In 2018, JSTOR received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the digitization of 680 out-of-print titles from El Colegio de México Press and the dissemination of those titles on an openly accessible basis.

In a new white paper, we document the significance of this work, the process used to select and digitize titles, and what we’ve learned about the usage of this collection. We hope this will benefit other initiatives interested in increasing access to out-of-print materials.

The usage of the ebooks has been significant. Every single title has been used, with more than 500,000 total uses. The data show that there is a broad audience for this scholarship; the titles have been used in 173 countries and territories. On average, the Colmex ebooks are used 57% as much as Open Access titles in English on our platform—an impressive amount of usage of Spanish-language titles on a primarily English-language scholarly content site.

This project also built a foundation for continued work on the Open Access dissemination of Latin American scholarship. JSTOR is currently participating in a pilot led by the Latin American Research Resources Project (LARRP), a consortium of research libraries that is funding the Open Access distribution of 200 titles published in 2018-2019 by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). This initiative will test a framework for the sustainable, long-term stewardship of Open Access scholarly monographs.