Publishing high-quality scholarship is costly. No one disputes this. What’s no longer clear is how best to organize the work of publishing to reduce costs as much as possible.
Lever Press is premised on the idea that it’s better—and, in the long term, cheaper—to pay once for a work and create an open access result than to cover costs through a system demanding repeated payments—for purchasing, for copying, for long-term preservation, and so on.
What’s more, Lever Press will focus on works with high value to faculty and students. As a press guided by both scholars and librarians at liberal arts colleges, our investments will be targeted on the development and distribution of scholarship with strong potential for course adoption and engagement by a broad readership.
What we’re proposing is, in essence, to pay for scholarly publishing in the middle, rather than at either the consumer end (through sales in the market) or the producer end (through author subventions). Both of those models end up driving, not addressing, the growing inequality in access to scholarly information. The more institutions participate in supporting a “paid-in-the-middle” model for open access scholarship, the greater will be the reach and impact of this work—and the closer we’ll come to the tipping point at which Platinum OA becomes the paradigm.