University of California Press Expands into Open Access with Innovative Journal and Monograph Programs

Press Release | Collabra, Luminos, UC Press | January 20, 2015

With Collabra and Luminos, UC Press evolves the OA model to benefit authors and the entire academic community

UC Press today announces Collabra and Luminos, two new open access programs for journal and monograph publishing. Aligned with UC Press’s mission to build reach and impact for transformative scholarship, the programs expand publishing options for scholarly authors and researchers, make it easier for readers to find and use content, and share the monetary value generated from publishing across the academic community. Both Collabra and Luminos launch with a distinguished group of advisory board members, editors, authors, and reviewers from universities and associations around the globe.

“As part of the world’s greatest public research university we knew that we needed to make a significant investment to meet the changing publishing and dissemination needs of our audiences,” said Alison Mudditt, Director of UC Press. “These programs have been shaped by hundreds of conversations with faculty, librarians, and other key stakeholders. With Luminos, we will combine the global reach and visibility of OA with our unwavering commitment to publishing superior scholarship to create a speedboat, not a life raft, that will carry monographs forward and allow them to remain a vital resource.”

The mega journal Collabra is based on an innovative model designed to share value generated from publishing an article among editors and reviewers who contribute to its success. Instead of retaining all funds generated from author article processing charges (APCs), UC Press directly compensates reviewers and editors for their work on the journal; reviewers and editors can then opt to pass these earnings on to an APC waiver fund that benefits other authors or to their institution’s open access fund.

“The scholarly record has to be open in order to make research as accessible as possible,” says Maryann Martone, Professor-in-Residence, Department of Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego. “I joined Collabra because I like that it cedes control and a sense of ownership to the scholars, by charging the minimum costs the process requires rather than the maximum that our budgets will tolerate.”

At launch, Collabra will focus on three broad disciplinary areas: life and biomedical sciences, ecology and environmental science, and social and behavioral sciences. UC Press is lining up an international team of field experts for the editorial board, including, among others, Erica Fleishman, Research Scientist, Department of Environmental Science and Policy and John Muir Institute of the Environment, University of California, Davis; Maryann Martone, who is also Co-Director, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research (NCMIR) and Executive Director of FORCE11; and Rolf A. Zwaan, Professor, Department of Psychology, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

With Luminos, UC Press is taking steps to ensure the longevity of monographic publishing while adhering to the same exacting editorial standards for which it has been known for more than 120 years. This entails combining the best of OA and digital publishing with UC Press’s rigorous selection and editorial processes to create a wholly new approach to sustainable and affordable monograph publishing.

For authors whose traditional monographs have been relegated to sales of just a few hundred, an open access model offers the potential to exponentially increase the discoverability and readership of their work. UC Press’s model also supports rich multimedia content---essential in order to keep pace with new digital modes of scholarship. Luminos shares the cost burden of publishing in manageable amounts across the academic community. For each title, UC Press makes a significant contribution, augmented by membership funds from supporting libraries. Authors will then be asked to secure a title publication fee to cover the remaining costs. Additional revenue from supporting libraries and print sales will help to support an author waiver fund.

“Luminos promises to bring together the most important benefits of digital publishing platforms---including the greatly increased discoverability and reach of open access and the innovative structures of multimodal scholarship---with the long-standing commitment to quality of the University of California Press,” says Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association and Visiting Research Professor of English, New York University. “The combination presents extraordinary possibilities for publicly engaged, dynamic scholarly work.”

To ensure the program continues to evolve as OA and the needs of the scholarly community change, UC Press has established an advisory board that represents the interests of many monograph audiences. These include:

  • Wendy Chun, Brown University
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Modern Language Association and New York University
  • Faye Ginsburg, New York University
  • David Theo Goldberg, University of California, Irvine
  • Christopher M. Kelty, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Todd Presner, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MacKenzie Smith, University of California, Davis

University of California Press is one of the most forward-thinking scholarly publishers in the nation. For more than 120 years, it has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. At a time of dramatic change for publishing and scholarship, UC Press collaborates with scholars, librarians, authors, and students to stay ahead of today’s knowledge demands and shape the future of publishing.

For more information on Collabra, visit the website or watch the video. For information on Luminos, visit the website or watch the video. For more information on both programs, contact Lorraine Weston at [email protected].