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U-M Press "Fund to Mission" model aims to expand open access monograph publishing

By: Charles Watkinson | Date: May 21, 2021 | Tags: Fund to Mission
U-M Press "Fund to Mission" model aims to expand open access monograph publishing

Working with the non-profit incubator LYRASIS, the University of Michigan Press has been taking steps to develop a monograph publishing program that aligns with its mission and commitment to equity, justice, inclusion, and accessibility. Based on these principles, the Press is now transitioning to an open access model we call “Fund to Mission.” Fund to Mission demonstrates a return to the origins of the university press movement and moves toward a more open, sustainable infrastructure for the humanities and social sciences. It is one of several programs that university presses are developing to expand the reach of their specialist publications.

The Press aims to convert at least 75% of its monographs to open access by the end of 2023, without any author ever having to pay. The Press is working to build a sustainable model by achieving stable funding for this monograph program from three sources: $250,000 in annual funding from the library community, $400,000 in additional recurring funds from the University of Michigan, and $300,000 in other funder payments.

Raising funds is already well underway and leading libraries are pledging their support. They appreciate that, with Fund to Mission, U-M Press is pursuing a transparent model that fits with existing library workflows and provides unique benefits to supporters. They are investing in order to accomplish the following goals:

  • Expand inclusive, equitable access to high-quality humanities and qualitative social science scholarship for diverse, global audiences;
  • Increase the number of accessible, open learning resources for students that are instantly available, downloadable, and free of DRM restrictions;
  • Expand the demonstrated opportunity for increased visibility and impact that open access provides to all authors, without the inequities of “pay to publish”;
  • Demonstrate support for a non-profit infrastructure and sustainable business model, on a platform that already hosts other university press content and collections;
  • Inspire the leaders of parent institutions to financially support their presses in more sustainable and open approaches to monograph publishing.

You can find out more about Fund to Mission here: