GAIA is the result of a unique collaboration between university press publishers, librarians, and academic units throughout the University of California system. The resources and expertise of the partners we bring together enable us to offer a publishing program that should better serve authors as well as readers. The GAIA partners are committed to expanding the capabilities of the digital medium while also honoring the expectations and conventions of the traditional book.
Access—All GAIA books are available free of charge over the World Wide Web. This allows our books to reach a broader international audience than would be possible with only print distribution. The digital permanence of GAIA books is guaranteed by the California Digital Library as part of their ongoing efforts to provide a visible persistent platform for freely distributed research.
Speed—The post peer-review publication process at university presses can be lengthy. Although GAIA’s rigorous peer review process is equivalent to that at university presses, we are able to publish digital editions of our books long before print editions can be manufactured and distributed. In some cases, individual chapters can be published separately as articles within days of receiving an author’s final manuscript.
Visibility—GAIA is part of the California Digital Library’s eScholarship Repository. On average, readers download over 10,000 articles from the Repository per week. The majority of users come from outside the UC system, from as many as 75 different countries, and are directed to papers by using popular search engines such as Google.
Flexibility—GAIA can take advantage of the digital capabilities to publish scholarship that is not easily accommodated by book format. We can publish very long edited volumes and unusually short ones. We can include extensive visual and audio files. Under certain circumstances, we can publish incrementally, publishing components of an ongoing research project as they are completed.
Prestige—While GAIA offers the visibility, navigability, and digital permanence of the California Digital Library’s eScholarship Repository, we also offer the imprimatur of the University of California Press. All GAIA publications are peer-reviewed according to standards approved by the University of California Press.
Control over Scholarship—GAIA authors can request that they retain the copyright to their work, allowing them to publish their work elsewhere.
Cost—GAIA provides an alternative to the high-cost monographs and journals published by for-profit publishers that severely impact our library budgets. It is also a venue for important scholarship that university presses are increasingly unable to publish because the books would have limited markets or exorbitant production costs.