LARRP, CLACSO, JSTOR, and García Cambeiro ebook project now includes over 280 titles

A partnership led by the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project (LARRP) in collaboration with the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), JSTOR, and Latin American bookseller García Cambeiro has expanded a sustainable Open Access pilot (Publish as Open) for monographs developed and supported by the library community. This is the second phase of a project to expand Latin American OA ebooks accessible through Books at JSTOR and to explore further opportunities for developing this model with other university presses.

This project is funded by ten LARRP member libraries: New York University, Columbia University, New York Public Library, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Texas at Austin, University of Pittsburgh, University of Michigan, University of California, Los Angeles, and University of Illinois. LARRP is administered by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL).

The Publish as Open pilot was born when Angela Carreño from LARRP and García Cambeiro approached JSTOR about bringing CLACSO ebooks online in a cost effective way. Through the generous financial support of LARRP member institutions, the pilot has now published over 280 Open Access ebooks through the Books at JSTOR program.This includes all titles published from 2018 to 2020 from CLACSO in Argentina across 35 disciplines in the social sciences and humanities.These titles are now included in the Books at JSTOR Open Access program, which generated over 14 million chapter views and downloads in 2020.

Nicolás Arata, Director of Training and Open Access at CLACSO, hailed the Publish as Open pilot as an example of the organization’s strong commitment to knowledge as a public good. “This means ensuring that the books edited or co-edited by the Council can be freely available to everyone. We want to make sure that our books reach other institutions and the reading public.”

Angela Carreño, Chair of the LARRP Advisory Committee added “This librarian-driven pilot project embraces CLACSO’s vision of open scholarly communication and their commitment to a level playing field when it comes to access to information. LARRP’s endorsement and the partner library investments contributes to an open, sustainable knowledge ecosystem in the social sciences that strengthens diversity and inclusion in research collections.”

Usage for Publish as Open pilot titles has been strong and continues to grow steadily. The 282 published titles have generated over 615,000 chapter views and downloads through April 2021. These titles have been used by more than 4,000 institutions across 216 countries and territories. “We are very encouraged by the results so far,” said John Lenahan AVP, Published Content from JSTOR. “This library-funded initiative is a cost-effective and sustainable way to make high-quality academic ebooks accessible for researchers. Based on the success of this Publish as Open pilot, we look forward to working with more university presses to publish their monographs as Open Access ebooks through the Books at JSTOR program.”

Sócrates Silva, Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian for Columbia and Cornell and President of SALALM, described the project’s importance for bridging a critical gap in the scholarly communications system. “Despite established OA publishing models for scholarly works in Latin America, monograph discovery and preservation infrastructure for this important content in US libraries is virtually nonexistent. This multi-partner, horizontal, and librarian-led pilot is testing out sustainable partnerships that take into account the monograph lifecycle from publisher to library.”

Academic library funding partners from LARRP have played a key role in ensuring the success of the initiative. Melissa Guy, Director of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection at UT Austin and the former Chair of LARRP’s Advisory Committee, described the rationale for and importance of sustainable library support:

“The University of Texas Libraries, and the Benson Collection in particular, are proud to participate in this cooperative endeavor with CLACSO and JSTOR because it provides access to top-quality Latin American scholarship on a stable platform with which our users are already comfortable. Thus far, the data show that the initiative is worth our investment. Not only are our own patrons using the CLACSO OA ebooks, but we have also seen broad use throughout Latin America, which speaks to the global demand for OA content.

It is my hope that more North American institutions will join in the effort so that we can continue to expand the number of new titles available. As far as OA memberships go, this one is easy to justify in that it is relatively affordable and high impact.”

About the project partners

LARRP is a consortium of research libraries that seeks to increase free and open access to information in support of learning and scholarship in Latin American Studies. LARRP is administered by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL).

CRL is an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries. Founded in 1949, CRL supports original research and inspired teaching in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences by preserving and making available to scholars a wealth of rare and uncommon primary source materials from all world regions.

CLACSO is an international organization that brings together 680 research and postgraduate centers in the social sciences and humanities across Latin America and other continents.

JSTOR is a not-for-profit digital library for discovering and connecting research, images, and primary sources.

García Cambeiro is an Argentinian bookseller that specializes in locating, selecting, and supplying Latin American academic publications.