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Report: The Cost to Publish TOME Monographs

July 13, 2022—The TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) pilot is now in its fifth and final year, and the partner organizations—the Association of University Presses (AUPresses), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)—are committed to a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the program’s design and outcomes. As an initial component of such an assessment, the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) contracted with researchers Nancy Maron and Kim Schmelzinger to study the costs incurred by publishers in bringing TOME-supported Open Access (OA) monographs to the public.

In late 2021, Maron and Schmelzinger surveyed 15 university presses on the costs of publishing 57 titles through the TOME program. They assessed these costs in the context of TOME’s program design and foundations, and also conducted limited interviews to address publishers’ perceptions of OA, of TOME, and of changing publishing workflows. 

AUPresses is pleased to release their report, “The Cost to Publish TOME Monographs.” Download the report.

As only the first piece of a larger assessment of the TOME initiative, this study will become most meaningful in the context of further examination being undertaken over the coming year. 

One of the original questions for the TOME organizers was whether the $15,000 baseline title grant was “the right number.” This report poses a new question that has developed over the course of the pilot: “The right number for what?” The foundational drivers of the TOME pilot included expanding financial support for valued modes of publishing book-length scholarship, opening up humanities and social sciences monographs to a broad global readership, and supporting the research and publication efforts of university faculty in those fields. In assessing the TOME pilot experience fully, each of these goals may help weight aspects of cost, impact, and investment differently as the partner communities look to the future.

Questions: Brenna McLaughlin,

August 16, 2023—The final report of the TOME pilot project is now available.

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— AUPresses Mission Statement in Irish