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Final Report on TOME Pilot Project

Final Report on TOME Pilot Project

August 2023

Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME)

From the Foreword

The partner associations have learned much in this pilot. We offer the following reflections to accompany Nancy Maron’s rich description of the process, relationships, and decision-making that enabled authors to produce more than 150 open-access monographs over the past five years. Among the findings that suggest a TOME-like program is worthy of programmatic implementation post-pilot include: 

• Participating authors loved it: Surveyed authors believe their (open) books have had more impact; they feel more connected to disciplines and communities outside their own; and they feel supported by their press with the same care that they have come to expect from traditional monograph publishing. They also feel TOME Stakeholder Value Assessment | Foreword 6 supported by their libraries and institutions who provided the funding.

• That 67 university presses were willing participants in TOME shows that presses are open to open access. Moreover, TOME was an ice-breaker for several presses that had not previously published an OA book. By all indications, those presses will look for opportunities to publish more OA books in the future. 

• There is a core engaged group (more than half of the 20 pilot institutions) who have already pledged funds to continue providing TOME publishing grants for the next one to five years.

• TOME is exceptional among OA endeavors in that it is designed to expand the source of funding from an institution beyond just the library collections budget. 

• TOME is a unique funding model in that the publishing grant travels with the author to the participating press of their choice. 

• TOME complements, and even collaborates with, other OA monograph endeavors that have emerged in recent years; examples include Luminos and the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot (SHMP). 

• TOME helped expose shortcomings in OA book metrics, and the sponsors have been involved and engaged in the global development of metrics to assess e-book usage, including the OA Book Usage Data Trust.

For further discussion and a set of recommendations, the full text of the report is available at no cost in PDF format.