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AFS and ACLS Offer E-Publishing Opportunity

Tuesday, March 8, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
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AFS and the American Council of Learned Societies are happy to announce their participation in the Humanities Open Book project, which will offer an opportunity for scholarly authors in the field of folklore studies to reach new audiences through the electronic publication of previously published works no longer in print. The project, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, will offer a set of open access titles. The ACLS Humanities E-Book collection and the American Folklore Society have joined with this effort and invite scholarly authors in the field of folklore studies who have retained or regained the publication rights to their titles to propose their inclusion in this new national collection.   

The new project focuses on out-of-print works as “a huge, mostly untapped resource of remarkable scholarship going back decades that is largely unused by today’s scholars, teachers, students, and members of the public, many of whom turn first to the Internet when looking for information. . . . The Humanities Open Book pilot grant program aims to “unlock” these books by republishing them as high-quality electronic books that anyone in the world can download and read on computers, tablets, or mobile phones at no charge.” ACLS and the American Folklore Society are now alerting AFS members to the opportunity to have their out-of-print works republished as part of this signal national initiative to widen the circulation of humanities scholarship. You can learn more about the Humanities Open Book initiative at

ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB) is one of ten publishers and aggregators selected to build the Humanities Open Book list. HEB is an online collection of approximately 4,000 books of high quality in the humanities, accessible through institutional and individual subscription. These titles are offered by the ACLS in collaboration with thirty-one learned societies, over 100 contributing publishers, and the Michigan Publishing division at the University of Michigan Library. HEB is the only publishing program maintained by ACLS on a continuing basis in-house. This project is distinctive in being a digital collection selected by scholars, not publishers. 

While most of the HEB collection is available through subscribing college and university libraries, the titles selected for Humanities Open Book will be made available on an open access basis. Authors who have retained or regained rights to their publications will sign a non-exclusive agreement with ACLS that will include the provisions of one of two Creative Commons licenses: “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA) and “Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs (BY-NC-ND)”. Both licenses protect the integrity and recognition of their works.

ACLS will carry out the conversation of print titles to Epub formatting, place the new works in both the HEB and HOB collections, and publicize their availability. 

Authors interested in this opportunity should consult for a list of FAQs and a questionnaire regarding the candidate title. Nominations should be sent to by May 1. ACLS will consult with an AFS committee and a panel of ACLS reviewers in the selection of titles for inclusion. The criteria for their selection will include intellectual excellence, importance to the field of folklore studies, pedagogical utility, and the potential to attract readers from outside the academy.

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