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Changing the relationship between libraries and university presses with Direct to Open

Much has changed in the year since the last American Library Association annual meeting, and we reflect on our progress and commitment to open access publishing with Direct to Open (D2O)

As the American Library Association annual meeting kicks off this week, it’s inviting to reflect on where we were last year and where we may be next year.

Much has happened since ALA annual in 2020—one of the first virtual conferences we participated in at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest initiatives we announced in the past year is Direct to Open (D2O), our path to shifting the Press’s monographs program to open access. The need for equitable access to digital resources has become clearer and we are excited to answer that call with an innovative approach for monographs.

D2O is a collective model that relies on the support of libraries worldwide to publish new monographs open access as of 2022 once we reach our financial threshold. We are asking for commitments of support through September 30th, 2021. Participating libraries not only contribute to the common good of opening up more knowledge for the world, they also receive the benefit of access the backfile monograph collection of around 2,300 books. They receive this benefit whether the model is successfully funded or not. Libraries just have to commit to support before the deadline.

You can watch this brief video to get an overview of the model:

We recently wrote about D2O and rationale behind developing a financially sustainable model for collectively opening our monographs on the Scholarly Kitchen.

You can hear the library perspective on D2O in our recent Choice Authority File podcast series with Greg Eow, President of the Center for Research Libraries, and read along with transcripts of parts one, two, three, and four.

Next year, we hope that we will be able to attend ALA annual and announce in person that we achieved our goal and successfully opened access to all new MIT Press scholarly monographs and edited collections for 2022. To achieve this goal of making knowledge more open and accessible, however, we need your help and commitment.

If you’re interested in learning more about how your library can participate and shift from buying digital monographs from the MIT Press once for a single collection to funding them “once for the world,” please consider reviewing our prospectus and fees, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly or stop by our booth if you have questions.

Learn more about Direct to Open here