Emory University, in partnership with the University of Michigan, has received a grant of $73,500 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create a model publishing contract for digital scholarship. Through a yearlong process of iterative drafting and community consultation, this project will develop a model author-publisher contract optimized for the publication of digital scholarship. The model contract will be made openly available along with ancillary legal documents, such as sample permission letters for authors to use with third-party rights holders.
Emory Libraries’ Scholarly Communications Office will lead the project, with Emory and University of Michigan faculty and administrators participating in consultative workshops and interviews. The model publishing contract builds on the findings of a previous Mellon grant to Emory to study “The Future of the Monograph in the Digital Era.” That earlier planning grant, which convened administrators and humanities faculty to study trends in the academic publication of book-length scholarship, led to a report recently published in the Journal of Electronic Publishing, available here.
“A new publishing contract is an essential building block for a transition to long-form digital scholarship in the humanities,” says Lisa Macklin, director of Emory Libraries’ Scholarly Communications Office. “Digital publishing provides new opportunities for open access distribution, and we foresee an increase in direct author subventions from universities to presses. Bringing representative stakeholders together to iteratively work through the elements of a new model contract will be a valuable way to clarify author, publisher and institution roles and responsibilities in producing and preserving digital scholarship. We are thankful to the Mellon Foundation for their continuing support of authors and presses during this time of exploration for digital publishing in the humanities.”
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