Brings JSTOR to 10,000 Open Access Books

punctum books, an independent scholar- and queer-led open access publisher, and JSTOR recently released punctum’s entire backlist of 250 open access academic books on JSTOR. punctum books is dedicated to radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry, publishing works that take experimental risks with the forms and styles of intellectual writing in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. They now have 360 open access books available on JSTOR. With these latest additions from punctum, JSTOR now includes over 10,000 open access books from 126 scholarly publishers.

“For scholars, students, and the general public alike JSTOR is one of the most important sources of scholarly literature in electronic format. Since we joined their Books at JSTOR program, we have seen their coverage of open access publications expand, and we are excited that our entire back catalog is now available through their platform. We strongly believe in a diverse Open Access landscape with a wide array of publishing and funding models and are happy to have an ally in JSTOR” said Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Co-Director and CFO of punctum books.

JSTOR invited punctum to join its Books at JSTOR program in 2020 given the unique focus and quality of their list, as well as their shared commitment to expanding access to knowledge and willingness to experiment. Founded in 2011, punctum publishes works that aim to shift the paradigm of established disciplines or that create new, transdisciplinary fields. They also support projects of translation and multilingualism across a wide variety of historical periods, geographies, and languages. punctum publishes 35–40 books annually, at an average production cost of $6,000 per book funded by donations and supporting library members.

Through 2022, punctum saw 223,000 uses of their books on JSTOR. Users of their titles come from 7,000 academic institutions and 200 countries. Two titles stand out with over 30,000 uses each: Post Memes: Seizing the Memes of Production by Alfie Brown and Dan Bristow, and Complementary Modernisms in China and the United States: Art as Life/Art as Idea edited by Zhang Jian and Bruce Robertson.

“We’re thrilled for JSTOR to play a role in helping to expand the readership and impact of punctum’s authors and their books, and to be collaborators and sounding boards for one another as the scholarly ecosystem continues to experiment with new open access models” said John Lenahan, VP, Published Content, ITHAKA. “Over time, we’ve seen the incredible impact open access has on readership. About 8% of the total books on JSTOR today are open access, and they represent 50% of all book usage on the platform.”

JSTOR employs a wide-range of open access funding models for books in collaboration with publishers and libraries. In addition to hosting open access books for publishers, it has also collaborated with the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project and Center for Research Libraries to publish over 400 current print titles from the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) directly as open access ebooks. As part of a Mellon Foundation funded grant, JSTOR digitized over 600 print books from El Colegio de México to be published as open access ebooks. Two of these backlist ebooks are within the top 20 most heavily used books on JSTOR. Most recently, JSTOR launched the Path to Open pilot in collaboration with the American Council of Learned Societies, University of Michigan Press, and The University of North Carolina Press which aims to support small and medium sized presses publishing 1,000 new open access books over 4 years.

“Our mission is to expand access to knowledge as broadly as possible,” said Kevin Guthrie, President, ITHAKA. “It is a welcome challenge to develop approaches that deliver open access in financially sustainable ways. We are proud and fortunate to work with punctum books and so many others on such important work.”

Learn more about punctum books on JSTOR and JSTOR’s Open Access Books.

About punctum

punctum books is an independent queer- and scholar-led, community-formed, and peer-reviewed Sparkly Diamond publisher of open access books in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Fine Arts, and Architecture & Design. Three primary concentrations for punctum are (1) books that shift the paradigm in established disciplines; (2) books that help to create emerging transdisciplinary fields; and (3) books that play in the fields of creatively speculative thought. punctum is especially devoted to authors whose work might not find a home with traditional scholarly presses.


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.

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