University Libraries

Books and Monographs

Change has not been quite as rapid in the book publishing world as it has with academic journals and papers, but a number of authors and publishers are breaking new ground in this arena as well.

Open Books

Traditionally, publisher quality is a very important factor for scholarly monograph publication, but many high-quality publishers have long struggled economically. This has made some of them open to experimentation with publishing plans. A few new approaches:

  • Scholarly authors retaining some or all copyrights in their books, or sharing the rights with the publisher, such that the author can distribute electronic copies online, or more easily make derivative works without seeking permission.
  • Scholarly presses releasing free (usually Creative Commons licensed for open sharing) PDF copies of a book a few months to a year after print publication
  • Scholarly presses releasing free versions of backlist books and publications.


Some scholars are also exploring options outside of traditional academic presses - including self-publishing in print or electronic forms. While this may remove the quality-signal that comes with press support, it may allow authors to experiment with pricing and distribution models that allow them to make money and/or achieve wider distribution of their works.

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