With a strong editorial board to oversee publications and peer review, this initiative provides a venue for publication that is reputable for scholars as well as convenient for readers. It will facilitate rapid publication of scholarly editions of primary Sources, article-length Essays, conference Proceedings and monographs and thematic Studies. Usage rights are in accord with the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.
Convenient access is offered by:
- Printed copies at an affordable price (about $25) from epubli, Amazon and other booksellers;
- Free PDF download for individual annotating, organizing and self-printing;
- Free ePub download for use with ebook readers, iPhones and iPads (see our introduction to ebooks).
The Max Planck Institute explains:
Based on and extending the functionalities of the existing open access repository European Cultural Heritage Online (ECHO), this initiative aims at a model for an unprecedented, web-based scientific working environment integrating access to information with interactive features. (About)
What needs do open-access publishing ventures meet?
- Is your scholarly monograph being published at a price that is affordable?
- Is it published rapidly?
- Can readers access it conveniently on their ebook readers and on their computers, as well as in a printed format?
- As an editor or collaborator, would you and your fellow authors benefit from a web-based working environment?
With publication costs rising, even libraries can no longer afford all the weighty tomes they might once have acquired. Unfortunately, many works end up being unread by those who would otherwise find them worthwhile. To publish at ever-increasing costs to reach an ever-diminishing audience is not sustainable. Something has to give.
Many writers choose to put their work online, and some have reported that the widespread reader interest generated by making a work available for free paradoxically increased the sales of the same work in printed format.
Yet scholars have additional needs beyond affordability and convenient access. Scholarship receives a measure of validation by passing through a rigorous process of peer-review before publication. Traditionally, peer review has been overseen by publishers, but now an increasing number of professional societies and institutions are offering peer-reviewed, open access publication. Max Planck Open Access Editions promises to become one of the leading examples of open-access scholarly publication in the history of science.