December 4, 2020

U. of California Press and California Digital Library Receive $750K Mellon Grant

Here’s the Full Text of the UC Press/CDL Announcement:

The University of California Press (UC Press) and the California Digital Library (CDL) have received a grant of $750,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a web-based, open source content and workflow management system to support the publication of open access (OA) monographs in the humanities and social sciences. [Our emphasis] When complete, this system will be made available to the community of academic publishers, especially university presses and library publishers.

UC Press is committed to developing a thriving and sustainable ecosystem for the humanities and social sciences and to preserving the monograph as a key vehicle for original scholarship. Last month, UC Press announced Luminos (www.luminosoa.org), a new OA program that brings universal access and advanced digital delivery to the monograph. Development of a new Mellon-funded content and workflow management system will support Luminos, and other OA initiatives, by stripping out complexity—and cost—and enabling sustainable models to flourish.

For CDL, development of a content management solution represents the opportunity to extend its current publishing services to better support monographic series publications in eScholarship (www.escholarship.org), UC’s institutional repository and OA publishing platform. Academic units on the UC campuses are frequently home to innovative, faculty-led book publishing programs with limited staffing. Providing a flexible and efficient workflow management system on the back end of eScholarship will enable these programs to focus resources on the important work of acquiring new titles and raising the visibility of their publications.

“We want to drive innovation that shapes—rather than merely responds to—how scholarship can thrive in a global, deeply networked, public sphere,” says UC Press Director Alison Mudditt. “Digital infrastructure is essential for us to publish traditional and innovative forms of research cost-effectively and ensure maximum global reach. This is not a problem for UC Press alone, however, and by developing an open source solution we hope to benefit all of university and library publishing.”

CDL Executive Director Laine Farley comments, “I’m delighted we can work with our colleagues at UC Press to contribute to the new infrastructure needed to move both library and press publishing into a more efficient and forward-looking position. This project is an ideal blending of our expertise to realize a common vision.”

The proposed system will increase efficiency and achieve cost reduction by allowing users to manage content and associated workflows from initial authoring through manuscript submission, peer review, and production to final publication of files on the open web, whether via a publishing platform or an institutional repository. The system will streamline production so publishers can redirect resources back into the editorial process and disseminate important scholarship more widely.

Over the course of two years, the system will be designed and built to support the new open access models being pursued by UC Press as well as CDL’s current publishing programs. Throughout the two-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UC Press and CDL will engage other university presses and library publishing units to ensure the system will meet the needs of a range of organizations. UC Press and CDL have built in a plan for long-term sustainability to ensure that this resource will continue to serve these communities and will realize its potential to reinvigorate the domain of monographic publishing within the humanities and social sciences.

Some Additional Mellon Grants Announced Re: Scholarly Publishing Announced in 2015

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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