The following article was posted on behalf of University of Michigan Press.
The 2023 Michigan Ebook Collection marks the third year of University of Michigan of Press’s renewed commitment to open access through its Fund to Mission program. This OA monograph model has allowed UMP to better align with our mission of sustainably distributing scholarship to the broadest possible audience, reflecting our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
Fund to Mission has received resounding support from over 100 libraries, many individual funders, and our provost. With their help, we plan to make at least 75% of our frontlist monographs open access in the 2023 Michigan Ebook Collection. This builds on our success in 2022 where we made 50% of our monographs open access.
Libraries have supported the program both as individual institutions as well as through consortia. Kate McCready, Visiting Program Officer for Academy Owned Scholarly Publishing at the Big Ten Academic Alliance, highlighted the importance of these partnerships, stating,
"The libraries of the BTAA were early investors in Fund-to-Mission, and we are pleased to see this first phase of the vision reach fruition. We greet this as another step forward on the pathway toward creating a sustainable and scalable open knowledge ecosystem.”
The move towards open access has reverberations that extend far outside of universities and libraries. Providing access to high quality, peer-reviewed research is a matter of equity and of the public good. "For over 50 years, the National Endowment for the Humanities has been proud to support not only first-class research, but the dissemination of knowledge to scholars, teachers, and the general public,” said Brett Bobley, Chief Information Officer and Director, Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“NEH is pleased to have been able to support the open access editions of several University of Michigan Press monographs written by NEH fellows. We applaud the leadership of the University of Michigan and their innovative Fund to Mission initiative, which brings together presses, libraries, funders, and authors and offers the potential of greatly expanding the availability of freely available, high-quality humanities scholarship to readers around the world."
This engagement highlights how much libraries and scholars value open access, and as a result, Provost Laurie McCauley has renewed the University of Michigan’s commitment to provide another three years of financial support for the Fund to Mission program. James Hilton, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation at University of Michigan described his enthusiasm for the initiative by explaining that,
"Ensuring a sustainable future for high-quality scholarly publishing cannot just be the responsibility of strained library budgets. In expanding its support for the University of Michigan Press's monograph program, the university has shown its commitment to university press publishing as a core infrastructure for the humanities. The central investment also advances open access without author payment, so that the Press can maximize the reach of the best humanities scholarship, irrespective of its authors' institutional affiliations (or non-affiliations). We all benefit from the shared infrastructure that university presses represent and should all be willing to contribute."
We are inspired by the collective passion for open access and can't wait to continue to work together to build a more equitable future for academic monographs.
We here at LYRASIS are enthusiastic supporters of UMP in their new direction, and we urge everyone to consider supporting this new model for open monographs jointly funded by the University of Michigan and the library community. To learn more about the Fund to Mission program and how you can support their diamond open access model for books, view this short update video, visit ebc.press.umich.edu, or contact Sharla Lair, firstname.lastname@example.org.