As the publishing industry transitions from print to digital, University Press of New England (UPNE) is partnering with the open access programs of the Dartmouth College’s Digital Library and the Brandeis University’s Institutional Repository to provide unrestricted access to books via their websites.
“UPNE’s contribution to continuing scholarship is to ensure that the content of our books is freely and easily obtainable,” says UPNE Director Mike Burton. “We want to disseminate this scholarship as widely as possible, and going forward we will regularly make our books available via our open access initiative.”
The Dartmouth Digital Library Program and the Brandeis Institutional Repository (including holdings from Brandeis University Press) make books available in HTML, PDF, and when possible, e-book formats. All are free to the public.
Dartmouth Digital Library Program“Research institutions have an opportunity and responsibility to share their efforts with the world as freely as possible,” says Dean of Libraries and Librarian of the College Jeffrey Horrell, who is Dartmouth’s governor to the UPNE Board. “The Dartmouth Library’s work in making UPNE books available more broadly aligns with our commitment of making scholarship accessible. Dartmouth’s collaboration with UPNE in this manner furthers our collective goals.”
The Dartmouth Library’s digital programs served as a case study for an international conference on “Library Leadership in a Digital Age” held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in March. Conference faculty included national library leaders, David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, among them. Jeffrey Horrell, Dartmouth’s Dean of Libraries and Librarian of the College, participated in the session in which the case study, “The Library’s Digital Future: The Dartmouth College Library Case Study,” was analyzed. The study is based on Dartmouth’s Mellon Foundation-funded work on developing strategies for preserving and accessing digital information.
“Digital technology is transforming the ways libraries must function to promote learning, advance knowledge and provide access to important information resources,” Horrell says. “These changes, in turn, have compelled library leaders to reevaluate their organization’s core goals, structure and purposes. Leaders must explore fundamental and unprecedented questions of practice—of themselves, their organizations, and their constituents.”
“The Library’s collaboration with the University Press of New England and Brandeis University helps us advance our strengths as an institution through relationships with well-chosen partners,” says Provost Carolyn Dever. “The Dartmouth Library, with its long commitment to digital initiatives, continues to lead the way in making knowledge accessible to all.”
Taylor Hornig ’13, the 2013-14 Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Intern in the Dartmouth Digital Library Program, explains the reasons for providing books in a wide range of web and e-book file formats: “Open access is supposed to remove the barriers between a work and its potential readers, so it’s important that people aren’t limited by the devices they happen to use.”
The project books are accessible via a range of devices. “If you want to read our books on your Kindle, you can do that. If you’d rather use an iPad or your computer, or your smartphone, you can do that, too.”
UPNE’s library partnerships strengthen UPNE’s commitment to advance scholarship by disseminating knowledge and participating in the technological innovations that make information widely accessible, says Burton. “On average, our books will have an open access release two to three years after their print publication, but there have been projects whose first publication was simultaneous online open access and e-book release. An example is Dartmouth College Press’s The Artistry of the Homeric Simile by William C. Scott, emeritus professor of classics at Dartmouth.” The Dartmouth list also includes Forever New: The Speeches of James Wright, President of Dartmouth College, 1998–2009.
“In the traditional distribution model for scholarly books, access was limited to those privileged with a good library or a personal book budget,” says Barbara DeFelice, the Dartmouth Library’s director of digital resources and scholarly communication programs.
The new collaboration, she says, “significantly increases the impact of the books published by UPNE by bringing the insights and creativity of the authors to a much wider audience.” And, perhaps counterintuitively, making e-books available has been shown to benefit print versions as well. “Pilot projects of open access monograph publishing have demonstrated that providing freely available online access to books not only increases readership, but drives interest in the printed book," she says.