: Borders, Labor, and Identity in North America edited by Julian Agyeman and Sydney Giacalone
- Sulphuric Utopias: A History of Maritime Fumigation by Lukas Engelmann and Christos Lynteris
- When Things Don't Fall Apart: Global Financial Governance and Developmental Finance in an Age of Productive Incoherence by Ilene Grabel
- The Cybernetics Group by Steve Joshua Heims
- Turtle Geometry: The Computer as a Medium for Exploring Mathematics by Harold Abelson and Andrea diSessa
- The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy by Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz
Amy Brand, Director of the MIT Press, sees this partnership as a way to experiment with transformative open access models. “Publishing academic monographs through a durable OA model allows us to increase the impact of research and uphold our mission to disseminate high-quality scholarship to the widest possible readership," says Brand. "The publication of the first Arcadia-funded books on the MIT Press Direct platform marks an important step in this project, and in our broader efforts to develop sustainable models for open access scholarly publishing, at a time when public access to knowledge is especially important.”
At the conclusion of the Arcadia grant, the MIT Press will openly share a robust, blended OA model that the university press community can adopt and adapt. This information will help to pave the way for the many scholarly monographs published each year by university presses and other mission-based scholarly publishers to be more readily discovered, accessed, and shared.
Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $663 million to projects around the world.