A major project that we are launching in March 2014 is a new platform for the study of open and blended education: educationXpress. At the moment, all content on this platform is openly available.
What are some strategies publishers can use to make OA work for them?
Open access is not a single model, so its strategies must be informed by the specific method for covering the costs by the quality of the online experience and by the goal for reaching the audience. In certain cases, we have found a sweet spot wherein open and paid editions are sufficiently complementary that we do not need a subsidy.
Freemium models can deliver real value, offering readers a choice of formats (including open formats) and content while generating some revenue. Most often, however, a subsidy is required to support the open edition of the work and the strategic concern is its sustainability.
OA requires new publishing practices by the publisher. Tracking and analysis of usage statistics add to the growing complexity of our new digital world. Our outreach to potential readers (traditionally, marketing) in scholarly publishing has long been a partnership between the author and the publisher. For open access publications, this becomes especially important.
We believe that open access is the most successful when integrated with traditional publishing: When the OA readers may discover paid titles in the same field and when the full discovery tools of the publisher are employed.
What opportunities do you see for university presses in 2014?
This is an exciting time because university presses are being recognized by their partners in scholarly communication as dynamic and forward-thinking. University presses have always played a vital role in making high quality scholarship broadly accessible. At the MIT Press we take this very seriously. Our selection process, editorial development, pricing, marketing, and global distribution systems all work toward the goal of bringing the best research and ideas to bear on problems, policies, and debates in the wider world.
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Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.