by | Jan 7, 2016 | General News

Lever Press to publish digitally-native, “platinum open access,” titles aligned with the mission and ethos of liberal arts colleges (January 7, 2016)

Lever Press to publish digitally-native, “platinum open access,” titles aligned with the mission and ethos of liberal arts colleges (January 7, 2016)

The Oberlin Group, a consortium of 80 libraries in America’s top liberal arts colleges, together  with partners Amherst College Press and Michigan Publishing, is pleased to announce the impending launch of Lever Press, a collaborative open-access scholarly publishing enterprise driven by the values, ambitions, and imagination of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges.

According to Michael Roy, Dean of the Library at Middlebury College, “Lever Press will provide a platform for a group of small liberal arts colleges to combine resources in the service of making a difference in the way in which scholarship is produced, shared, and preserved. We are committed to leading by example, and in contributing to broader changes that will allow scholarship to be produced in a way that is sustainable, makes creative use of the affordances of the Internet, and is able to reach a global audience. Our partnership with Amherst and Michigan provides us with a depth of experience and a mature publishing infrastructure that will allow us to quickly establish ourselves in the marketplace, and will provide our authors with the services and resources they need to transform their ideas into world-class scholarship.”

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.”

“Powered by one of the world’s great libraries and home to a distinguished university press, Michigan Publishing has a tradition of sharing its high quality publishing capabilities with a few, select partners. We’re very proud to be supporting Lever Press and are committed to giving its authors a great publishing experience, especially in supporting their digital scholarship ambitions,” said Charles Watkinson, Associate University Librarian, University of Michigan Library, and Director, University of Michigan Press.

As of December 4, 2015, nearly 40 liberal arts college libraries—most of them members of the Oberlin Group, and Allegheny College and Ursinus College participating from outside the group’s membership—have committed to contribute more than $1 million to the work of Lever Press over the next five years. Librarians and faculty members at these institutions will also comprise the press’s Oversight Committee and Editorial Board. Supported by these pledges, Lever Press aims to acquire, develop, produce and disseminate a total of 60 new open-access titles by the end of 2020. “We’re always prepared to welcome new participating libraries,” said Roy.

The institutions that have so far pledged to support the first five years of Lever Press are:

  • Agnes Scott College
  • Allegheny College
  • Amherst College
  • Atlanta University Center –Morehouse & Spelman Colleges
  • Bard College
  • Bates College
  • Berea College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Carleton College
  • Claremont Colleges
  • Coe College
  • College of St. Benedict/St. John University
  • Denison University
  • Earlham College
  • Furman University
  • Grinnell College
  • Hamilton College
  • Haverford College
  • Kenyon College
  • Knox College
  • Lafayette College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Macalester College
  • MIddlebury College
  • Oberlin College
  • Rollins College
  • Sewanee: The University of the South
  • Skidmore College
  • Smith College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • St. Olaf College
  • Swarthmore College
  • Trinity University
  • Union College
  • Ursinus College
  • Vassar College
  • Washington & Lee University
  • Whitman College
  • Williams College
  • The College of Wooster

The Lever Press Oversight Committee, elected by the pledging institutions, consists of: Andy Ashton (Vassar College), Marta Brunner (Skidmore College), Mark Christel (Wooster College), Dalia Corkrum (Whitman College), Terri Fishel (Macalester College), Bryn Geffert (Amherst College), Neil McElroy (Lafayette College), Kevin Mulroy (Claremont Colleges), Loretta Parham (Morehouse and Spelman Colleges), Mike Roy (Middlebury College), Peggy Seiden (Swarthmore College), and Marci Sorter (St. Olaf College), as well as staff from Amherst and Michigan. One of the first tasks of the Oversight Committee will be to assemble an Editorial Board, which will be responsible for vetting and approving Lever Press publications.

“The collaboration between these highly-regarded Liberal Arts College libraries, Michigan Publishing, and Amherst College Press allows us to combine scholarly excellence, administrative expertise and financial resources in such a way as to offer global access to outstanding scholarship,” said Terry Snyder, Librarian of the College, Haverford College. “As new forms of digital scholarship are explored, it is important to generate peer-reviewed publication avenues that leverage technology in generating and promulgating that new knowledge.  Similarly, giving global, free and open access to these resources is equally important.  The Lever Press accomplishes those goals and more.”

For further information about Lever Press visit or contact Mark Edington, email:, telephone 413 542 5709.