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    Frequently Asked Questions


     UC Press, Luminos, and Open Access

    Q: What is Luminos?
    Q: What is Open Access?

    Open Access means free, immediate, unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed research and scholarly work. Open Access publishing of monographs offers the potential to greatly increase the visibility and impact of scholarly work by making it globally accessible and freely available in digital formats. Costs are covered up front through subventions, breaking down barriers of access at the other end—for libraries and for individual readers anywhere in the world.

    Q: Why is UC Press getting into Open Access?

    Because the idea of Open Access—making important scientific and scholarly work accessible to anyone—aligns perfectly with our mission: to drive progressive change by seeking out and cultivating the brightest minds and giving them voice, reach, and impact.

    Q: Are other presses doing this?

    OA publishing is widespread in the world of journals; OA journals have grown rapidly in STEM fields in particular and there are now many OA journals across the humanities and social sciences as well.

    OA book programs are familiar now as well, with increasing numbers of OA monographs and series from presses including from Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, University of North Carolina Press, Cornell University Press, Routledge, Penn State University Press, Amherst College Press, Amsterdam University Press, Australian National University Press, Manchester University Press, and others.



     Author FAQs: Open Access

    Q: What are the advantages of OA to the author?

    The advantages are many—first and foremost the preservation of the scholarly monograph. Monographs have long been under siege. Shrinking library budgets and rising costs result in higher prices and consequently, presses must reduce the number of titles they publish, regardless of the merits of the work.

    The result? Increasingly limited avenues for getting important work into readers’ hands and an unsustainable model for publishing. What’s more, new forms of digital and multimedia scholarship can’t flourish in a print-first/only model.

    An Open Access model overcomes these obstacles. Your book will be available in multiple formats—including print—to anyone who wishes to read it, anywhere in the world. You will be able to include color images and interactive media such as maps, audio and visual material. Prices will range from free (for all digital formats) to moderate (for the print version). No longer will price be a barrier to assigning your book in courses nor will it stop your book from reaching readers and institutions in other countries.

    Q: Are there disadvantages of OA to the author?

    The only disadvantage is that the author won’t be paid royalties. However, nowadays the majority of scholarly monographs don’t earn much in royalties and few scholarly presses even pay royalties on first printings; those who do pay very little. In our model, proceeds from the sale of print copies of your book will help to offset the costs of publication and free global access.



      Author FAQs: Publishing Process

    Q: How do I submit a project?

    The same way you would submit any new book project for any press--get in touch via email with the editor whose list is most suitable for your work. Proposals should follow the UC Press guidelines that can be found here.

    Q: Are there differences in the publishing process?

    Absolutely not. Your OA book will receive the same peer review and approval by our Faculty Editorial Committee, copyediting, design, and marketing as our other scholarly editions. Pricing for print copies will also be comparable.

    Q: Will my book be peer reviewed as part of this program?

    Books in the UC Press OA program go through the same exacting peer review process as all books published by UC Press. Typically this consists of two reports from outside peer reviews, and a letter of endorsement from a series editor if the project is to be included in a specific series. In addition, like all books published by UC Press, OA monographs will be vetted and approved by the Faculty Editorial Committee of the University of California Academic Senate.

    Q: Will the contract for the book be different from other book contracts?

    In most respects, the contract remains the same: the author and UC Press agree to confer exclusive, world rights of first publication on the Press. A Creative Commons license will be applied by UC Press to govern reuse of the book. UC Press advocates the use of the CC-BY license which allows the most liberal reuse of content, enables the greatest contribution to the digital commons, and maximises dissemination. It may also be required by some funding bodies. UC Press is prepared to use alternative CC licenses at an author’s request. Following publication all rights are potentially non-exclusive, depending on the Creative Commons license selected by the author.

    Q: How long will it take for the book to be published?

    The production cycle for these titles is expedited in comparison with our traditional books. From the time a manuscript has been successfully peer reviewed, approved by the faculty board, fully revised and polished, with all illustrations and other multimedia files ready, it will typically take four months for copyediting, design, and production.

    Q: Will there be a cover design for print copies of the book?

    Yes, titles in this program will have cover designs. Both cover and interior designs will be created via the same process as all UC Press titles.



     Author FAQs: Publishing Costs

    Q: How much will my institution need to contribute?

    The author will be asked to secure $7,500 either from their home institution and/or another independent funding source. For faculty in the University of California system the reduced amount is $5,000. This subsidy requirement is for titles of no more than 90,000 words and 25 images. Additional subsidy costs will be required for titles exceeding this length, and/or those with heavy illustration programs, multimedia components or other complexity. 

    There are a number of potential funding sources beyond for authors’s ​​institutional contribution (such as departmental/Dean’s funds, the library’s OA fund, campus grants etc.). Please discuss those options with your UC Press editor.

    Q: What if my institution doesn’t have money available to contribute?

    Authors or institutions who don’t have sufficient funds available to them may be eligible for our Author Waiver Fund.

    Q: Will the availability of subvention affect your decision to publish a book?

    Many university presses already require subvention for scholarly monographs. But the availability of subvention does not affect UC Press’ decision to publish any book. While the Luminos program will require a Title Publication Fee, books that meet UC Press’ rigorous standards of peer review but do not have access to funding to support this may be able to be published traditionally.



