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How The Library Supports Open Access Publishing

February 10, 2020

Open Access logo (open lock)

Jennifer Beamer, Scholarly Communications Librarian

The library supports several approaches to publishing and providing access to Open Access (OA) monographs and journals.

Three examples include:

  • Lever Press, an OA book publisher established in 2016, was conceived within the Oberlin Group of Libraries (a consortium of liberal arts libraries of which The Claremont Colleges Library is a member). The motivation behind Lever Press was to create a compelling OA publishing alternative for liberal arts faculty and scholars to publish their scholarship. Lever Press was also interested in experimenting with and offering new models of the monograph format by making use of new technologies throughout the publishing process.

The average cost of publishing a traditional scholarly monograph is between $28,000-40,000 (see Schmelzinger et al., 2016). In order to fund these costs Lever Press relies on funding from a consortium of supporting libraries and institutions. More and more academic research libraries have begun offering publishing services to members of their institution (e.g., University of Minnesota, University of Michigan), however, liberal arts libraries often do not have the same capacity. By contributing to Lever Press’ OA publishing infrastructure, The Claremont Colleges Library is investing in the sustainable transformation of scholarly publishing, expanding the options available to scholars from The Claremont Colleges and other liberal arts institutions.

  •  Knowledge Unlatched, established in 2012, is a third-party OA service provider that uses a crowd-sourced funding model to “unlatch” or convert traditionally published monographs into open access books that anyone can read. This model relies on libraries from across the globe to serve as the crowd and contribute their acquisitions funds to convert books to OA. The books that are available to be “unlatched” are identified by a committee of U.S. and international librarians. Each contributing library can determine which titles to fund and base these decisions on what their users would be interested in. This model is less expensive and more sustainable for libraries than purchasing a print or e-copy of a non-OA book, and by unlatching, we make the book openly available to everyone.
  • Open Library of Humanities, founded in 2013 with funding from the Mellon Foundation, is an academic-led, open-access peer-reviewed journal publisher (they currently publish 27 journals) with no author charges. Costs are covered by payments from an international consortium of libraries, of which The Claremont Colleges is a member (since Spring 2019).

In addition to the above examples, the library also supports local efforts to publish OA scholarship: we currently host 14 OA journals and regularly help 7C faculty deposit Green OA copies of their scholarly works in our institutional repository, Scholarship@Claremont.

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Learn more about Open Access.