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Brian Owen says Open Monograph Press will do for scholarly monographs what Open Journal Systems has done for journals.

Library releasing new publishing tool

June 25, 2009

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By Barry Shell

Associate librarian Brian Owen is excited about a new open-source publishing tool the SFU Library will launch July 8–10 during the 2nd International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference at SFU’s Vancouver campus at Harbour Centre.

It’s called Open Monograph Press (OMP). "It’s going to do for scholarly monographs what OJS has done for scholarly journals," says Owen, referring to Open Journal Systems, the largely SFU-developed publishing-management software adopted by some 2,000 journals worldwide since it was introduced in 2001.

PKP—the Public Knowledge Project—is a non-profit research initiative of SFU, UBC and Stanford University dedicated to making the results of publicly funded research freely available through open-access policies and to developing strategies for making that possible.

OMP is based on a modularization of the OJS program, allowing separate modules to be recombined on a common platform to produce customized systems for journals, conferences and monographs. The modularization lets the press drag and drop pieces into place that best match their editorial process.

SFU Library uses OJS to host more than 150 online scholarly journals based in dozens of countries. SFU contract programmer Alec Smecher recently returned from Asia where he worked on Asian Journals Online, a project that uses OJS to build national journal-publishing portals in Vietnam, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

"It’s possible for anyone to inexpensively host a web site that’s as attractive and professional-looking as Nature or the British Medical Journal, but online publishing in the developing world still has a long way to go," says Smecher.

"Pushing open access, both in the West and in the developing world, further decreases the gap between them by providing each access to the other’s research free of charge," says Smecher.

Owen says OJS and the new Open Monograph Press offer a complete publishing package, from review process workflow management all the way through to publication. Both free and subscription models are supported.

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