Arc aims to become the Open Access academic publisher of choice for scholars in medieval and related studies. During recent library closures and lockdowns it has become clear how desperately we need to make available cutting-edge research quickly, preferably online, and ideally free. Our OA policy responds to this pressing need.
Full List of Arc’s Open Access Books
See the full list by clicking here on the Arc Humanities Press page of the Directory of Open Access Books.
We recognise Open Access publishing as an important way of ensuring the best new research in medieval and related studies receives as broad an audience as possible. We also know that humanities scholars are avid readers and as part of our Open Access policy we are trialling paperback pricing sensitive to the individual book-purchaser’s budget in order to increase the accessibility of your research.
We see Open Access as a key aspect of how we disseminate, raise, and develop each author’s publishing profile. The aim is to make your work as accessible as possible, in a variety of formats, in timely fashion. To this end we have developed an attractive open access model for academic authors:
- Gold OA alongside short-run hardback, followed by short-run paperback six to eight months later, where sales justify
- funded by public agencies, private foundations, our own crowd-funding program, and collaborative partnerships with learned societies.
Arc is run by a team of committed publishing and acquisitions professionals in North America, the UK, and Australia on a remote-working business model. This allows us to combine breadth and depth of expertise with modest overheads. This means we can keep our OA book publishing charges (BPCs) highly competitive and respond flexibly to the needs of your project.
We can tailor charges to individual circumstances, and publishing outputs to the OA requirements of the institutional and research environment in which you are working together with the practical specifications of your book. This can include agreeing a fast turn-around time (about six months from delivery of a post-peer-reviewed manuscript) if your funder requires it.
In addition to making Gold Open Access books freely available for download, we can produce print and ebook versions for sale in a so-called “hybrid Open Access” arrangement. Royalties on sales of print copies and ebooks will be payable in the standard way. Open Access titles receive the same high standard of peer review, copy-editing, and marketing as all our other titles.
Talk to your acquisitions editor as early as possible to get a bespoke quotation for your Open Access book.
Our funding principles are:
1. Institutions and Research Bodies
We require our authors to seek funding first from research bodies if their research has been independently funded (i.e., from outside their home institution); failing that, from their dean, research office, their university, or a foundation for which they are eligible. If these avenues are exhausted or the scholar is not eligible for such funds (e.g., is an early careers or contingent researcher, an independent scholar, or from a poorly-funded environment), then Arc is anxious to make Open Access possible through one of the next two routes.
2. Research Network Funding through our Future Perfect Networks Awards Scheme
Arc is actively working with research networks to fund Open Access monographs. The typical funding here is $10,000 per monograph. Such networks can be regional or national clusters of universities, international collaborations of universities linked by a particular research specialism, learned societies, or associations. The networks solicit proposals, following criteria agreed with the press, and select an award winner whose book is contracted to be published in Open Access. Their financial award goes directly to make this particular publication possible.
3. Crowdfunding through our Future Perfect New Voices Awards Program
Arc is nominating each year a list of eligible monographs for Open Access crowd-funding. It is seeking libraries and other partners to contribute $500 per year for each of three years. In addition, Arc itself, its authors, and editorial boards are donating income from royalties into a dedicated Open Access fund. This money gets allocated each year to fund as many of the listed monographs so that they can be published in the following year as Open Access. In addition, the funding partners identify their preferred recipients so that they help curate an OA publishing program alongside the press.
Arc welcomes Open Access publications, whether monographs (conventional length or short-form) or thematic collections of articles, and Open Access publication of individual articles in collections or journal issues. We negotiate a price for each on the basis of the following principles:
1. Our costs. A recent study, across a wide range of university presses and academic-led presses like ourselves, shows that the costs of publishing a monograph are typically between $28,000 and $48,000. Arc’s costs are generally a third of this level, through our lean, efficient structure. This allows us to offer OA rates lower than most publishers.
2. The research agency’s requirements and funds. We take into account the norms or requirements of the funding agency, including the availability of funds for the scholars in question (e.g., from their own university, or national or international agencies). However, we cannot subsidize such publications from our own funds.
3. Turnaround time. Typically, after delivery of definitive text after peer-review, we can undertake copyediting, typesetting, and cover and other design work, in 5-6 months. A more rapid turnaround, if required to satisfy deliverables promised to the funding agency, is negotiable.
4. The extent of the publication and production factors. Naturally, the word-count and image-count may make production more complex (or easier) and such factors affect our costs. In addition, we can undertake the following, to speed and simplify the process for you:
o Developmental editing (e.g., where the author or contributors are not native-English speakers).
o Creation of indexes; gaining permissions for the use of images.
o Image manipulation, map-making, and other artwork.
To which sorts of volumes does this apply?
We offer Gold and Hybrid Open Access for monographs and thematic collections. Gold Open Access is not available for classroom texts, critical editions, and some reference works. This therefore usually precludes our Past Imperfect or Foundations series.
Hosting of Arc’s Open Access Volumes on OAPEN
Books published under Arc’s Open Access model are made immediately available on publication. A PDF version of the published book is downloadable for free on Europe’s leading platform, OAPEN, based at the Dutch Royal Library. Publications are automatically then listed in the Directory of Open Access Books, which is the central register for OA publications worldwide and used by librarians to identify such publications.
Creative Commons Licence
We recommend the CC BY-NC-ND licence, which we think is the most suitable Creative Commons licence for humanities monographs, and which many authors prefer. Alternatives are possible and we consider requests of funding agencies as well as the wishes of the author. The particular licence is agreed in the contract and specified on the copyright page of the publication.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
Gold Open Access article processing charges are applied to journal articles and book chapters using the same principles as explained above.
Arc is happy for authors to post a pdf version of a chapter of a book or an article online, on a non-commercial site only (for example a personal website or institutional repository).
Preprint versions of such material may be included in commercial sites such as academia.edu and ResearchGate. A preprint version is the version submitted to the press prior to peer-reviewing having taken place.