…Amherst thinks that there may be long-term gains — both for scholarship and the economics of academic publishing — by publishing books that are subject to traditional peer review, edited with rigor and then published in digital form only, completely free. Some university presses issue some of their works in free digital formats. And Rice University revived a dormant press in 2006 with the idea, only to abandon it in 2010. Amherst believes that its university press will, when it launches next year, be the only one publishing exclusively in free, digital formats.The college is searching for a press director and two editors, whose positions will be financed through fund-raising for an endowment and by reallocating two vacant positions in the library. Eventually, the press aims to publish around 15 books a year (although that number is very tentative) — all in liberal arts disciplines. So how, in an era when some university presses are being killed off and others are fighting to stay alive, did Amherst decide to move in this direction?
Inside Higher Ed Amherst College launches open-access scholarly press | Inside Higher Ed.
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