MIT Press’s Direct to Open: Determining Success and Incentives

Sponsored by MIT Press

Recorded on 03/10/2021
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 183

After receiving a grant from the Arcadia Fund in 2019, MIT Press got to work building a collective action model for open access monograph publishing. The press juggled several obstacles, like limited data on OA monographs and having to determine a realistic target needed to sustain the program. With Direct to Open (D2O) now officially launched, how did it evolve into its current form today?

Emily Farrell, Library Partnerships and Sales Lead at MIT Press, speaks on “[upholding] the editorial and production integrity” in the design criteria for the program. Communicating with MIT’s authors on the benefits of publishing OA or assuaging any possible concerns played a role in the model’s development. Greg Eow, President of the Center for Research Libraries, unpacks another central component of the model: participation. How could this model fit into a library’s budget? Beyond looking at price, licensing terms, and content, what are the potential value propositions? How can librarians change their perspective to see D2O as an opportunity to better asses the user experience?

In this second episode, Emily and Greg discuss D2O’s evolution, including helpful feedback from academic consortia. They also dig into what happens when a library signs up for the framework—access to an administrative portal, user statistics, and more—and the number of institutions needed for the pilot to be considered a success.

About the guests:

Gregory T. Eow
Center for Research Libraries

Greg Eow is President of the Center for Research Libraries, responsible for setting strategic directions and overall CRL programming and services in collaboration with the CRL Board of Directors, CRL staff, CRL member libraries, and CRL strategic partners. Before joining the Center for Research Libraries in 2019, he served as the Associate Director for Collections at the MIT Libraries, where he led an administrative portfolio that included scholarly communications and collections strategy, digital preservation, acquisitions and metadata creation, and the Institute Archives and Special Collections. Eow has held previous appointments as Charles Warren Bibliographer at the Harvard Library and as Kaplanoff Librarian for American History at the Yale University Library. Eow currently serves on the Management Board of the MIT Press as well as the Board of Directors of the Chicago Collections Consortium. He is a member of the American Historical Association.

Emily Farrell
Library Partnerships and Sales Lead
MIT Press

Emily Farrell is Library Partnerships & Sales Lead at the MIT Press where she works with libraries on ensuring access to digital content. Before the MIT Press, she worked in both sales and as an acquisitions editor for linguistics, developing a program in applied linguistics and sociolinguistics, at De Gruyter. She holds a PhD in sociolinguistics from Macquarie University, Sydney. Emily serves on the board of the non-profit legal services organization UnLocal, as well as the Foundation for the Yonkers Public Library.

Enjoy the conversation? Listen to the rest of the series:

Listen to our previous series with MIT Press, Finding a Place for Open Access Monographs: