MIT Press’s Direct to Open: Changing Conditions in the Scholarly Ecosystem

Sponsored by MIT Press

Recorded on 03/24/2021
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 185

The COVID-19 pandemic will leave a changed world in its wake. But will the changes continue post-pandemic? How many of the problems faced in the past year weren’t new, and only exacerbated due to underlying issues? How many will fix those flawed structures to soften the blow of future crises?

Greg Eow, President of the Center for Research Libraries, hopes that higher education will rise to the challenge. “Crises have beginnings and ends; COVID-19 will have a beginning and an end. But when I look at the crisis in the Humanities, and I look at the crisis in ‘scholcom,’ I’m thinking, those are not looking like crisis as much as they’re looking like condition. There’s something going on there where the institutions need to change.”

In this final episode, Emily Farrell, Library Partnerships and Sales Lead at the MIT Press, digs into how the pandemic has affected libraries—shrinking budgets, increased demand for digital options—and therefore, Direct to Open’s rollout plan. Greg unpacks current conditions that threaten the scholarly ecosystem, and how stronger bonds between the university library, press, and faculty could be the solution.

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: