So How Did UMP Books Do in 2022?
Thanks to purchases by over 100 libraries, support from our parent institution, and a great group of authors, University of Michigan Press hit its target of publishing 50% of its frontlist monographs open access. The books got used . . . alot!
The UMP Fund to Mission program is gradually increasing the percentage of the University of Michigan Press frontlist that is published open access. In 2021 our target was 20%, in 2022 it was 50%, and in 2023 75%. Our dedicated acquisitions team is hitting these numbers every year, and in 2022 that meant that 40 of our best scholarly books were published with an immediate open-access ebook edition.
We saw substantial use of these open-access titles. Divide the total use (quantified using COUNTER 5 Total Item Requests) by 40, and the average number of uses in 2022 of books published in 2022 is 8,314. However, one digital project skews the picture dramatically: Vidding: A History includes almost 150 videos on the open-source Fulcrum platform through which author Francesca Coppa traces the development of video fan fiction. The use of these individual items rolls up to account for over half of our numbers. Remove Vidding from the table, and the average falls to 3,826 uses on average.
The top titles reflect some headline themes in 2022, including The Politics of Bad Governance in Contemporary Russia, Electoral Campaigns, Media, and the New World of Digital Politics, and Pride, Not Prejudice: National Identity as a Pacifying Force in East Asia. Readers left inspired to do more:
“Besides reading it in its entirety, I plan on using it in my research on the changing nature of accountable governance. When I complete my own work I will be seeking a publisher who uses open access.”
Look beyond just the 2022 OA titles, and we were excited to see UMP ebooks used more than 2 million times during the year. The percentage of the use from our main platform partners saw the UMP EBC collection on Fulcrum account for 42% of use, JSTOR 22%, ProQuest 14%, OAPEN 12%, MUSE 7%, and EBSCO 3%. JSTOR remains a dominant third-party platform in the open-access space.
Our books were used in 227 countries and territories, but our top institutional users were Michigan's traditional frenemies just down the road at The Ohio State University. While numbers are fascinating - if tricky - measures of the impact of our work, it is the comments we receive from users that tell the best story of impact:
“I think it's absolutely lovely, and essential, that universities and researchers make an effort to provide their work for free when they can. My financial situation doesn't allow me to buy much; most of my budget goes to food. I'm limited to what's available at local libraries and what I can get for free. I couldn't choose to buy this book because the money to do so simply isn't there; I only get to read it because you chose to hand it out for free. I'm grateful for that.”