BMBF-funded Project - Transformative Open Access Aspects (TOAA)

Open Access with transcript

From February 2021 to January 2023, transcript implement a three-part project that aims to accelerate the Open Access transformation. The project is scheduled to run for two years and is funded with around 250,000 euros as part of the digital strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Within this framework, transcript will publish three complementary title collections of its programme in open access, flanked by ongoing evaluations, modelling and an exchange with the relevant communities, in order to sustainably inspire the OA transformation in the humanities. The project comprises the following modules:

I. Open Disciplines: Open Library Media Studies

In transcript’s Media Studies programme, 26 new titles will be realised in OA during the funding period in addition to the titles already planned for OA. In order to be able to open up the programme area completely and sustainably in the future, transcript will also work to establish a supra-regional library consortium; the Specialised Information Service (FID) für Media, Communication and Film Studies in Leipzig and the SUB Göttingen have been requested as partners. The measure has a model character for the opening up of entire disciplines within an academic publishing programme and aims to pave the way for other open libraries as well.

II. Best Performer: Evidence Based OA Publishing

In the second module, the publisher will demonstrate the full potential of OA using titles with excellent chances of reception (‘best performers’). Based on previous usage data, a collection of six titles with outstanding chances of being well received will be identified and published in OA. The access and download figures will be published in the publisher's new OA repository (currently under construction) to vividly demonstrate the enormous reach that the publication model can achieve in the best-case scenario. The aim is to increase the attractiveness, reputation and thus the chances of acceptance of OA among authors: Open Access will be established as the means of choice for discourse-defining publications that appeal to broader readerships, for which publishers and authors still rely heavily on print and the trade.

III. Pilot Project: Open Access Textbooks

The third module is a pilot project in which the publisher, as a shareholder of UTB, is researching the specifics and possibilities of textbooks in Open Access. So far, these have been highly controversial in publishing circles due to concerns about declining revenues. But banking on the presumed convergences between this book type and Open Access, transcript will now publish and evaluate a collection of six textbooks from various disciplines in Open Access. The goal is to create a basis for the development of viable Open Access solutions for textbooks with the help of multidimensional analyses, the discussion of the pilot project’s results with other UTB publishers, as well as their modelling and publication.

The project thus aims to advance the OA transformation in the social sciences and humanities publishing landscape in parallel on three levels - disciplinary, evidence-based and book-type oriented. It is integrated into the Open Access collection of transcript Verlag, which now comprises more than 850 titles, and will productively and effectively reinforce the publisher's previous commitment to Open Access with the aim of radiating far beyond the transcript programme and promoting an open scholarly culture in the 21st century.

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