The University of California Press (UC Press) and the California Digital Library (CDL), have received a grant of $750,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a web-based, open source content and workflow management system to support the publication of open access (OA) monographs in the humanities and social sciences. When complete, this system will be made available to the community of academic publishers, especially university presses and library publishers.

UC Press is committed to developing a thriving and sustainable ecosystem for the humanities and social sciences and to preserving the monograph as a key vehicle for original scholarship. Last month, UC Press announced Luminos (www.luminosoa.org), a new OA program that brings universal access and advanced digital delivery to the monograph. Development of a new Mellon-funded content and workflow management system will support Luminos, and other OA initiatives, by stripping out complexity—and cost—and enabling sustainable models to flourish.

For CDL, development of a content management solution represents the opportunity to extend its current publishing services to better support monographic series publications in eScholarship (www.escholarship.org), UC’s institutional repository and OA publishing platform. Academic units on the UC campuses are frequently home to innovative, faculty-led book publishing programs with limited staffing. Providing a flexible and efficient workflow management system on the back end of eScholarship will enable these programs to focus resources on the important work of acquiring and raising the visibility of their publications.

“We want to drive innovation that shapes—rather than merely responds to—how scholarship can thrive in a global, deeply networked, public sphere,” says UC Press Director Alison Mudditt. “Digital infrastructure is essential for us to publish traditional and innovative forms of research cost-effectively and ensure maximum global reach. This is not a problem for UC Press alone, however, and by developing an open source solution we believe our system can benefit all of university and library publishing.”

CDL Executive Director Laine Farley comments, “I’m delighted we can work with our colleagues at UC Press to contribute to the new infrastructure needed to move both library and press publishing into a more efficient and forward looking position. This project is an ideal blending of our expertise to realize a common vision.”

The proposed system will increase efficiency and achieve cost reduction by allowing users to manage content and associated workflows from initial authoring through manuscript submission, peer review, and production to final publication of files on the open web, whether via a publishing platform or an institutional repository. The system will streamline production so publishers can redirect resources back into the editorial process and disseminate important scholarship more widely.

During this two-year period, the system will be designed and built to support the new open access models being pursued by UC Press as well as CDL’s current publishing programs. Throughout the two-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UC Press and CDL will engage other university presses and library publishing units to ensure the system will meet the needs of a range of organizations. UC Press and CDL have built in a plan for long-term sustainability to ensure that this resource will continue to serve these communities and will realize its potential to re-invigorate the domain of monographic publishing within the humanities and social sciences.

University of California Press is one of the most forward-thinking scholarly publishers in the nation. For more than 120 years, it has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. At a time of dramatic change for publishing and scholarship, UC Press collaborates with scholars, librarians, authors, and students to stay ahead of today’s knowledge demands and shape the future of publishing. For more information contact, Lorraine Weston, Associate Director of Publicity, at lweston@ucpress.edu or (510) 883-8291 or visit our website at www.ucpress.edu.

The California Digital Library (CDL) was founded by the University of California in 1997 to take advantage of emerging technologies that transform the way digital information is published and accessed. Since then, in collaboration with the UC libraries and other partners, the CDL has assembled one of the world’s largest digital research libraries and changed the ways that faculty, students, and researchers discover and access information. For further information contact Catherine Mitchell, Director, Access & Publishing Program, at catherine.mitchell@ucop.edu or (510) 587-6132.