We recently welcomed The MIT Press as an OASPA member in the Professional Publisher (Large) category. The MIT Press joins over 190 OASPA members and 20 others in the Professional Publisher (Large) category.
We asked Nick Lindsay, Director of Journals and Open Access, a few questions so we could learn more about the organisation and its connection to open scholarship and decision to become an OASPA member.
Tell us a bit about your organisation and the service it provides – and your role within it
The MIT Press is one of the preeminent university presses and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. The Press has a long history of being at the forefront of scholarly communication and has pioneered several innovations in the university press space including CogNet, MIT Open Publishing Services, and Rapid Reviews: COVID-19. The Press’ is deeply committed to open access and has published in excess of 1,000 OA journal articles and nearly 250 OA books as of January 2022 and is looking to do much more via launching and acquiring new OA journals and our open monograph program, Direct to Open. My role as Director for Journals and Open Access is to manage both the strategic and day-to-day operations of our journals division as well as work on open access efforts across books and journals and more broadly at MIT itself via avenues such as the MIT Open Access Task Force.
Why did you decide to join OASPA and what do you hope to get out of your OASPA membership?
We’ve long admired the advocacy and community role that OASPA plays and we felt that joining was a strong signal that we are aligned with the values of the open access community. The Press looks forward to participating with its peers at the OASPA general meeting and generally sharing experiences and best practices as we continue to evolve our OA program.
What are the short and medium-term priorities for your organisation/publication in relation to open scholarship?
In the short term our focus is on getting our Direct to Open open access model for scholarly monographs off to a successful start. We’re part way there and have accumulated enough pledges of support in order to turn the spring 2022 monographs open. We now need to build on that work in order to ensure we can make the fall 2022 list and books in subsequent years open as well via a sustainable and reliable program. On the journals side we are looking at how to effectively build out models that can support non-traditional OA publications like Rapid Reviews: COVID-19. We’d like to ensure that our OA program grows in a fiscally-responsible manner so we can ensure these titles will thrive.
What do you think are the main challenges for the communication of scholarship generally in the near future?
Almost too many to mention! But from the publisher point of view I think it’s clear that a few forces such as technology consolidation and scarce resources threaten to make things awfully difficult for not-for-profit publishers. In an era of declining revenues, it’s a challenge to allocate resources effectively and ensure that we’re meeting the often daunting expectations people have of the future of publishing. University presses, with strong support from their parent institutions with whom we share a mission to disseminate knowledge widely, are well positioned to lead into that future if we manage our resources wisely and continue to work closely with the other members of our ecosystem: libraries, authors, funders. Failing that, further consolidation along many vectors –technology, content, services—is almost inevitable and won’t be good for the health of our enterprise.
How do you think OASPA can help mitigate those challenges?
OASPA, positioned at the center of the open access community, stands to contribute in many ways. Building connections between members, publicly advocating for sensible OA solutions, and building out best practices for OA are some of the ways OASPA is already helping us all navigate these choppy waters. Helping others who may be uncertain about moving towards open access assists all of us and OASPA has a large role to play in making that happen. I look forward to seeing the organization grow!
The MIT Press https://mitpress.mit.edu/
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