Bringing research to a global audience
A founding principle of NIAS Press was to make Nordic Asia scholarship visible around the world. Nowadays, with over 60 per cent of our authors non-Nordic, everyone is treated the same – we aim to bring all of our books to a global readership.
Just how this is done is rapidly changing.
Traditionally, we have offered our books in paperback format as well as hardback, pricing them to be affordable to the individual scholar. Lower priced e-books are now added to the menu presented to readers. Not all readers can afford these prices, however, no matter how reasonable they might be.
Open Access (OA) – making digital copies of our books freely available and without charge – is one solution.
Although the high cost of academic publishing forces NIAS Press to sell its books, since 2011 it has taken part in a programme based in Sweden to make scientific publications freely available. At its core is the Digitala Vetenskapliga Arkivet (Digital Scientific Archive), a digital repository that can be searched via the DiVA Portal. Works on DiVA can also be found and accessed via a large number of other national and international search tools, such as OpenAire, Swepub, Libris, Google Scholar, WorldCat and BASE.
Our policy is to add all of our books to DiVAS’s open-access repository within two years of publication. However, authors are consulted; they are the creators (and usually copyright holders) of their works. In addition, where NIAS Press does not own the digital rights for a title, this is not uploaded to DiVA.
Immediate open access
Increasingly, authors or the funders of their research are stipulating that books are made freely available, immediately on publication (so-called “gold” Open Access). NIAS Press is happy to accommodate this requirement but needs to levy a book processing charge. We shall also continue to sell printed copies of the work.
How much is this charge? That depends on individual circumstances. In all cases, we shall prepare a budget for the book and suggest an OA charge. NIAS Press is a not-for-profit university publisher and Open Access is a service we offer to our authors, not a business model. As such, our charges are reasonable.
Of course, some funders are agreeable to deferred open access (say, until six months after initial publication). In those circumstances, the charge requested is less.
More than funding
All NIAS Press books without exception are peer reviewed. Scholarly assessment is our gateway to publication. Funding considerations may shape our publication decisions (say, if a book will be expensive to produce) but money itself will not buy publication. As such, having the funds to pay an OA charge is no guarantee of publication; the manuscript must be reviewed in the normal way, independently by two or more scholars in the field.
Normal publishing standards also apply, as for any other NIAS title. For instance, inclusion of third-party material in the work must have the permission of its owner; this is crucial for OA titles that may be reworked into a derivative title. See our practical guides for authors for further details.
Access rights and licensing
Open Access books from NIAS Press are free to download from the Press website, from DiVA and its partner sites, and from other channels (say, those linked to a funding agency). They are protected by a Creative Commons licence that stipulates what else may be done with a downloaded book, apart from reading it and citing material according to usual academic conventions.
The six most regularly used Creative Commons licences are described here. The most liberal of these is CC-BY (free use of the material, even remixing and for commercial gain, subject to attribution). The most restrictive is CC-BY-NC-ND (freedom to copy and redistribute the material in its current form subject to attribution but no derivative works nor commercial use are allowed). Just which licence is applied to NIAS OA books depends on the wishes of authors and requirements of funders.
One standard, individual treatment
Not all authors wish for their books to be freely distributed and most lack the financial resources to pay an OA book processing charge. As such, NIAS Press continues to publish for-sale copies of its books as well as OA titles. (As the regulatory and economic climate changes, this approach may change, of course.)
All our books get the same treatment, whether they are for sale or free to download. They are produced to the highest standards possible, receiving individual care and their authors getting personal attention. Thereafter, they are promoted around the world and across the internet. The only difference between an OA and for-sale NIAS book is how it is accessed.