OER and University of Hawai‘i Press Publishing Services

University of Hawaii PressKatherine Fisher, Publishing Services Coordinator at the University of Hawai‘i Press, writes about the publishing services that the UH Press can provide faculty who want to create OER that are copyedited and have a professional layout:


Thanks to Sara Rutter for inviting me to post about the University of Hawai’i Press’s new publishing services arm. I’m excited to learn about the innovative educational resources and research projects underway around UH, and I hope UH Press Publishing can help get some of them ready for students and teachers to use. In this post I’ll answer a few questions you might have about UH Press Publishing Services. I’m also happy to answer additional questions in the comments.

How can UH Press Publishing Services support OER projects?
We can assist UH faculty and other authors who want to write or edit an open textbook but lack the time or knowledge to copyedit, proofread, typeset, and create digital forms of their work. We can also help to make out-of-print books available again for use online and in classrooms (provided that prior publishing contracts have lapsed or rights have reverted to authors).

What can UH Press Publishing Services do?
Our services cover the full range of tasks involved in turning a manuscript into a print or digital book, from editing the text to manufacturing the books (or generating the epubs, as the case may be). We can prepare files for use on most platforms and facilitate deposit in OA repositories for long-term access and preservation. We also provide print and digital distribution support for select projects. While we most often work on books, we can help produce other types of OER as well.

How much does it cost?
The program operates on a cost-recovery basis, meaning that we charge the author or sponsor a fee to cover the staff time and production expenses involved in completing the project. This frees up the Press to support experimental projects, books with a limited market, or materials meant to be freely distributed, because we don’t have to make up our costs in sales. Depending on the complexity of the project and the range of services requested, the fee may range from $500 to several thousand dollars. Typically funding is provided by a grant, a sponsoring department or institution, a fundraising campaign, or the author directly.

What can you do with the book?
Anything you want! All rights remain with the author of the work (we encourage the use of Creative Commons licenses). You own the content and the digital files, so once the production fees have been paid, you can release your writing into the public domain, give away print copies of the book or sell them at cost, place a digital download in an OER repository or on your website, or distribute the title through a print-on-demand service like CreateSpace.

What are the advantages of working with UH Press Publishing Services?
There are many companies out there providing publishing services, and you might find that one of them is the best fit for your project, but we do have some unique advantages. Most simply, we offer local, in-person project management assistance—I’m the current campus-based consultant—for busy authors who don’t have time to coordinate each step of the process with vendors and don’t wish to manage their projects remotely. UH Press is a nonprofit publisher serving other nonprofit and educational organizations, and our goal in setting prices is to offer the best services possible and cover our costs without a significant markup. Finally, our expertise in publishing academic work and our connections in the world of scholarly communication mean that we are prepared to produce the types of projects coming out of the UH community, whether monographic or pedagogical, traditional or experimental.

To learn more or propose a project, contact me at kefisher@hawaii.edu.

Posted by Sara Rutter