MSU Libraries and MSU Press partner with the Big Ten Academic Alliance to announce first Big Ten Open Books collection

In partnership with five other university presses, the University Librarians of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, Michigan State University Libraries and Michigan State University Press announce the launch of the Big Ten Open Books project, a collaboration between the university presses and libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

The first 100-title collection centered on Gender and Sexuality studies is now available. The works in this collection have all been previously published in print by partnering university presses and are now being made openly available in digital form to read and reuse at no cost. Each title has undergone a rigorous selection and quality certification process that allows readers and users of this collection to trust the veracity of the content made available.

MSU Press contributed 13 books to the collection, including award-winning titles like “Debating Women: Gender, Education, and Spaces for Argument, 1835–1945” by Carly S. Woods and “Confessions of a Presidential Speechwriter” by Craig R. Smith.

MSU Libraries Interim Dean Terri Miller was enthusiastic about the collaboration between the Big Ten libraries and presses. “The Big Ten Open Books project is an excellent opportunity for libraries and presses to partner in encouraging equitable access to books across the larger Big Ten community,” Miller said. “I am also very pleased to be able to share the important titles that are coming out of the MSU Press that help to advance the inclusive mission of the Big Ten Academic Alliance by celebrating diverse perspectives.”

The Big Ten Open Books first collection brings to readers a wide variety of materials in arts, humanities and social science disciplines that are centered on gender and sexuality themes. The collection’s impact will be seen through its broad sharing of knowledge and high-quality scholarship. Big Ten Open Books creates e-book collections that aspire to the highest standards of discoverability, accessibility, durability and flexibility.

This collection has established a distinctive model for unified, open-access publishing of scholarly monographs. It creates open content that is immediately and universally available on the open infrastructure platform Fulcrum, hosted by the University of Michigan. It is also available through open distribution models (including Project MUSE, JSTOR and OAPEN) to envision a robust programmatic future for open monograph publishing. This work is part of the Big Ten Academic Alliance’s development of the BIG Collection’s ambition of uniting the collections of the libraries of the BTAA, and it is supported by the Mellon Foundation’s Public Knowledge program. The partner presses are Indiana University Press, MSU Press, Northwestern University Press, Purdue University Press, University of Michigan Press and University of Wisconsin Press.

MSU Press Interim Director Arlene Weismantel discussed the importance of the free exchange of scholarly information, noting that “Open Access publications are available to everyone for free, benefiting diverse readers throughout the world, enhancing readership and prominence for authors, and providing value for everyone who supports our university and scholarship generally.”

The Big Ten Academic Alliance continues its advocacy for a sustainable and open ecosystem of publication. Collectively, our institutions’ more than 50,000 faculty are supported by over $11 billion in research funding, and our institutions have invested significantly in our capacity to further the research mission by advancing public knowledge through open publishing. Together, we produce roughly 15 percent of the research publications in the United States.

About the Big Ten Academic Alliance

The Big Ten Academic Alliance is the nation’s 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. Governed and funded by the provosts of the member universities, Big Ten Academic Alliance mandates are coordinated by a staff from its Champaign, Illinois, headquarters. The 15 world-class libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance members include Indiana University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Wisconsin–Madison and University of Chicago.

About the MSU Libraries

The MSU Libraries are at the center of academic life at Michigan State University, providing expertise, collections and infrastructure for discovery and creation. The Libraries facilitate connections that support research, teaching and learning in our local and global communities. The Libraries also promote equal access to information and spaces for all and lead meaningful initiatives in accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion.

About the MSU Press

The MSU Press is the scholarly publishing arm of historic Michigan State University. Since its founding in 1947, the mission of the Press has been to be a catalyst for positive intellectual, social and technological change through the publication of research and intellectual inquiry, making significant contributions to scholarship in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences.


Elise Jajuga, MSU Libraries Communications Manager,

Nicole Utter, MSU Press Marketing & Sales Manager,