UPS becomes founding member of Lever Press

University of Puget Sound has become a founding member of Lever Press, a new academic press launched by liberal arts colleges across the country to create an effective alternative means for scholars worldwide to publish their work.

The press will be open-access, with peer-reviewed works available both in print, for a small cost, and online, for no cost. Works from scholars and researchers across all disciplines will be considered. The new press is funded by a consortium of 80 liberal arts college libraries, and guided by a partnership of Amherst College Press and Michigan Publishing at the University of Michigan.

“We are thrilled to be founding members in a publishing group that is allied with our values and goals as educators,” said Jane Carlin, director of University of Puget Sound’s Collins Memorial Library. “This will mean new opportunities for faculty to publish their work and distribute it in an affordable form to a wide audience, and it will mean libraries such as our own can provide students will a far richer range of learning experiences.”

The Oberlin Group, a consortium of 80 research libraries serving liberal arts colleges across the United States, launched Lever Press out of a concern that restrictions on access to scholarly materials is exacerbating a disturbing trend in which not all libraries, institutions, and students can afford the educational resources they need.

“It shouldn’t be the case that only the wealthiest institutions can afford to purchase the best and most recent books addressing issues and fields at the heart of our campuses,” said Mike Roy, dean of libraries at Middlebury College and president of the Lever Press oversight committee.

“And as publishers increasingly request processing fees and subsidies for articles and book-length works, it shouldn’t be that only scholars at the best-resourced institutions get a chance to get published.”

Lever Press is distinguished by three key commitments: editorial alignment with the mission and ethos of liberal arts colleges; a “platinum” approach to open access in which the pledging institutions, rather than authors, pay all publishing costs; and digitally-native production processes designed to support innovative projects that go “beyond the book.”

“We’re looking for work that reflects the identity and characteristic emphasis on excellence in teaching and research that is the hallmark of our sponsoring colleges,” said Mark Edington, Lever Press’s publisher.

Over the next five years, Lever Press is expected to publish some 60 titles. Titles will be available both as downloadable files and as screen-readable web pages. Production will be undertaken by Michigan Publishing’s emerging Fulcrum digital publishing platform, made possible with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Lever Press is already accepting proposals from scholars for individual works and series of works. Proposals for individual works are welcome from faculty and scholars anywhere; proposals for series should come from faculty members or teams of faculty members from one or more of Lever’s sponsoring institutions.

Guidelines for submitted work can be found at:

A list of Lever’s sponsoring institutions are available at:

– University of Puget Sound