Bryn Geffert
Librarian of Amherst College

Video interview

“Libraries, Publishers, and a Plea for Shotgun Weddings,” Chronicle of Higher Education

“How to Succeed in Publishing Without Really Trying,” Inside Higher Ed

Amherst College

Amherst College, through its library, seeks to join the vanguard of academic publishing by launching the Amherst College Press.

In addition to the library’s traditional role of collecting knowledge, it will begin producing knowledge and facilitating the free, electronic distribution of high-quality literature and scholarship.

Reflect, for a moment, on the vast quantities of scholarship created every year by faculty around the world. Now consider what happens next: having spent millions to support that research, Amherst and other peer institutions give it away—without compensation—to commercial presses, which, in turn, sell it back to us through our libraries.

Consider, too, the millions of people in the United States—and the billions around the world—who, despite these expenditures, still have no access to research and artistic work meant to serve the common good.

We intend to change this model.

In doing so, Amherst honors its motto, Terras Irradient, “Let them give light to the world.” The college also is inspired by the merger of libraries and presses at a few major research institutions to produce “open-access scholarship”—that is, electronic publications freely available to all.

Open Access
Hulda Nelson, UC Regents

The New Model

The Amherst College Press will solicit and publish compelling literature for everyone, without regard to location, affluence or affiliation. We will distribute scholarship, without charge, not just to those connected with academic libraries. Our publications will be available to all persons with Internet connections, everywhere and all the time.

  • We will produce publications rivaling those at top academic presses—created from manuscripts solicited from scholars worldwide and subject to rigorous peer-review by recognized experts.
  • Content and copy editing will be thorough, and good prose will be a hallmark of the press.
  • All publications will bear Creative Commons licenses.
The Common Online
The Common

The Amherst College Press will also host an online, free version of The Common, a print and online literary magazine inspired by the traditional New England gathering place for the display and exchange of ideas.

The Common’s mission is to publish the highest-quality sense-of-place literature and images from around the world.

Learn more in Amherst’s Dec. 5, 2012, news release, “Amherst College to launch first open-access, digital academic press devoted to the liberal arts,” and on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

And see what's In the News about the press.