MIT Press reveals open monograph model

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The MIT Press Open Monograph Model: Direct to Open, a white paper published by Chain Bridge Group and the MIT Press, describes a collective model for supporting the open dissemination of scholarly monographs. The report examines the context for designing the framework and explains the logic behind the model’s design.

MIT Press, supported by a grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, has developed and implemented a business model capable of disseminating the Press’s scholarly monographs on an open access basis. The framework, christened Direct to Open (D2O), is designed to induce support by balancing the dual motivations of academic research libraries: the value of private benefits, exclusive to contributing institutions, and mission-aligned support for open business models.

'Direct to Open is a much-needed alternative to traditional market-based business models for scholarly titles,” said Amy Brand, director and publisher of the MIT Press. “We are thrilled to share this report so that libraries and not-for-profit scholarly publishers may benefit from the findings and the framework that we have developed.'

Researched and written by Raym Crow, managing partner at the Chain Bridge Group, the report describes the success criteria and strategic objectives that drove D2O’s design. It explores the economic logic and organisational issues that affect the funding of open resources. The report goes on to describe a D2O prototype model that addresses the Press’s specific design requirements. It concludes with a consideration of D2O in the context of other open monograph models.

Launched in the spring of 2021, D2O has already reached the 55 per cent participation threshold against its three-year target, with over 180 libraries committing to making knowledge more open and equitable. The University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Groningen, and Bowdoin College recently signed-on as a partner libraries. Due to the support of participating institutions, the full list of spring 2022 scholarly monographs and edited collections from the MIT Press will be published open access.

'UMass Amherst Libraries are keenly pursuing investments in open access publishing that align with our Framework for Provider Agreement goals to ensure the widest possible use, discovery, and preservation of scholarship; contain costs and provide flexibility for expenditures; lessen the transactional and financial burdens of publication for our scholars; and foster an open scholarship culture inclusive of equitable representation by people from diverse perspectives and backgrounds,' said Christine Turner, scholarly communication librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 'The MIT Press Direct to Open program meets our goals, and we’re excited about its prospects for our authors, researchers, and students.'

The MIT Press Open Monograph Model: Direct to Open has been published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To download a copy of the white paper, or to sign up for future news and alerts, visit