     Author FAQs: Format & Technology

    Q: Will there be a print edition of my book as well?

    Yes. Your book will be available for purchase to anyone who prefers the traditional print format, including libraries that prefer print to digital. We also make print copies available to your institution upon request, as well as for reviews and award nominations in those instances where the journal or society doesn’t yet accept digital editions. Print copies will also be available for display at scholarly conferences.

    Q: What will the digital book look like?

    Digital and print books will be identical in content and layout; digital editions will include live links, be searchable, can include audio and video files, and will be able to incorporate a range of annotation tools.

    Q: Can readers choose what device they want to read on when they get my book?

    Yes. Digital editions can be downloaded for Kindle, PDF, and ePub onto phones, tablets, e-readers, laptop computers, and other devices.

    Q: Can I include maps, musical examples, color images, diacritics? What about sound or video files?

    Yes, these features (and more) can all be included. For borrowed materials, permission should be sought. (Heavy use of illustration and/or multimedia elements does affect the cost to publish your book. See the question “How much will my institution need to contribute?” above.)

    Q: What happens to sound or video files in the digital version of my book if someone orders a POD copy?

    In print versions of books with sound and video files, the printed book will include a QR code to guide the reader online to view and listen.



     Author FAQs: Distribution & Marketing

    Q: How will libraries get a copy of my book?

    Because these books are Open Access (i.e. free to anyone at the point of access), all libraries will be able to link to the digital edition(s). We will be creating the necessary cataloguing data for libraries for these titles, so they will be discoverable in libraries in exactly the same way as our traditional monographs. Libraries can also purchase print copies should they wish to.

    Q: How can my students get to my book if I want to assign it in one of my classes?

    All books in our program will be available free digitally to students and other readers, for class use and research. People can download either the full book or just the chapter(s) they need. Students can purchase print copies as well.

    Q: How will people be able to find my book?

    Our OA site uses industry standard Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make sure your title is easily findable using major search engines. We will ensure discoverability by creating and using keywords and abstracts to anticipate where and how potential readers will search for your book.

    Not only will your title’s metadata appear on our OA site, it will also be included on ucpress.edu, amazon.com, bn.com, and other online retailers, which will further enhance discoverability across multiple channels. Driving usage of your content will also be a major focus of our marketing efforts—we will be pushing people to find your book through traditional (exhibits) and digital (websites, email, social media) means.

    Q: Will there be print copies at my annual scholarly meeting?

    Yes, print copies will be made available at relevant scholarly exhibits, as with all UC Press titles.

    Q: Can my book be submitted for prizes digitally? How does that work?

    Yes. Prize submissions will work the same way they do for all UC Press titles. For many prizes, digital submission is already acceptable and preferred; where print is required, we will supply print copies.

    Q: How will journals and other reviewers get a copy of my book?

    As with prize submissions, we will be able to submit either digital or print copies to reviewers, whichever they prefer.

    Q: What kind of marketing will my book get?

    Titles in this program will receive the same marketing attention that UC Press gives to all its scholarly books, including but not limited to:

    • Display at relevant discipline-focused conference exhibits where we have an established presence
    • Ads in the programs of academic meetings
    • Inclusion in seasonal catalogs (digital and print)
    • Targeted review copy mailings to top academic journals
    • Submission for up to five awards as selected by the author
    • Email outreach to discipline-specific lists
    • A dedicated product page on our website
    • Homepage website promotion on ucpress.edu
    • Distribution to major online retailers
    • Selective social media promotion (blog, Facebook, Twitter)
    • Four-color flier (PDF or Print) supplied to authors for book promotion at events
    • An author toolkit to help guide your own publicity efforts.


     Library FAQs

    Q: What does the library membership go toward?

    Your library’s annual membership fee goes into a larger pool of library dollars that supports the program in two key ways:

    1. A $2,000 subsidy for each monograph published
    2. A contribution toward the Author Waiver Fund

    In other words, all your membership dollars are funneled back into the system, supporting humanities and social sciences research and publishing.

    Q: How is the UC Press Luminos program funded overall?

    The economic engine of the program is fueled by four sources:

    1. A Title Publication Fee from each author/institution
    2. A UC Press subvention for each title
    3. A contribution from the library membership revenue pool
    4. Revenue from print sales
    Q: Why did UC Press decide to make membership optional?

    Not every library can afford membership and we want to ensure those libraries can still offer their readers access to our monographs. Meanwhile, we know many libraries can afford the membership fee and are interested in putting those funds to use to support open access and humanities scholarship.

    We see this program as a way to make monographic content discoverable, accessible, and usable for the widest possible audience, and that’s a goal libraries share.

    Q: How will UC Press ensure that Luminos titles are discoverable through existing library systems?

    We are currently in the process of developing partnerships with web-scale discovery services to deliver MARC records and other relevant metadata which integrate with libraries' existing acquisition workflows. In the meantime, you may download MARC records for current Luminos titles here.

    Q: How are Luminos titles preserved?

    All titles published in Luminos will be preserved through Portico.

    Q: What is the library toolkit?

    Open Access Toolkit

    • Explainer video
    • FAQs
    • Resources/Articles about OA
    • Breakdown of various CC-BY licenses
    • Downloadable customizable educational brochure for faculty and library staff
    • Education kit for staff
    • Promotional materials