TU Delft OPEN Publishing and printed books

TU Delft Open Publishing –established 2019- is determined to become an active player in publishing high-quality reviewed books by TU Delft authors and TU Delft editors. Books can manifest as monograph, conference collection bundle, textbook or edited volume. Agreements that regulates the responsibilities between authors, editors and TU Delft OPEN Publishing are available for each of these publication types. The agreements include a variety of services that TU Delft offer to their authors. Part of the services are a plagiarism check, clearance of copyrights, adding an CC-license, assigning identifiers such as ISBN and DOI, indexing books in the Directory of Open Access Books and making the work available in an affordable and high-quality print form.

Print on demand

Print on demand (POD) works extremely well for readers that require the option to order a physical book alongside the open access electronic publication. It takes the guesswork out of how many copies should be produced as books and conference proceedings are printed upon request. Current technology allows TU Delft OPEN Publishing to avoid print books, stock them and eventually dispose them when there is no need anymore. It solves in short the issue of books ‘out of print’. Printing small batches would not be financially viable for TU Delft OPEN Publishing– an issue for academic books that have a small readership.

Still from Science is great. Open it. CC-BY 2018, Studio Pupil, animation and Just de Leeuwe, script

Greener and leaner

A POD book can be printed in a short time, compared to traditional publishing. It also takes less time to format it and get it ready for printing. Costs for storage, handing, inventory and delivery decrease significantly. POD is perfect for TU Delft OPEN publishing where traditional publishing would be too costly. TU Delft authors that have embraced digital open access books can offer a printed publication to their readers. For larger numbers of printed books, customization can be provided by the supplier, including deliveries to the faculties of the TU Delft.

POD-copies at the TU Delft Library office. Photo by Jan van der Heul, CC-BY 2022

Although TU Delft OPEN embraced POD, illustrated (hardcover) books in the domain of architecture and design are still published using traditional methods, which offer higher quality control on colour photography and illustrations, more sizes, paper types and layouts to choose from. Sometimes TU Delft can act as co-creator or sponsor for those books. In this form of collaboration, the book is then available to everyone as a digital file and available as hardcover from a publishing partner such as nai010.

Printing partner Holland Ridderkerk

For TU Delft OPEN Publishing, printing specialist Hollandridderkerk is offering the online print service for all books of the portfolio. Titles can be ordered directly from the TU Delft OPEN publishing website and are printed, invoiced and shipped globally to the customers. Hollandridderkerk is a pioneer in the field of POD in The Netherlands. The company supplies high-quality print work for many different parties, including various scientific publishers. According to Arno de Winter, director of Hollandridderkerk, POD was already introduced in 1990, at the time still with hardcopy front models in numbered drawers.

For TU Delft OPEN Publishing POD is the way forward as it offers an affordable preference to the readers worldwide. Overall, print on demand offers a greener alternative to traditional print publishing.