Big Ten Academic Alliance libraries, university presses partner on Open Book project

· 3 min read

Big Ten Academic Alliance libraries, university presses partner on Open Book project

A top 10 rise for the College of Engineering and another strong showing by the College of Business headline the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s progress in the 2023 U.S. News and World Report rankings of online master’s degree programs.

In partnership with six member university presses, the University Librarians of the Big Ten Academic Alliance have launched of the Big Ten Open Books project, a collaboration between the university presses and libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

The first 100-title collection centered on gender and sexuality studies is now published. The works included in the collection have all been previously published in print by the partnering university presses and are now being made openly available in digital form to read and reuse at no cost. Each title has undergone a rigorous selection and quality certification process that allows readers and users of this collection to trust the veracity of the content made available.

“In its first round, the BTAA Open Books project focused on university presses that are housed within university libraries. Although this meant that UNL could not contribute content as a partner in this first stage, the University Libraries and the University of Nebraska Press look forward to future opportunities to collaborate and to contribute to the Big Ten Open Books project,” Liz Lorang, interim dean of Libraries, said

The Libraries will be providing access to these resources in the catalog. As Charlene Maxey-Harris, associate dean of collections and resources management explained, the Open Book Project is a new model and pilot that the Big Ten initiated and she looks forward to the expansion of this project and all of the other BTAA open access projects to come.

“This successful pilot is transforming our approach in the Big Ten to advance open access to books and journals to the global community,” Maxey-Harris said.

The first Big Ten Open Books collection brings to the reader a wide variety of materials in arts, humanities and social science disciplines that are centered on gender and sexuality themes. The collection’s impact will be seen through its broad sharing of knowledge and high quality scholarship. Big Ten Open Books creates ebook collections that aspire to the highest standards of discoverability, accessibility, durability and flexibility.

This collection has established a distinctive model for unified, open-access publishing of scholarly monographs. It creates open content that is immediately and universally available, on open infrastructure, Fulcrum, hosted by the University of Michigan, using open distribution models (including Project MUSE, JSTOR, and OAPEN) to envision a robust programmatic future for open monograph publishing. This work is aligned with the Big Ten Academic Alliance’s development of the BIG Collection's ambition of uniting the collections of the libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, and is supported by the Mellon Foundation's Public Knowledge program. The partner presses are Indiana University Press, Michigan State University Press, Northwestern University Press, Purdue University Press, University of Michigan Press and University of Wisconsin Press.

The Big Ten Academic Alliance continues its advocacy for a sustainable and open ecosystem of publication. Collectively, the institutions’ more than 50,000 faculty are supported by over $11 billion in research funding, and the institutions have invested significantly in the capacity to further the research mission by advancing public knowledge through open publishing. Together, they produce roughly 15% of the research publications in the United States.

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