5 major American university presses + JSTOR: New digital repository of scholarly books

January 11, 2011 - New York, NY - Five of the nation's leading
university presses - Chicago, Minnesota, North Carolina,
Princeton, and Yale - are at the forefront of a new effort to
publish scholarly books online as part of the non-profit service
JSTOR. Their books, representing ground-breaking scholarship
across the humanistic, social, and scientific disciplines, are
expected to be available in 2012.

"Books at JSTOR" will make front and back list titles available
to libraries around the world in flexible ways that encourage
purchase, adoption, and use. This new initiative is the result of
a year-long investigation into the needs of the publishing,
library, and scholarly communities. Consultations with dozens of
libraries, end-users, and project partners helped to identify
elements of a solution that include overcoming limitations on use
and offering flexible purchase models for libraries, while
developing a sustainable model for publishers for whom online
book publishing must migrate quickly from being ancillary to a
fundamental part of their business. Among the instrumental
collaborators in this project were several presses beyond those
announced here, including California, Harvard, and MIT.

It is, however, authors and scholars that factor most prominently
in this new effort. Press partners are being encouraged to join
based on the quality of their publishing and the relevancy of
their lists to material already part of JSTOR to improve both
visibility of authors' work and ease of use for scholars. The
books will be deeply integrated with the 1,600 current and
archival journals on JSTOR, as well as the diverse primary
sources available today. All the content will be
cross-searchable, and the books will be linked with the more than
2 million book reviews and hundreds of thousands of books
references in the journal literature. Works written by the same
authors or focused on the same topics, regardless of format, will
be connected, and alerting services for users will cross
publishers, other content providers, and content formats.

Greater than the Sum of the Parts

"'Books at JSTOR' is terrific shorthand, but it doesn't tell the
whole story," said Michael Spinella, JSTOR Managing Director.
"This is really the next step in a series of efforts to integrate
scholarship across formats and media and to establish a platform
where librarians, publishers, authors, and users can innovate in
the future."

"We are investing in something with others in our community,"
explained Garrett Kiely, Director of The University of Chicago
Press which will be adding its books to its complete journal
archives and current issues already on JSTOR. "Publishing digital
scholarship that includes long- and short-form arguments,
supported by multi-media, and usefully integrated with other
content is where we need to go to help authors and researchers do
their very best work in the future."

Matching scholarly research and teaching interests with
impactful, relevant books for users is also a significant focus.
While books are already highly discoverable through Google and
Amazon, this is about academic books set in an academic context
that should be valuable specifically for research and teaching,
whether a faculty member is at an institution in Nebraska or
Nepal. Faculty and students at nearly 7,000 institutions and
libraries around the world already have access to and use JSTOR,
and will now have the opportunity to conveniently read and
reference books online directly relevant to their work.

"For a publisher like Princeton," noted Peter Dougherty, Director
of Princeton University Press, "Having our titles
cross-searchable with JSTOR's well-established journal
collections will provide us with another valuable means of making
our books available in research and other libraries around the

Promise for Digital Scholarship

Longer term, there are exciting possibilities for scholarship as
authors embrace technology and the capabilities of the platform.
This month as part of the Current Scholarship Program at JSTOR,
humanistic scholars are seeing the potential for publishing more
compelling and effective work through the integration of text
with other media. The Journal of the Society of Architectural
Historians, under the catalytic leadership of editors Hilary
Ballon and David Brownlee and the stewardship of the University
of California Press, has begun publishing papers where images,
video, and GIS technologies are integral to the text, enabling
readers to engage in new ways and better understand their
arguments. The society has also mounted a campaign to encourage
submissions of this kind and is working with other societies in
the arts to do the same.

"Scholars amass remarkable materials and create valuable
resources in the course of their research, much of which cannot
be incorporated into the physical or argumentative form of the
book," expressed Doug Armato, Director of The University of
Minnesota Press. "This project holds the promise of widely
sharing and preserving some of those materials and linking them
within a broader context, creating in the process an ebook
environment that can take advantage of the kinds of exciting
tools and scholarly practices emerging from the digital

This opportunity to utilize a variety of media is particularly
appealing to publishers like Yale University Press given their
substantial focus in the arts as well as the humanities and
social sciences. "Being part of this collaboration will enable us
to reach the scholarly community in needed ways and contribute to
the building of a valuable environment for libraries and users.
But just as exciting may be the opportunity to create a new
ecosystem for publishing in the arts through the collaboration of
many like-minded organizations, including the potential for
overcoming difficult rights and technological issues in the
future," said John Donatich, Director of Yale University Press.

Preservation Assurance

Longevity and stability, particularly with new media, is also an
important focus of the initiative. "Authors, users, and
librarians need to know these books and related work will be
available over the very long term," said Kevin Guthrie, President
of ITHAKA, the organization that is home to JSTOR and to the
digital preservation service, Portico. "Preservation is
fundamental to our mission and a critical part of what we have
worked with the scholarly community to achieve since 1995." All
of the books will be preserved in Portico, which already archives
more than 66,000 e-books as well as journals and digitized
historical collections.

Given the scope of Books at JSTOR, it will be open to all kinds
of publishers, whether non-profit or commercial, so long as they
share the vision, collaborative spirit, and values of the group.
We anticipate others will join soon. Conversations with
California, Harvard, and MIT are ongoing, as are discussions with
others. Libraries are also expected to be invited to contribute
books from their collections in the future.

Kate Torrey, Director of The University of North Carolina Press
summarized: "This is a really exciting collaboration. Following
extensive research and planning, we now look forward to a launch
that brings together distinguished book and journal content and
establishes what we believe will be the gold-standard. It's been
a long time coming but with Books at JSTOR, we can finally see
the reality of scholarly books coming of digital age."


For more information:

The University of Chicago Press (www.press.uchicago.edu/)

The University of Minnesota Press (www.upress.umn.edu/)
Heather Skinner
Publicity Manager

The University of North Carolina Press (www.uncpress.unc.edu/)
Gina Mahalek
Director of Publicity

Princeton University Press (www.press.princeton.edu)
Priscilla Treadwell
Electronic Publications Marketing Manager

Yale University Press (www.yale.edu/yup)
Brenda King
Director of Publicity

203 432 0163

ITHAKA (www.ithaka.org)
JSTOR (www.jstor.org)
Heidi McGregor
VP, Marketing & Communications