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Business Model for Open-Access Books

Feb 28, 2014

The Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” and Heidelberg University Library are collaborating to develop an innovative business model for open-access publication of academic books on the Internet. The pilot project is funded by the German Research Foundation.

In the pilot project, the Cluster will publish the English-language book series “Heidelberg Studies in Transculturality” which is aimed at young researchers, and develop vital infrastructural building blocks for the digital publication processor. The university library will make available and promote the new online publications. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is providing funding for project staff and academic assistants in the amount of 380,000 euros over two years.

Online publications give authors the opportunity to use the multimedia technologies of the Internet, for example to embed videos or set up links to other digital sources. In addition, an open-access publication offers unlimited availability of the published content.

The Heidelberg pilot project is designed to ensure that manuscripts are carefully edited to ensure the books' competitive quality. The process will include a peer review, a quality check by the publisher of the book series, and thorough copy editing. All books will be published using the Open Monograph Press publication platform, an open software platform for the professional management of all steps of a publication process, developed in the US and Canada. Eight monographs are planned to be published by 2016. Thematically the book series focuses on the dynamics of cultural exchange.

In addition to calculating production costs and fostering acceptance, the Heidelberg project will help with the development of long-term financing models. External consultants, including experts from Stanford University (USA), will be enlisted to help in this endeavour. Once the pilot phase is complete, the publication model will be made available as open access on the Internet.

The project is being coordinated by Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels of the Cluster directorate and the director of the university library, Dr. Veit Probst. Open-access experts Dr. Hacker and Dr. Nissen are responsible for the implementation.


Further information:
University Library
Press release (German)
Open-access policy of Heidelberg University