Kathy Killoh Presentation for Univ Press as Digital PubPresentation Transcript
Athabasca University Press Open Access Digital Publishing for a Knowledge-Based Economy Kathy Killoh University Press as Digital Publisher AAUP-Annual Meeting 2010
AU Press operates on the model of a knowledge-based economy, to which we contribute by providing peer-reviewed publications unfettered by the desire to commodify thought or to restrict access to ideas.
About AU Press
1. Athabasca University is an open university - mandate is to lower barriers to knowledge
- believes that it is a university’s obligation to provide for the dissemination of research
AU Press is the first fully open access press in Canada
Open access = online digital publications to be read for free
- barriers to accessibility have been decreased (user-friendly Web site, smaller file sizes, etc.)
4. AU Press publishes OA books (supplemented by author videos), journals, and Web sites
What Drives OA Digital Publishing at AU Press
the desire to increase the dissemination of knowledge beyond the print and sales capabilities of printed books (number of hits is more important than sales figures)
the wish to avoid the commodification, privatization, and corporate control of knowledge
the belief that the public has the right to access publicly funded research
What and How We Publish
Everything we publish goes through a minimum of two rounds of peer review!
Not an “either/or” approach - open access PDFs exist alongside revenue-generating print and digital publications (Universal PDFs and epub files sold through vendors)
Books – print and electronic - each title has its own Web page that includes OA PDF, and possibly author interviews, links to external reviews, Facebook page, and an “order” button for the print book. The AU Press website is designed to facilitate the creation of a community around each book.
Journals – one print/e-journal, 6 other e-journals
Websites – two scholarly websites
Author Interviews – videos in which authors discuss their work, offered as adjuncts to our books (currently have over 120 video segments)
OA Publishing and E-Books
Open access does not mean “bells and whistles” e- publishing - AU Press mandate requires open access publishing, which is digital, but does not mean we are “cutting edge digital publishers”.
- digital editions are not necessarily less expensive to create than printed books. In addition to standard costs (for peer review, editing and so on), tech resources are required to create customized, interactive, or special digital files.
- files for download are in standard PDF format (same files used to print the book)
- value-added e-publishing files (XML, epub, Universal PDF, etc.) are used as a source of revenue.
2. Is selling OA e-books an oxymoron? - we use e-aggregators to sell e-books (Universal PDFs) as well as other vendors to sell epub digital files
- initial results show that libraries are choosing to purchase our digital editions through aggregators Why? Aggregators make e-books available in searchable databases, which is seen as value added. The value is in the delivery platform.
AU Press Funding/Business Model
Funding - university support (1% solution)
- print and e-book sales
- government grants
- author-generated support (e.g., funding from author’s department) and other external funding
Key strategies to keep costs down - low print inventory (keep inventory as close to POD as we can)
- e-publishing is not “cutting edge” but driven by OA mandate
Results - as a new press with little backlist, we are pleased with the robust print sales we have achieved to date.