Invest in Open Access

Open Access

In the humanities, the monograph acts as the lab where scholars experiment and engage with other thinkers. Despite the valuable ideas emerging from these fields, the academic community has struggled to find sustainable ways to make humanities monographs open access. Grant money and other funding is often less available to these scholars than to their counterparts in the sciences. As a result, the academic and publishing communities have had to explore new ways to make the turn to open. Fund to Mission from the University of Michigan Press is one such project to open up the best humanities scholarship to the global community.

The endeavor of opening humanities content to the world is a vital one. As the core places where work in these fields is done, monographs have the potential to be spaces that inspire dialogues and connections. When monographs exist only behind paywalls, there is less of an opportunity for global collaborations to happen. However, when these monographs become open access, new opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange emerge.

The University of Michigan Press has moved towards open access for its monographs precisely in order to provide these new opportunities for exploration. Ensuring that everyone has access to this scholarship, no matter where they are located or what their institutional affiliation is, can only strengthen the humanities.

Overview of Fund to Mission Open Access Model

Working with LYRASIS, the University of Michigan has been taking steps to develop a publishing program that aligns with our mission and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. In the spring of 2021, the Press announced it is transitioning to an open access monograph model termed Fund to Mission.

Fund to Mission demonstrates a return to the origins of the university press movement and moves toward a more open, sustainable infrastructure for the humanities and social sciences. Our goal is to convert at least 75% of U-M Press monographs to open access by the end of 2023, without any author ever having to pay.

The Funding Model

Libraries are invited to continue to participate in the University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection (UMP EBC) by way of our current fair pricing. However, rather than only funding a paywalled collection, an increasing percentage of titles become open access. By committing to purchase one of the UMP EBC packages (listed below), libraries:

  • Support the conversion to open access of at least half (~40) of University of Michigan Press scholarly monographs in 2022. (If we realize our goal, we will expand this percentage in succeeding years.);
  • Receive perpetual access to the remaining restricted frontlist titles and term access to the backlist (~1,700 titles), which will otherwise remain closed to non-purchasers;
  • Support authors’ ability to publish innovative, digital scholarship leveraging the next-generation, open-source Fulcrum platform.

Investment Options

2021-2023 Transitional Collection

Upfront purchase of the 2021, 2022, and 2023 frontlists (the OA percentage of which will be determined based on funding, but with a goal of at least 50% per year in 2022 and 2023). Libraries will own the restricted titles in perpetuity as they become available and will have term access to the backlist through 2023.

Tier Carnegie Classification CRKN Bands Price
5 15 Bands 12, 13 $17,877
4 16-18 Bands 11, 10 $13,407
3 19-21 Bands 9, 8 $8,937
2 22-23 Bands 7, 6, 5 $4,470
1 1-14 Bands 4, 3, 2, 1 $2,145

Frontlist Pricing

Purchase of the restricted-access frontlist (minimum of 80 restricted access titles + 10 additional OA). Libraries will own the restricted titles in perpetuity and have term-access to the backlist through the publishing year purchased.

Tier Carnegie Classification CRKN Bands Price
5 15 Bands 12, 13 $5,959
4 16-18 Bands 11, 10 $4,469
3 19-21 Bands 9, 8 $2,979
2 22-23 Bands 7, 6, 5 $1,490
1 1-14 Bands 4, 3, 2, 1 $715

Backlist Bundle Pricing

Upfront perpetual purchase of the current complete backlist (years 2012-2020) with term access to the growing archive of pre-2012 titles.

Tier Carnegie Classification CRKN Bands Price
5 15 Bands 12, 13 $47,769
4 16-18 Bands 11, 10 $35,825
3 19-21 Bands 9, 8 $23,889
2 22-23 Bands 7, 6, 5 $11,944
1 1-14 Bands 4, 3, 2, 1 $5,729

International Pricing

Pricing for institutions outside the US, Canada, and UK is based on national income level, as determined by the World Bank, and the highest degree offered.

