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Should university presses adopt an OA model for all of their scholarly books?

At ELPUB 2008, Greco & Wharton presented a compelling case for 
why university presses should adopt an OA model for all of their 
scholarly books - a case based entirely on economics, not 

Greco & Wharton present analysis showing how a small press 
releasing 20 Open Access books would generate $128,511. in 
profit; a large press releasing 100 titles would generate 
$642,555.00 in profit (p. 11).

This is based on a processing fee approach (G&W use the term 
author- pays), with $250 as a preliminary charge, and $10,000 on 
final publication. This is for electronic text, with 

At first, this figure seems high, and I was quite sceptical. The 
more I think about it, the more sense this makes. Like journals, 
the primary market for scholarly books is academic libraries. 
Instead of paying to purchase for very limited access (in print, 
only one reader at a time - or none, if the book disappears), why 
not work together to pay for production of a book for open 

For further analysis and links, please see The Imaginary Journal 
of Poetic Economics, at: 

Any opinion expressed in this e-mail is that of the author alone, 
and does not represent the opinion or policy of BC Electronic 
Library Network or Simon Fraser University Library.

Heather Morrison, MLIS
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics