The University of Michigan Press and the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library, working together as the Michigan Digital Publishing Initiative, have established digitalculturebooks, which offers free access to digital versions of its published works (print works are fee-based). The imprint focuses on "the social, cultural, and political impact of new media."
The objectives of the imprint are to:
- develop an open and participatory publishing model that adheres to the highest scholarly standards of review and documentation;
- study the economics of Open Access publishing;
- collect data about how reading habits and preferences vary across communities and genres;
- build community around our content by fostering new modes of collaboration in which the traditional relationship between reader and writer breaks down in creative and productive ways.
Library Journal Academic Newswire notes in its article about digitalculturebooks:
While press officials use the term "open access," the venture is actually more "free access" than open at this stage. Open access typically does not require permission for reuse, only a proper attribution. UM director Phil Pochoda told the LJ Academic Newswire that, while no final decision has been made, the press’s "inclination is to ask authors to request the most restrictive Creative Commons license" for their projects. That license, he noted, requires attribution and would not permit commercial use, such as using it in a subsequent for-sale product, without permission. The Digital Culture Books web site currently reads that "permission must be received for any subsequent distribution."
The imprint’s first publication is The Best of Technology Writing 2006.