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Tiffany ... and Your Next Book
June 26, 2014 by Mark Edington
So you almost have that book contract in your grasp. You’ve had your most trusted colleagues drop a favorable hint about your work in the ear of the acquisitions editor at the best press in your field. You carefully (and, of course, unobtrusively) stalked said editor at the spring meeting of your disciplinary society, and managed to “accidentally” meet at the drinks reception.
You wrote a follow-up e-mail — not too soon, not too late — with a general query describing your idea and how it fits into the broader publication program at Desirable University Press. And when you received back that warm response -- Read more ...
Mark Edington on the Future of Academic Library Presses
December 11, 2013 by Ian Chant
When Amherst College opens its first press early next year, the open access publication will publish its entire catalog in digital editions first. Following a growing trend, the press will also be a new arm of Amherst’s library, and Mark Edington will be at its helm, the college announced on December 6. He will start January 1, 2014. Currently the director of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, Edington comes from a diverse work background, encompassing everything from editorial work at the journal Dædalus to social entrepreneurship. Library Journal caught up with Edington to talk about the new model Amherst is pursuing, the opportunities it opens up in the publishing world, and the challenges of presenting scholarly work for free while staying sustainable. Read more ...
Amherst College Press Names Founding Director
December 6, 2013
The Amherst College Press (ACP), a pathbreaking initiative for open-access scholarly publishing in the humanities, will be led by Mark D. W. Edington, Amherst College announced today.
Edington, a social entrepreneur with an extensive background in higher education, will guide Amherst’s digital-first publishing venture, which will solicit and edit peer-reviewed books written by leading scholars in the humanities and the social sciences and then make them freely available online. Read more ...
Despite Differences, University Libraries and Presses Partner More Often
November 5, 2013 by Ian Chant
When Purdue University Press was brought under the wing of the university’s library in 2009, it was a marriage of necessity, brought on by the flagging financial fortunes of the press. Since being absorbed into the library in 2009, the press has moved from reporting to library administrators to participating in planning with them, said Dean of Libraries James Mullins at a recent conference sponsored by education non-profit Ithaka. Purdue is one of a growing number of universities and colleges across the country where the in-house press and library are working more closely together, offering a glimpse into the possible future of academic publishing. Read more ...
Librarians will lead the revolution
Winter 2013 by Emily Gold Boutilier
In addition to being the college librarian at Amherst, Bryn Geffert is a scholar of Eastern and Russian Orthodox Christianity and the author of a recent book on the subject. Last year a graduate student in Siberia emailed Geffert to inquire about the book. The man’s library didn’t carry it. He couldn’t afford to buy it. But he really wanted to read it. Read more ...
March 12, 2013 by Tom Gilson and Katina Strauch
We had hoped to include this interview with Bryn Geffert in the February issue of Against the Grain but space limitations are forcing us to wait until the April issue. However, given the interest in Bryn’s innovative efforts in starting Amherst College Press, we thought we would post the interview on the ATG NewsChannel now. Enjoy!
February 4, 2013 by Jennifer Howard
Can a small college library fix what's wrong with scholarly publishing? Bryn Geffert, librarian of Amherst College, wants to find out.
Amherst College is starting a new publishing operation overseen by the library and committed to open access, called the Amherst College Press. It will produce a handful of edited, peer-reviewed, digital-first books on "a very small number of subjects," the librarian says. "We want to do a few things well, not overextend." Amherst's president and Board of Trustees approved the plan late last year. Read more ...
January 16, 2013 by Steve Pfarrer
Publish or perish: It’s the old axiom about academia that says professors must regularly publish new work if they want to sustain their careers.
But as Bryn Geffert sees it, publish or perish might be the new watchword for college libraries as well. The cost of many academic journals and other research materials is soaring, Geffert says, and unless libraries and schools find a way to produce information themselves, they’ll be hard-pressed to meet the needs of faculty and students. Read more ...
Aaron Swartz and the open access movement
January 16, 2013 broadcast with guests John Willinsky and Bryn Geffert
In July 2008, Aaron Swartz posted a manifesto online. Here’s some of what it said:
Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations…..We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world… We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.
The news that Swartz took his own life last week sparked expressions of solidarity from those who support the Open Access movement, which, among other things, demands that publicly funded research be made publicly available. Listen and read more ...
December 13, 2012 by Meredith Schwartz
Amherst College Librarian Bryn Geffert has launched Amherst College Press, which will offer free, peer-reviewed digital books.
“We will be the first university or college press to publish books solely under an open-access model,” said Geffert. “Although several university presses publish a few books each year under such a model, I do not know of another university press in the United States doing all books, all open-access.” Read more ...
December 6, 2012 by Scott Jaschik
The FAQ to go with the announcement that Amherst College is launching a new scholarly press ends with the question "Isn't this endeavor wildly idealistic?" The answer is yes.But 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. Read more ...
December 5, 2012 by Nick DeSantis
Amherst College’s new digital-publishing effort, announced on Wednesday and known as Amherst College Press, will publish peer-reviewed contributions from scholars working in a small range of liberal-arts disciplines. The college plans to hire a director and two editors to run the new operation, which will be housed in the college’s library and will produce books in formats common to most e-readers. The venture will not focus on print production or distribution, and all publications will include Creative Commons licenses, according to the college’s announcement. “Current models of scholarly publishing do far more to lock down information than to disseminate it to those who need it,” said Bryn Geffert, librarian of the college, in a news release. “We aim to change that.”