NYU Libraries, NYU Press Lead Project to Develop Innovative Open Access Monographs


New York University Libraries and NYU Press have received a grant of $786,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop infrastructure to enable publication of a new scholarly form: the Enhanced Networked Monograph. The three-year project will allow the Press to publish monographs that feature new ways for readers to engage with scholarly works and new workflows for publishers to create them.

New York University Libraries and NYU Press have received a grant of $786,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop infrastructure to enable publication of a new scholarly form: the Enhanced Networked Monograph. The three-year project will allow the Press to publish monographs that feature new ways for readers to engage with scholarly works and new workflows for publishers to create them.

The monographs will be “networked” in several ways. They will: be published as open access on the web; weave together archival resources from other places on the web; bring together communities of readers through commentary and annotation; and be part of a semantic network that offers precise and relevant discovery of concepts within each work, across the entire corpus of works in the project, and potentially in context with a larger body of material.

The goal of the project is to balance the needs of scholars, publishers, libraries, and readers in the creation of online works that may contain media and archival content in multiple formats, can be produced efficiently, are easily discoverable, and invite and measure reader engagement.

The corpus of monographs being enhanced includes backlist books from NYU Press and its project partners, University of Michigan Press and University of Minnesota Press, and new books from NYU Press.

“The Press has long been one of the most forward-looking academic publishers,” says Dean of Libraries Carol A. Mandel. “Now, as digital tools are reshaping scholarship in the humanities, NYU Press is among the leaders in using them to expand what academic publishing can do to foster that scholarship.”

The Libraries and the Press have collaborated since 2008 on new models of scholarly publishing, including MediaCommons, a community network of innovative publications in media studies, and the open access publication of sixty-five backlist Press titles online in the highly functional EPUB format, one of the first such efforts. With a current grant from the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Project (DML), the Press will publish approximately five new books over the next three years, make them available in open access, and, with NYU’s Digital Library Technology Services, explore and implement options for online publishing, such as social media sharing, annotation, and effective discovery of content from the web.

The Networked Monographs project builds on these collaborations. It will enable NYU to enrich a corpus of books with semantic tags of critical concepts, names, and geographic locations, resulting in a rich index that will be exposed for discovery on the open web. In addition, NYU will develop a publication platform that enables the texts to be enriched with archival material in sustainable ways, and allows readers to annotate, cite, and share the content with their own networks.

“With each digital project, we see more potential,” says Ellen Chodosh, director of NYU Press. “Now we envision e-books that can link ideas and people--actually foster their own scholarly networks.”

Enhanced Networked Monographs is one of several projects in a new initiative by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support development of web-oriented infrastructure for the editing, production, dissemination, and discovery of long-form digital publications in the humanities.

The NYU Division of Libraries holds over 4 million volumes and comprises five libraries in Manhattan and one each in Brooklyn, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai,. Its flagship, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square, receives 2.6 million visits annually. Around the world the Libraries offers access to more than 1.2 million electronic journals, books, and databases. For more information about the NYU Libraries, please visit http://library.nyu.edu

Press Contact

Christopher James
Christopher James
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