According to a Times Higher Education story by Paul Jump, University College London is going to do its own publishing and move to open access in a big way:
The UCL Press imprint, which it had previously licensed to commercial publishers, was repatriated by the university earlier this year. UCL Press is now a department within the institution’s Library Services, whose director and acting group manager, Paul Ayris, told Times Higher Education that the germ of the idea had simply been his observation that, unlike UCL, “competitor” institutions already had their own presses, which “seemed a bit odd”.
But the wisdom of adopting “a more proactive approach to research dissemination” quickly became apparent to him.
One advantage is enabling postgraduates to publish earlier in their careers than would typically be possible, with student societies able to establish “overlay journals” on UCL’s repository. One example, known as Slovo – produced by postgraduates in Slavonic and East European studies – is already up and running, having been converted from its previous paper format after UCL Press’ “soft launch” in August. […]
The other major inspiration for UCL Press was the need to address the “broken” monograph business model, as well as the reluctance of some arts, humanities and social science scholars to get involved with open access, Dr Ayris explained.
“Most commercially produced monographs are aimed at the library market because of their [high] price. But library budgets are so squeezed by meeting the demands of journal inflation that there is less and less money for monographs,” he said.
Hence, UCL Press will follow Manchester University Press in also publishing open-access monographs.
Dr Ayris sees open access as a potential saviour of the monograph, provided funders are willing to follow the example of the Wellcome Trust and cover publication charges. UCL academics – at least one of whom will have to sit on the editorial board managing the monograph series – again will be exempt from author charges.
Slovo is here, and it looks very interesting (Thomas McLenachan, “Truth is Stranger than Science Fiction: The Quest for Knowledge in Andrei Tarkovskii’s Solaris and Stalker”! John A. Riley’s review of Trudno byt Bogom/Hard to be a God!). Via MetaFilter.
Addendum. Another nice bit of open access (via Memiyawanzi): the Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Greek Linguistics is out and free to download from this site (warning: almost 1,900-page pdf); most of the papers are in Greek, but there are quite a few in English (e.g., Angelos Lengeris & Katerina Nicolaidis, “Greek consonant confusions by native listeners in quiet and noise”; Nikos Liosis, “Language varieties of the Peloponnese: Contact in diachrony”; Nikos Liosis & Eirini Kriki, “Towards a typology of relative clauses in late Medieval Greek”).