ORIENTAL INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS OFFICE
The Electronic Publications Initiative of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
Publication of research is a central tenet of the mission of the Oriental Institute. Of equal importance is the widespread accessibility of the Institute's publications to scholars and interested individuals throughout the world. Towards that end, on October 27, 2004, the Oriental Institute established the Electronic Publications Initiative (EPI), by which all publications of the Oriental Institute are simultaneously published both in print and electronically on the Internet, electronic distribution is complimentary, and older titles are to be scanned and distributed on the Internet as funding and time permit.
The response to the EPI has been overwhelming, with positive comments received from all over the world. Complimentary Web distribution ensures that publications of the Oriental Institute are made available to everyone with access to the Internet–especially in countries where the Institute carries out research. Statistics on downloads of electronic files and sales of printed books are tracked, and sales of the printed volumes have not decreased! Indeed, after the complimentary distribution of twenty-one titles in 2008 that had for many years only been available in print, sales of these titles increased by 7% compared with the previous two years.
At the time of this writing, 147 Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf) files, each containing an entire book from cover to cover, are being distributed on the Internet, plus hundreds more Annual Report and News & Notes articles, the Research Archives Catalog, as well as Institute project reports, and articles by faculty and staff–with much more to come.
Many of the books distributed were scanned as part of the scanning of older titles, and an additional 125 older titles, comprising all the Egyptological titles published by the Institute since the 1920s, are at present being scanned in preparation for complimentary Internet distribution. The remaining 138 older titles, comprising the remainder of the Institute's Anatolian, Arabic, Iranian, Mesopotamian, Syro/Palestinian, and Miscellaneous publications, will continue to be scanned and distributed as time and funds permit.
Revised: April 6, 2009