Penn State TOME Initiative


Penn State is among the first universities to commit funds to support Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME), an initiative designed to support peer-reviewed, open access monographs.

This initiative is the result of a collaborative effort between the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of University Presses (AUP). Currently, 14 universities have pledged support for this initiative. These organizations are jointly seeking options to replace the traditional models of publishing. In an environment in which only those with the financial ability to purchase content have access to it, open access publishing may help scholars find publishing partners who are able to increase the dissemination and accessibility of their work.

Penn State’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost has committed to funding $45,000 to be split among up to three subvention grants to support publishing open access monographs each year for five years (2018-2023). Each grant will be contributed directly to a press participating in the program for an open access publication of an eligible Penn State faculty authored work.

Please contact Ally Laird ( with questions about TOME at Penn State.

Deadline(s) for Submission:

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. If the number of grants is spent in a current year, resubmission is encouraged for the following year.

TOME Criteria:

  • Open access monograph proposals authored or co-authored by a current Penn State faculty member

  • At this time, the grant fund will not accept textbooks, works of fiction, creative works, edited anthologies, translations of previously published works, or critical editions.
  • Projects must have a written acceptance for open access publication from a press participating in TOME.
  • Maximum of one (1) grant awarded per year, per author

OA Edition Requirements:

  • Press will publish a platform agnostic and accessible digital edition of the monograph under a Creative Commons license (CC BY or CC BY-NC) no later than the original date of publication.
  • A CC BY license is preferred when possible.
  • This edition must be free from DRM.
  • Press will provide a copy of the digital edition for deposit in Penn State’s Institutional Repository, ScholarSphere.
  • The press may print and sell a print edition. If the press sells a print edition, a link to the open access digital edition must be made available alongside information about the print edition wherever possible, including on the publisher’s website.
  • The open access digital edition and any print edition(s) must include a copyright page bearing the Creative Commons license that applies to the work and an acknowledgment of Penn State’s funding and the TOME program. This information should appear in font at least as large as the copyright notice.
  • The final digital publication must be made accessible via WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 requirements.

Application Process

Applications are submitted by the press publishing the monograph. Applications will be internally reviewed as they are received. If any clarifications and/or edits need to be made to the application in order to receive a subvention grant, the author(s) and press will be notified.

TOME Application Form