TOME makes the work of humanities and social science faculty more widely available both inside and outside the academy, which advances the core mission of colleges and universities to create and transmit new knowledge for public benefit.
How it works
TOME is a five-year pilot project that started in 2017 and runs through 2021. The original 14 participating universities committed to awarding three publishing grants per year over the five years (15 total grants). Baseline grants are $15,000 for average-length (90,000 words) monographs. Longer works, or those that contain complex elements, might require additional funding.
Since 2017, additional institutions have joined the pilot without committing to funding 15 monographs. If your institution is considering joining TOME, please contact us. We will work with you to come up with a commitment that fits your situation. Ultimately, the goals of TOME go beyond numbers. We want to change the landscape of scholarly book publishing in the humanities and social sciences by creating a broader and more equitable funding base for the high-quality scholarly publishing that sustains those disciplines.
Once a commitment to funding is made, participation in TOME has very few requirements. Each institution establishes its own rules for selecting TOME volumes. Some institutions accept applications from faculty on a rolling basis throughout the year. Others employ a competitive process with a selection committee that makes decisions after set application deadlines. An institution also might decide to give priority to an author’s first book, but this is by no means a requirement.
Likewise, each institution handles the funding and administration of TOME in its own way. In some cases, the library takes the lead. In others, it may be a college or a center for the humanities.
TOME grants are generally paid directly to the publisher but the funds are not released until after the manuscript has undergone the same procedures for peer review and met the same editorial standards as the publisher’s other scholarly books. If a monograph is ultimately accepted for publication, the publisher works with the institution to formalize the terms of the TOME grant. These terms are in addition to the regular terms that the author and the publisher agree to in the author contract. To receive funding, the publisher must commit to producing a digital open access edition of the book, openly licensing it under a Creative Commons license, and depositing the files in selected open repositories. The publisher is in turn free to publish (and sell) a traditional print edition according to terms agreed to in the author contract.
The following colleges and universities are participating in the TOME pilot, thereby sending a strong signal to their humanities and social sciences faculty that administrators value both their scholarship and the work of university presses.
A Rational System for Funding Scholarly Monographs
This 2012 white paper was prepared for the Association of American Universities and ARL joint Task Force on Scholarly Communication to explore the growing inability of a market model to adequately support the publication of scholarly monographs.Download the PDF
A Study of Direct Author Subvention for Publishing Humanities Books at Indiana University and University of Michigan
This white paper presents recommendations about how a system of monographic publication fully funded by subventions from authors’ parent institutions might function, based on research activities supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation at Indiana University.Read the Article
“It’s a Movement, Not a Club”: TOME in the Growing Landscape of Open Monograph Publishing
Report on the TOME meeting hosted by the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses) in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2019. Report published September 5, 2019.Download the PDF
TOME Author Testimonials
Authors talk about their participation in TOME.WATCH THE VIDEOS