Boston Library Consortium Supports JSTOR Path to Open

Reposted from JSTOR

Eight BLC libraries join JSTOR and the academic community in developing a sustainable path for open access university press monographs at scale.

March 20, 2024 - Boston Library Consortium (BLC), a coalition of libraries in the northeastern United States that share knowledge, infrastructure, and resources at scale, is the latest consortium to join Path to Open, a pilot program to support the open access publication of new groundbreaking scholarly books that will bring diverse perspectives and research to millions of people. Designated as an opt-in program for BLC’s member institutions, eight libraries signed on immediately, including Boston Public Library—the first public library to join Path to Open.

“BLC’s commitment to the Path to Open initiative marks a step forward in democratizing access to scholarly research and knowledge,” says Charlie Barlow, BLC’s Executive Director. “By collaborating with JSTOR, the libraries in our diverse membership network are supporting a scalable and sustainable model for open access in scholarly publishing that shows significant promise.”

BLC members joining Path to Open so far include: Boston Public Library, Brandeis University, Trinity College, Tufts University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the University of New Hampshire, Wellesley College, and Wesleyan University. The college and university libraries support the learning and research needs of more than 50,000 students and faculty, while Boston Public Library serves over 6 million people.  

Patrons served by these libraries have immediate access to Path to Open books as they are published on JSTOR. Every Path to Open book becomes open access three years after publication.

Among the first Path to Open books released last fall are several published by the University of Massachusetts Press. These books include: An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans, Revised and Updated Edition by Lydia Maria Child, author and Carolyn Karcher, ED; Blood and Ink: The Barbary Archive in Early American Literary History by Jacob Crane; Book Anatomy: Body Politics and the Materiality of Indigenous Book History by Amy Gore; and Composting Utopia: Experimental Infrastructures for Organics Recycling in New York City by Guy Schaffer.

Community-wide collaboration is at the heart of Path to Open. By working together, libraries, presses, and authors aim to: create a sustainable funding model that provides libraries with affordable access to diverse, high-quality frontlist titles; support small and medium university presses in open access publishing; help authors reach a global audience; and advance equity of access to underserved researchers around the world.

“Boston Library Consortium is known for empowering its members through investment in scalable resources and approaches,” says Rebecca Seger, VP of Institutional Participation and Strategic Partnerships at ITHAKA. “Their support for Path to Open, and the participation of BLC member institutions, enables ground-breaking new research in the humanities and social sciences to be published and used through an affordable, open access model that—with broad, continuous community support—promises to be a sustainable way forward for scholarly monographs.”

Learn more about Path to Open

About Boston Library Consortium

The Boston Library Consortium (BLC) empowers a coalition of libraries in the northeastern United States to share knowledge, infrastructure, and resources at scale. Founded in 1970, BLC’s strength lies in its diverse membership network of public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, state libraries, public libraries, and special libraries united by a commitment to champion innovation through collaboration. 


JSTOR is a part of ITHAKA, a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve access to knowledge and education for people around the world. As a nonprofit that believes in the power of knowledge to change the world for the better, JSTOR partners with libraries, museums, and publishers to reduce costs, extend access, and preserve scholarship for the future as affordably and sustainably as possible. At JSTOR, we strengthen the depth and quality of research by bringing together journals, books, images, and primary sources on a platform with unique tools for teaching and exploration. We do this because we believe in the power of knowledge to  change the world for the better.

If your institution is interested in joining JSTOR's Path to Open initiative through BLC, please email Charlie Barlow.

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Boston Library Consortium