The research libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) have entered into a multi-year pilot agreement with JSTOR to support Path to Open, a new cost-effective, sustainable publishing model for supporting frontlist university press monographs and making them open access after three years.

More than 30 university presses and hundreds of authors are part of Path to Open. The initial 100 books will be released on JSTOR in the fall of 2023, with an additional 300 titles being published annually during the term of the pilot, 2024-2026. Path to Open participating libraries will have access to the titles during the first three years, and thereafter all titles will be converted to open access, benefiting readers worldwide. Path to Open books will be available DRM free with unlimited user access and integrated with other scholarly content on the JSTOR platform, including thousands of books, journals, and primary source collections.

“The Path to Open pilot advances the open publishing goals of the Big Ten Academic Alliance and its members. It is particularly important as part of our continuing focus on opening the scholarly monograph by exploring new business models that will bolster university presses through the transition to open,” said Maurice York, Director, Library Initiatives at the BTAA. “We’re excited to join JSTOR in building a community-led initiative to support a more sustainable and equitable ecosystem.”

“Libraries, university presses, and their authors are deeply aligned in their desire to produce and ensure the widest possible reach for ground-breaking scholarship, including in under-represented research areas,” said Rebecca Seger, VP, Institutional Participation and Strategic Partnerships for JSTOR. “The BTAA’s leadership in supporting Path to Open—and their members’ unanimous commitment to providing funding for the entire four-year pilot period—represents a significant step forward in making this vision a reality.”

The BTAA institutions join a growing set of academic libraries and university presses in supporting Path to Open. The list of participants and information on joining is available at Path to Open.

Members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the university press community, and JSTOR will be talking about the need for sustainable open access solutions for university press books, the importance of community-wide support, and the Path to Open approach at a free Library Journal webinar on May 17, 2023.

About the Big Ten Academic Alliance

The Big Ten Academic Alliance is the United States’ preeminent model for effective collaboration among research universities. For more than half a century, these world-class institutions have advanced their academic missions, generated unique opportunities for students and faculty, and served the common good by sharing expertise, leveraging campus resources, and collaborating on innovative programs.

The fifteen world-class libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance include Indiana University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the University of Chicago.


JSTOR is a mission-driven, nonprofit digital library. 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. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve access to knowledge and education for people around the world.