|Weekly News Digest
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University Presses to Publish Books Online at JSTOR
Five leading university presses—Chicago, Minnesota, North Carolina, Princeton, and Yale—are at the forefront of a new effort to publish scholarly books online as part of the non-profit service JSTOR. Their books in the humanistic, social, and scientific disciplines are expected to be available in 2012.
“Books at JSTOR” will make front and back list titles available to libraries around the world in flexible ways that encourage purchase, adoption, and use. This new initiative is the result of a year-long investigation into the needs of the publishing, library, and scholarly communities. Consultations with dozens of libraries, end-users, and project partners helped to identify elements of a solution that include overcoming limitations on use and offering flexible purchase models for libraries, while developing a sustainable model for publishers for whom online book publishing must migrate quickly from being ancillary to a fundamental part of their business. Among the instrumental collaborators in this project were several presses beyond those announced here, including California, Harvard, and MIT.
It is, however, authors and scholars that factor most prominently in this new effort. Press partners are being encouraged to join based on the quality of their publishing and the relevancy of their lists to material already part of JSTOR to improve both visibility of authors’ work and ease of use for scholars. The books will be deeply integrated with the 1,600 current and archival journals on JSTOR, as well as the diverse primary sources available today. All the content will be cross-searchable, and the books will be linked with the more than 2 million book reviews and hundreds of thousands of books references in the journal literature. Works written by the same authors or focused on the same topics, regardless of format, will be connected, and alerting services for users will cross publishers, other content providers, and content formats.
Michael Spinella, JSTOR managing director, says “This is really the next step in a series of efforts to integrate scholarship across formats and media and to establish a platform where librarians, publishers, authors, and users can innovate in the future.”
Longevity and stability, particularly with new media, is also an important focus of the initiative. “Authors, users, and librarians need to know these books and related work will be available over the very long term,” said Kevin Guthrie, president of ITHAKA, the organization that is home to JSTOR and to the digital preservation service, Portico.
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