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TOME Project Final Report Published

Highlights Author Satisfaction and Ongoing Commitment to Open-Access Monographs

The Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of University Presses have published a final report assessing the success of their five-year pilot project to encourage sustainable digital publication of and public access to scholarly books.

The associations launched the Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME) project in 2018 to publish humanities and social science scholarship on the internet, where these peer-reviewed works can be fully integrated into the larger network of scholarly and scientific research. The project engaged a network of more than 60 university presses and ultimately produced more than 150 open-access scholarly works. The books cover a wide range of topics in many disciplines, including philosophy, history, political science, sociology, and gender and ethnic studies. 

The pilot was designed to last five years, and the sponsoring associations committed to assessing its value to its target audience at the end of that period. The report analyzes whether the community of authors, institutions, libraries, and presses that participated in the pilot found it helpful. Author Nancy Maron of BlueSky to BluePrint surveyed and interviewed authors and TOME contacts at participating institutions to assess how each benefited from the pilot—from increased global readership to stronger relationships among libraries, research deans, and faculty. Maron also conducted preliminary research, with Kim Schmelzinger, in summer 2021 to assess the cost of publishing TOME monographs among the project’s university press participants.

The TOME pilot was a unique effort among open-access projects. It created a community of institutional funders, drew investments from across the participating institutions, and enabled authors to publish at a participating press of their choice. The sponsoring associations are eager to engage other libraries, presses, scholars, and open-access funding agencies about securing the future of a networked open-access monograph publishing ecosystem beyond the initial TOME pilot.

Please join us online for a community conversation for more on the pilot and ongoing institutional TOME activity on Wednesday, September 6, at 3:00–4:00 p.m. EDT.

About the Association of American Universities

Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities (AAU) is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 71 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation. Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators. AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of research libraries in Canada and the US whose vision is to create a trusted, equitable, and inclusive research and learning ecosystem and prepare library leaders to advance this work in strategic partnership with member libraries and other organizations worldwide. ARL’s mission is to empower and advocate for research libraries and archives to shape, influence, and implement institutional, national, and international policy. ARL develops the next generation of leaders and enables strategic cooperation among partner institutions to benefit scholarship and society. ARL is on the web at

About the Association of University Presses

The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) is an organization of 160 international nonprofit scholarly publishers. Since 1937, the Association of University Presses has advanced the essential role of a global community of publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. The Association holds integrity, diversity and inclusion, stewardship, and intellectual freedom as core values. AUPresses members are active across many scholarly disciplines, including the humanities, arts, and sciences, publish significant regional and literary work, and are innovators in the world of digital publishing.

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आम्ही अशा जागतिक प्रकाशक समाजाच्या अत्यावश्यक भूमिकेची प्रगती करतो ज्यांच मुख्य कार्य शैक्षणिक श्रेष्ठतेची व ज्ञानाच्या जोपासण्याची हमी देणे आहे.

— AUPresses Mission Statement in Marathi