January 18, 2022

MIT Press Launches Direct to Open

From MIT Press:

The MIT Press has announced the launch of Direct to Open (D2O). A first-of-its-kind sustainable framework for open access monographs, D2O moves professional and scholarly books from a solely market-based, purchase model where individuals and libraries buy single eBooks, to a collaborative, library-supported open access model.

D2O gives institutions the opportunity to harness collective action to support access to knowledge. Beginning in 2022, all new MIT Press scholarly monographs and edited collections will be openly available on the MIT Press Direct eBook platform. Instead of purchasing a title once for a single collection, libraries now have the opportunity to fund them one time for the world through participant fees.

Amy Brand, director and publisher of the MIT Press, sees the model as a way to increase the impact and accessibility of high-quality scholarship. ‘Direct to Open brings libraries and the Press together collaboratively, stepping outside market models, to open up our high quality professional and scholarly works. Comprehensive access to OA scholarship will increase the impact of research and contribute to the knowledge-sharing mission of the academy.'”


“The MIT Press has been a leader in open access publishing for more than two decades, and Direct to Open builds on and extends that legacy with an innovative funding model for book publishing using an equitable and collaborative approach,” says Chris Bourg, director of Libraries at MIT. “The MIT Libraries is pleased to support this approach, which aims to make scholarly monographs open and available to all.”


“The D2O pilot program provides an alternative to the traditional market-based business model for professional and scholarly monographs. Until the mid-1990s most U.S. university presses realized sales of 1,500–1,700 units per title, selling just enough copies—largely to academic libraries—to cover both direct and indirect costs. Monograph sales today are typically in the range of 300–500 units. Publishing these works now requires internal subsidy or partial subventions from institutional or philanthropic sources. The Direct to Open model makes the Press’s core mission of curating and disseminating long-form scholarship more sustainable.”

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

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.