Thursday, July 26, 2007

A New Direction for University Presses

Here is the beginning of an article about university presses in today's Inside Higher Education

July 26

Ideas to Shake Up Publishing

With some regularity, reports or op-eds note the economic struggles of most university presses and the difficulties they face publishing monographs that are vital to individual scholars’ careers, but that typically aren’t read by that many people — and that libraries can’t afford to buy. Concerns about the relationship between university presses and tenure, for example, led the Modern Language Association to propose moving beyond the “fetishization” of the monograph.

Today, a new report called “University Publishing in a Digital Age” is being released by a group of experts on scholarly publishing — and they too are proposing radical changes in the way publishing works. The report — from Ithaka, a nonprofit group that promotes research and strategy for colleges to reflect changing technology — is based on a detailed study of university presses, which morphed into a larger examination of the relationship between presses, libraries and their universities.

The report and its authors are suggesting that university presses focus less on the book form and consider a major collaborative effort to assume many of the technological and marketing functions that most presses cannot afford, and that universities be more strategic about the relationship of presses to broader institutional goals.

Get the rest of it at

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