Luminos is UC Press’ new Open Access (OA) monograph publishing program. It will make the digital edition of scholarly monographs available free of charge to anyone around the world. In addition to giving readers access to the work without price barriers, OA monographs will be available for online viewing as well as for download and will accommodate color images and interactive media such as maps, audio and visual material. Print copies will be available for purchase for those who prefer to read in this way.
Open Access means free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work. Open Access publishing of monographs offers the potential to greatly increase the visibility and impact of scholarly work by making it globally accessible and freely available in digital formats. Costs are covered up front through subventions, breaking down barriers of access at the other end—for libraries and for individual readers anywhere in the world.
Because the idea of Open Access—making important scientific and scholarly work accessible to anyone—aligns perfectly with our mission: to drive progressive change by seeking out and cultivating the brightest minds and giving them voice, reach, and impact.
OA publishing is widespread in the world of journals; OA journals have grown rapidly in STEM fields in particular and there are now many OA journals across the humanities and social sciences as well.
OA book programs are familiar now as well, with increasing numbers of OA monographs and series from presses including from Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, University of North Carolina Press, Cornell University Press, Routledge, Penn State University Press, Amherst College Press, Amsterdam University Press, Australian National University Press, Manchester University Press, and others.
The advantages are many—first and foremost the preservation of the scholarly monograph. Monographs have long been under siege. Shrinking library budgets and rising costs result in higher prices and consequently, presses must reduce the number of titles they publish, regardless of the merits of the work.
The result? Increasingly limited avenues for getting important work into readers’ hands and an unsustainable model for publishing. What’s more, new forms of digital and multimedia scholarship can’t flourish in a print-first/only model.
An Open Access model overcomes these obstacles. Your book will be available in multiple formats—including print—to anyone who wishes to read it, anywhere in the world. You will be able to include color images and interactive media such as maps, audio and visual material. Prices will range from free (for all digital formats) to moderate (for the print version). No longer will price be a barrier to assigning your book in courses nor will it stop your book from reaching readers and institutions in other countries.
The only disadvantage is that the author won’t be paid royalties. However, nowadays the majority of scholarly monographs don’t earn much in royalties and few scholarly presses even pay royalties on first printings; those who do pay very little. In our model, proceeds from the sale of print copies of your book will help to offset the costs of publication and free global access.
Absolutely not. Your OA book will receive the same peer review and approval by our Faculty Editorial Committee, copyediting, design, and marketing as our other scholarly editions. Pricing for print copies will also be comparable.
Books in the UC Press OA program go through the same exacting peer review process as all books published by UC Press. Typically this consists of two reports from outside peer reviews, and a letter of endorsement from a series editor if the project is to be included in a specific series. In addition, like all books published by UC Press, OA monographs will be vetted and approved by the Faculty Editorial Committee of the University of California Academic Senate.
In most respects, the contract remains the same: the author and UC Press agree to confer exclusive, world rights of first publication on the Press. A Creative Commons license will be applied by UC Press to govern reuse of the book. UC Press advocates the use of the CC-BY license which allows the most liberal reuse of content, enables the greatest contribution to the digital commons, and maximises dissemination. It may also be required by some funding bodies. UC Press is prepared to use alternative CC licenses at an author’s request. Following publication all rights are potentially non-exclusive, depending on the Creative Commons license selected by the author.
The production cycle for these titles is the same as our traditional books. From the time a manuscript has been successfully peer reviewed, approved by the faculty board, fully revised and polished, with all illustrations and other multimedia files ready, it will typically take ten months for copyediting, design, and production.
Yes, titles in this program will have cover designs. Both cover and interior designs will be created via the same process as all UC Press titles.
The author will be asked to secure $7,500 either from their home institution and/or another independent funding source. For faculty in the University of California system the reduced amount is $5,000. This subsidy requirement is for titles of no more than 90,000 words and 25 images. Additional subsidy costs will be required for titles exceeding this length, and/or those with heavy illustration programs, multimedia components or other complexity.
There are a number of potential funding sources beyond for authors’s institutional contribution (such as departmental/Dean’s funds, the library’s OA fund, campus grants etc.). Please discuss those options with your UC Press editor.
Authors or institutions who don’t have sufficient funds available to them may be eligible for our Author Waiver Fund.
Many university presses already require subvention for scholarly monographs. But the availability of subvention does not affect UC Press’ decision to publish any book. While the Luminos program will require a Title Publication Fee, books that meet UC Press’ rigorous standards of peer review but do not have access to funding to support this may be able to be published traditionally.
Yes. Your book will be available for purchase to anyone who prefers the traditional print format, including libraries that prefer print to digital. We also make print copies available to your institution upon request, as well as for reviews and award nominations in those instances where the journal or society doesn’t yet accept digital editions. Print copies will also be available for display at scholarly conferences.
Digital and print books will be identical in content and layout; digital editions will include live links, be searchable, can include audio and video files, and will be able to incorporate a range of annotation tools.
Yes. Digital editions can be downloaded for Kindle, PDF, and ePub onto phones, tablets, e-readers, laptop computers, and other devices.
Yes, these features (and more) can all be included. For borrowed materials, permission should be sought. (Heavy use of illustration and/or multimedia elements does affect the cost to publish your book. See the question “How much will my institution need to contribute?” above.)
In print versions of books with sound and video files, the printed book will include a QR code to guide the reader online to view and listen.
Because these books are Open Access (i.e. free to anyone at the point of access), all libraries will be able to link to the digital edition(s). We will be creating the necessary cataloguing data for libraries for these titles, so they will be discoverable in libraries in exactly the same way as our traditional monographs. Libraries can also purchase print copies should they wish to.
All books in our program will be available free digitally to students and other readers, for class use and research. People can download either the full book or just the chapter(s) they need. Students can purchase print copies as well.
Our OA site uses industry standard Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make sure your title is easily findable using major search engines. We will ensure discoverability by creating and using keywords and abstracts to anticipate where and how potential readers will search for your book.
Not only will your title’s metadata appear on our OA site, it will also be included on ucpress.edu, amazon.com, bn.com, and other online retailers, which will further enhance discoverability across multiple channels. Driving usage of your content will also be a major focus of our marketing efforts—we will be pushing people to find your book through traditional (exhibits) and digital (websites, email, social media) means.
Yes, print copies will be made available at relevant scholarly exhibits, as with all UC Press titles.
Yes. Prize submissions will work the same way they do for all UC Press titles. For many prizes, digital submission is already acceptable and preferred; where print is required, we will supply print copies.
As with prize submissions, we will be able to submit either digital or print copies to reviewers, whichever they prefer.
Titles in this program will receive the same marketing attention that UC Press gives to all its scholarly books, including but not limited to:
Your library’s annual membership fee goes into a larger pool of library dollars that supports the program in two key ways:
In other words, all your membership dollars are funneled back into the system, supporting humanities and social sciences research and publishing.
The economic engine of the program is fueled by four sources:
Not every library can afford membership and we want to ensure those libraries can still offer their readers access to our monographs. Meanwhile, we know many libraries can afford the membership fee and are interested in putting those funds to use to support open access and humanities scholarship.
We see this program as a way to make monographic content discoverable, accessible, and usable for the widest possible audience, and that’s a goal libraries share.
We are currently in the process of developing partnerships with web-scale discovery services to deliver MARC records and other relevant metadata which integrate with libraries' existing acquisition workflows. In the meantime, you may download MARC records for current Luminos titles here.
All titles published in Luminos will be preserved through Portico.
Open Access Toolkit