research

Freeware liberates academic publishing

September 13, 2012
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A new open-source software program created by the SFU-based non-profit Public Knowledge Project (PKP) promises to revolutionize the way academic researchers circulate their work by making it easy to publish scholarly books online.

Open Monograph Press (OMP), set for release Sept. 17, establishes an online workspace for publishing monographs, edited volumes and scholarly editions

The software builds on previous PKP free publishing tools such as Open Journal Systems (OJS), which has been downloaded by more than 14,000 users worldwide since it was introduced in 2001.

It includes significant workflow management, access and security, role configuration and distribution enhancements and provides all the catalogue-management and publishing tools necessary for running a book press online.

“Scholarly monograph publishing is facing a lot of economic difficulties and new competition from e-book publishing,” says SFU associate librarian and PKP managing director, Brian Owen.

“Even the bigger university presses are having trouble staying afloat. For any researcher wanting to publish a book, the options are often pretty limited.”

OMP streamlines the production process, giving publishers the tools and online platform to complete a book, edit it, review it and make it available online,” says Owen, adding that even individual authors might be interested in using it.

“It will be a boon for academics looking for a cost-effective way to publish their work,” says Owen. “It’s also very suitable for an open-access publishing model that makes their research freely available to the public.”

 

PKP is a research initiative of SFU, Stanford University and other partners. Since its formation in 1998, the group has employed dozens of students and collaborated with dozens more academics, educators, government officials, journalists and others to increase professional and public access to knowledge resources.

SFU Library currently hosts 415 e-journals using the OJS software and also hosts e-journal web portals for countries such Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. The portals aggregate the content of as many as 60 journals in each country, making them accessible via a single website.

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