Tier High Income Upper Middle Income (25%) Lower Middle Income (50%)Low Income (75%)
Doctoral $5,959 $4,469 $2,980$1,490
Master's $4,469 $3,352 $2,235$1,117
Baccalaureate $1,490 $1,118 $745$373
Associates $715 $536 $358 $179

Complete Title List

The Mission

With Fund to Mission, we are asking for shared investment in strengthening humanities and social sciences infrastructure and scholarship. Through a transparent model that fits with existing library workflows and provides unique benefits to supporters, we hope to:

  • Expand inclusive, equitable access to high-quality humanities and qualitative social science scholarship for diverse, global audiences;
  • Increase the number of accessible, open learning resources for students that are instantly available, downloadable, and free of DRM restrictions;
  • Expand the demonstrated opportunity for increased visibility and impact that open access provides to all authors, without the inequities of “pay to publish”;
  • Demonstrate support for a non-profit infrastructure and sustainable business model, on a platform that already hosts other university press content and collections;
  • Inspire the leaders of parent institutions to financially support their presses in more sustainable and open approaches to monograph publishing.

What We Do With the Money

In 2020 we worked with consultant Kimberly Schmelzinger to do a detailed analysis of the cost of just the Press’s specialist monograph program. The total cost of producing 80 books a year came to $1,650,000, and that meant that in order to make those titles open access, we would need to find that amount of financial support. With Fund to Mission, that money comes from three main pools: the University of Michigan Provost, author and funding institutions, and library investments. We anticipate that some print sales will still occur regardless of a monograph’s open access status, and this will help fill in the funding gap.

Our current goal is to receive $400,000 in continuing support from libraries for Fund to Mission. The money given to the Fund to Mission program goes to support the transition of the monograph program at the University of Michigan Press to open access.

  • Approximately 15% of the money from the Fund to Mission program goes to the non-profit incubator LYRASIS to support their efforts in publicizing and managing the institutional side of the program.
  • Another 15% of the funding goes to pay for Fulcrum, our hosting platform.
  • Because some monographs in the collection remain restricted access, royalties must be paid on those titles.
  • The rest of the money goes back into the program for editing, production, design work, and marketing.

Once the 2021 collection year has closed we are excited to share a thorough breakdown of how the money was spent.

How to Purchase

Libraries interested in supporting Fund to Mission can request a quote from LYRASIS, our sales partner, here:

With additional questions, please email

How We Open Content

The following chart shows what percentage of titles in the University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection we aim to make open access in their respective collection years.

Collection Year Open Access Goal
2021 Collection 20%
2022 Collection 50%
2023 Collection 75%

Those percentages mean that, at least in the near future, some monographs will be restricted access. The decision of which titles to open and which to restrict is based on multiple considerations.

  • When determining whether or not a title will be open access we first appraise the potential impact of the scholarship and the benefit to broader society of making it widely and freely available. Issues regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are cornerstones in our strategic mission and play a role in our decision-making process. We also use our knowledge of the subject area of a given title. How friendly is the field to open access? Will publishing the title open access make it ineligible for the major reviews and awards in the field?
  • Our next step involves having a conversation with the author. We share information about how making monographs open access increases their readership and impact globally, and we discuss concerns the author may have, including their own perception of OA in their field, whether or not tenure standards at their institution consider OA material to be qualifying scholarly contributions, their relationship to royalties, and numerous other factors.
  • If we think that a title is a good candidate for open access and the author agrees with us, then we move forward with our standard monograph peer review, editorial, production, and marketing processes. We believe that opening scholarship does not mean decreasing publication standards. Rather, open access is simply a different, more equitable, funding model that deepens global conversations and enables monographs to have a larger impact.
  • By opening our content and showing that monographs increase their usage, reach, and accolades by being open, we hope to encourage more scholars to pursue open access scholarship in the future.

Our Library Supporters

  • Bates College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Brock University
  • Broward College
  • Buena Vista University
  • The Claremont Colleges
  • Colby College
  • College of Coastal Georgia
  • Columbia University
  • Denison University
  • Drake University
  • Duke University
  • Duquesne University
  • Emory University
  • Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Grinnell College
  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • Iowa State University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kenyon College
  • Lafayette College
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Luther College
  • Michigan State University
  • Montana State University
  • Northwestern University
  • New York University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rowan University
  • Rutgers University
  • Saint Ambrose University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Stanford University
  • Syracuse University
  • Swarthmore College
  • Trent University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Arizona
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Vassar College
  • Yale University

Library Partner Group

The University of Michigan Press is launching its Library Partner Group as part of our efforts to engage with the needs of the library community and the complexity of the open access landscape. We look forward to sharing more details about the group in February 2022. If you have questions, please email