New Voices Open Access Awards – for library crowd-funders

Arc Humanities Press invites libraries to join us in building a sustainable, research-led Open Access monograph program for the future

The pandemic demonstrated just how useful it is for academic research to be delivered through Open Access infrastructure. Its global accessibility benefits readers and authors alike. However, many models for OA books are prohibitive for authors in the Humanities, especially for those who are Early Career Researchers, despite the fact that vibrant new ideas generated by ECRs feed the scholarly advances of the future. 

The New Voices Awards Program seeks to link researchers, libraries, and independent publishing in the common pursuit of research excellence by embedding this in a bespoke, mutually supportive relationship.

Libraries interested in participating should contact Anna Henderson.

Key Objectives

  1. target Open Access monograph funding at subject-specific research excellence in ground-breaking fields
  2. deliver OA funding where it’s most needed—supporting the work of Early Career Researchers, independent, or contingent scholars, and those from institutions (e.g., in the Global South) that are not well funded
  3. provide a scheme that suits the budgets of the widest possible range of research libraries, public libraries, museums, and archives looking to commit a modest, well-targeted ongoing-spend to OA monographs—as well as larger institutions.

How New Voices Works

  1. Suitable book proposals are pre-selected by the press’s editorial board and entered for the New Voices Awards once book manuscripts have successfully passed the peer-review process.
  2. Program participants will have the opportunity to vote on which books will receive the Awards. Arc undertakes to ensure that no books receive awards without having fully explored alternative sources of funding.
  3. Each New Voices Award provides approximately $7,500 to cover the costs of publishing one new OA monograph—immediate “gold” open access alongside hardback and affordable delayed paperback options. All other costs are borne by the press.
  4. The fee per participating institution is set at $550 per annum.
  5. The New Voices Award fund also receives contributions from individual academics.
  6. Any balance of funds that is insufficient to fund a whole Award is held over to the following year to contribute to the first full Award of that year.
  7. The aim is to make at least one New Voices Award each year for the first three years, beginning in 2022, and then review progress.
  8. On publication each title granted an Award will be made immediately available Open Access on Project MUSE and OAPEN and listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB).
  9. The subscriber agreement for participating institutions runs for three calendar years. The “Award Year” is the calendar year starting in January. The call for subscribers runs from the preceding August. Voting to prioritize allocation of Awards takes place in Spring.
  10. Alternatively participating institutions can buy a three-year commitment as an outright purchase for $1500.

Participating Institutions’ Benefits

  • Voting on who will be the beneficiaries of the Awards. This gives librarians a curating role in the development of the press’s list.
  • Annual report on the progress of New Voices, detailing books published and how participating institutions’ funds have been spent.
  • Subscription to Arc’s email newsletter.
  • MARC records (from Project MUSE and OAPEN Library) for all New Voices.
  • Usage statistics (provided by Project MUSE and OAPEN Library), for all New Voices.
  • Access to, and long-term preservation of all New Voices e-books and associated metadata (provided by Project MUSE and OAPEN Library through Portico).
  • Acknowledgment of Participating Institutions on the New Voices webpage on Arc’s website.
  • Hotlink from Institutional OA webpages to Arc’s New Voices webpage, which will include dedicated notes for ECRs on how to submit a proposal for New Voices.

Making OA Accessible for All

Open Access (OA) refers to peer-reviewed research that is free to read. Its global accessibility benefits readers and authors alike. Open access for books makes publicly-funded research widely available to all.

Arc itself is committed to reducing its monograph production costs to a quarter that of comparable North American university presses, while maintaining full peer review and high editing and production standards. Our lower cost base enables us to publish gold Open Access books more economically than many other academic publishers.

Join our New Voices Awards Program. Your participation will bring top-quality research to a global audience in an inclusive way.