TOME brings together scholars, universities, libraries, and presses in pursuit of a common goal—a sustainable open monograph ecosystem.

Monographs remain the preeminent form of scholarly publication in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, but the funding model is broken. TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) seeks to address this problem by moving us toward a new, more sustainable system in which monograph publishing costs are met by institutionally funded faculty book subsidies. These publication grants make it possible for presses to publish monographs in open access editions, which increases the presence of humanities and social science scholarship on the web and opens up knowledge to a truly global readership.

TOME launched in 2017 as a five-year pilot project of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses). The pilot is built on a) participating colleges and universities and b) participating university presses

Participating colleges and universities commit to providing baseline grants of $15,000 to support the publication of open access monographs of 90,000 words or fewer (with additional funding for works of greater length or complexity). 

Participating university presses (numbering over 60) commit to producing digital open access editions of TOME volumes, openly licensing them under Creative Commons licenses, and depositing the files in selected open repositories.

We welcome more institutions and publishers to join us over the remaining years of the pilot as we work to change the landscape of scholarly publishing by creating a sustainable open monograph ecosystem.

At the end of the five-year pilot in 2022, the project partners will assess the outcomes of the initiative. A key part of this assessment will be soliciting feedback from participating institutions, university presses, and authors. At that time, a decision will be made about next steps. 

Benefits of TOME

  • Open access publication expands readership both inside and outside the academy, which advances the core mission of colleges and universities to create and transmit new knowledge for public benefit.
  • TOME advances the goal of migrating humanities and social science scholarship to the open web, where it can be fully integrated into the larger web-based network of scientific research.
  • TOME embraces a holistic view of scholarly publishing, enlisting all of the stakeholders—universities, presses, libraries, and authors—in pursuing the common goal of obtaining a sustainable open monograph ecosystem.
  • TOME sends a strong signal to humanities and social sciences faculties that college and university administrators value both their scholarship and the work of university presses.
  • TOME encourages innovation in monograph publishing by enabling digital affordances such as multimedia, annotation, and commenting tools.

TOME Advisory Board

TOME is guided by an Advisory Board made up of representatives from the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of University Presses.

TOME on Twitter

Get Involved

If you are an author, publisher, librarian, or administrator, we want to hear from you. Use this form to send your comments, questions, or suggestions to Peter Potter, ARL visiting program officer for TOME.