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Friday, November 6 • 11:35am - 12:15pm
How Much do Monographs Cost? And Why Should We Care?

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What does it cost to make a high quality, digital monograph? What may sound like an obvious question turns out to be a very knotty one, driving to the heart of the essence of scholarly publishing today. It is particularly relevant in an environment where the potential of a sustainable Open Access business model for monographs is being explored. Two complementary studies funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2015, have explored this question to understand the costs involved in creating and disseminating scholarly books.

The team at Ithaka S+R studied the full costs of publishing monographs by gathering cost data on a sample of nearly 400 titles across 20 presses. This process involved working both with directors, CFOS and many operational staff to understand the way staff time and effort contribute to the publishing process.

At Michigan and Indiana, a top-down model was used to identify those costs related to monograph publishing at the University of Michigan Press and Indiana University Press. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with faculty and administrators to explore institutional openness to a flipped business model where the costs of producing a monograph would be borne by the author’s parent institution.

avatar for Meredith Kahn

Meredith Kahn

Women’s Studies and Open Access Librarian, University of Michigan Library
avatar for Nancy Maron

Nancy Maron

President, BlueSky to BluePrint, LLC
Independent consultant, researcher and strategist, helping publishers and leaders of digital initiatives develop strong business plans and sound funding models.
avatar for Charles Watkinson

Charles Watkinson

Director, Press; Associate University Librarian, University of Michigan
Charles Watkinson is Associate University Librarian for Publishing at University of Michigan Libraries and Director of University of Michigan Press. Prior to moving to Michigan in 2014, Charles was Director of Purdue University Press and Head of Scholarly Publishing Services in Purdue Libraries for five years, and Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for five years. He started in the book business working for Oxbow... Read More →

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