Publishing a book is a milestone in most academic careers. IU Bloomington’s Carl Weinberg looks forward to such a milestone in Fall 2021, and IU Bloomington’s TOME program helped him reach it.
The TOME program (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) supports publication of open-access digital monographs in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. The program is organized by the Association of American Universities, Association of Research Libraries, and Association of University Presses. Participating universities such as IU provide publishing grants of $15,000 for open-access projects. Open access is a growing area in scholarly publishing that advances free and open online access to journal articles, books, and more.
Weinberg’s book, “Red Dynamite: Creationism, Culture Wars, and Anticommunism in America”, uses the Scopes "Monkey" Trial as its starting point to examine the intersection of Darwinism with communism and the anticommunist arguments of creationists.
Weinberg intended all along for the book’s “culture wars” focus to be of interest to a wider audience. Still, he was a bit hesitant when first considering an open-access version of his work.
“My initial reaction was to be a little skeptical,” said Weinberg, who is a senior lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences and adjunct associate professor of history. “I wondered, would anyone buy the actual printed book? How would an open-access version be viewed by other scholars? How might this affect the book’s eligibility for awards and such?”
Weinberg explored those questions with colleagues and friends, and was quickly reassured.
“The overall response was, do not worry about it,” he said. “And the more I thought about it, the more I realized there is no substantial downside, and there is a substantial upside, that the book can get out more widely than it normally would.”
With the TOME funding, Weinberg’s publisher, Cornell University Press, will make an open-access digital edition of the book available on the platforms of Project MUSE, JSTOR, DeGruyter, and cornellopen.org. An e-book will also be available for free download on Amazon. The print edition will be published as a paperback right away, without having to go through hardcover edition first, which also increases the book’s availability.
Indeed, greater dissemination of high-quality research and knowledge is the express purpose of the TOME program, according to Ed Dallis-Comentale, associate vice provost for arts and humanities at IU Bloomington, who oversees IU’s TOME program.
“The TOME project is designed to support IU authors in their efforts to reach wider audiences for their work, boost a struggling academic publishing industry, and model alternative, more sustainable modes of scholarly publication,” Dallis-Comentale said. “IU colleagues have used the fund produce several top-notch monographs, and it’s exciting to see IU at the forefront of this initiative.”
Other IU faculty with published books supported by TOME funding include
- Ronald Day, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, “Documentarity: Evidence, Ontology, and Inscription” (The MIT Press)
- Justin Hodgson, College of Arts and Sciences, "Post-Digital Rhetoric and the New Aesthetic" (Ohio State University Press)
- Clemence Pinaud, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, “War and Genocide in South Sudan” (Cornell University Press)
- Brenda Weber, College of Arts and Sciences, “Latter-day Screens: Gender, Sexuality, and Mediated Mormonism” (Duke University Press)
- Trent Williams (with Dean Shepherd), Kelley School of Business, "Spontaneous Venturing: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Alleviating Suffering in the Aftermath of a Disaster" (The MIT Press)
“The TOME program really opens up possibilities,” Weinberg said. “I’m very grateful to IU for facilitating the open-access funding, and I really look forward to sharing my book with the world.”