Libraries supports faculty member’s open-access publication through TOME
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Errol A. Henderson, associate professor of political science, remembers well the weekend trips to the Detroit Public Library that his family took when he was growing up in the Brewster-Douglas Housing Projects on the city’s east side.
“My parents and eight older siblings instilled in me the enjoyment and necessity of reading,” Henderson recalled. “The books opened up vistas that I couldn’t imagine without them, and that I couldn’t access if they were not free, because we were poor.”
Because of his childhood experience, it’s important to Henderson to make his works freely available to those who can’t access them or afford to pay for them. With funding from the University Libraries through the TOME — Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem — Initiative, Henderson authored the first fully open-access (OA) publication produced by the State University of New York (SUNY) Press. His book, “The Revolution Will Not Be Theorized: Cultural Revolution in the Black Power Era,” was published in both hardcover and digital formats by SUNY Press in August.
“By releasing (Professor Henderson’s book) in both a print edition and a freely accessible digital edition, SUNY Press is demonstrating its commitment to reaching the widest possible audience,” said Peter Potter, visiting program officer for TOME at the Association of Research Libraries.
A collaboration among the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Association of University Presses (AUP), TOME was designed to advance the wide dissemination of scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members through open access editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited monographs. Its mission, according to Potter, is “to ensure that university presses can continue to publish high-quality, peer-reviewed monographs while broadly improving access to these works by scholars and the public.”
Penn State was among the first of the 14 universities that have pledged support for TOME. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost committed $45,000 per year to be divided among up to three subvention grants annual for five years (2018–23).
“We are excited to participate in the TOME Initiative as another way of supporting open access at Penn State,” said Ally Laird, open publishing program specialist at University Libraries. “Each grant will be contributed directly to a press participating in the program to support the open-access publication of an eligible work authored by a Penn State faculty member.”
The University Libraries’ Open Publishing program — which publishes open-access materials such as electronic scholarly journals, bibliographies, monographs, topical web portals, and conference proceedings — is just one of six initiatives comprising Open at Penn State, a collaboration among the Libraries and other Penn State partners to reduce barriers to sharing knowledge and information.
“Our open initiatives are crucial for driving innovation, engaging students, enabling affordable access to education, and generating equal opportunities for all,” said Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, head of the Department of Research Informatics and Publishing at the University Libraries.
For Errol Henderson, having his book accessible in an OA format perfectly illustrates the level of impact these initiatives can have on the academic community and beyond.
“It makes my work accessible to so many people who may not be able to afford it otherwise — including those living in housing projects who may become university professors,” he said. “I hope more faculty choose to make their work freely available in this way.”
The OA edition of “The Revolution Will Not Be Theorized” is available on selected e-book platforms, including MUSE Open and ScholarSphere at Penn State. A paperback edition is forthcoming in early 2020.
For more information, visit the University Libraries website.