Join Us

Changing the status quo in scholarly communications

With the support of more than 50 liberal arts institutions, we publish peer-reviewed, born digital, open access monographs at no cost to our authors or their academic institutions.

Who we are

Lever Press arose from an initiative of the Oberlin Group of Libraries that explored how liberal arts colleges could offer new and compelling alternatives to existing models of scholarly publishing.

We seek out, identify, evaluate, and advocate for transformative scholarship that spurs creative dialogue within and between traditional fields of inquiry, emphasizes disciplinary innovation, draws upon new models of collaborative research, and strives to reach the broadest audience possible.

The Membership Model

Publishing high-quality scholarship is costly. No one disputes this.

Lever Press is premised on the idea that it’s better 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, etc. This “pay-in-the-middle” membership model replaces paying at the consumer end or the producer end. Both of those models end up driving, not addressing, the growing inequality in access to scholarly information.

Libraries that provide support for Lever Press become part of the conversation shaping both the editorial program and objectives of the press and the principles by which we do our work.

View the Lever Press member agreement

Requested contribution rates are based on an institution's most current materials expenditure as reported to IPEDS
IPEDS Expenditure Contribution Rate
Less than $300,000 $500 annually
$300,000 - $499,999 $2,000 annually
$500,000 - $749,999 $4,000 annually
$750,000 - $1,499,999 $6,000 annually
$1,500,000 - $2,999,999 $8,000 annually
$3,000,000 - $5,999,999 $10,000 annually
More than $6,000,000 $12,000 annually

Benefits of Membership

Agency & Advocacy for the Liberal Arts

Lever is more than a subscription to a monograph series. It is membership in an advocacy collective that amplifies the voice of the liberal arts ethos to ensure a future for academic publishing and scholarly communications that aligns with this mission and vision.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Lever membership is an investment in a more just scholarly ecosystem. Membership in Lever and Platinum OA is an equalizer, ensuring that institutions supporting the liberal arts ethos have a voice in the future of scholarly communications and academic publishing. All liberal arts supporting institutions, regardless of resources and budget, have the opportunity to benefit from Lever membership and to have a voice in Lever governance.

Shared Governance

Lever Press is governed by our members. Faculty in any discipline can serve on the Editorial Board and in various editorial roles, and library leaders serve on the governing board.

Three students work in the field with their professor, examining plants specimens. A group of four students work collaboratively on a project.

Why Lever? 10 reasons to choose Lever Press

  1. Quality, reach, and innovation
  2. Alignment with mission and ethos of liberal arts institutions
  3. Adherence to highest level peer-review practices
  4. Metrics, tracking, and discoverability built into publishing platform
  5. Research openly available to all, contributing to the democratization of scholarship
  6. Platinum OA ensures authors access to publication venue regardless of ability to pay publication fees
  7. Opportunities to transcend disciplinary boundaries and create new models of scholarship
  8. Publications that blend research with teaching and learning resources
  9. Lever’s fully open access model means works are freely available online immediately upon publication
  10. Rich media digital books published on sustainable and durable digital platform, simultaneously available in print


The reality is that someone has to pay for the development and distribution of an OA publisher’s content, and that has typically fallen on individual scholars and their institutions. The new Lever Press OA endeavor, with its innovative cost-sharing model, may have a profound impact on shifting that reality.

Susan Wadsworth-Booth, University Press Forum, 2016, Choice Magazine

Lever Press’ editorial board’s stated goal is to publish work that carries with it a liberal arts ethos — not a pretentious snobbishness, but a commitment to producing scholarship with the potential to make a tangible impact, and to making sure that scholarship is shared with anybody who wants to read it.

Oberlin Review Editorial Board

Lever Press advances the value of liberal arts and the value of an open access press, as central to equity and inclusion. Lever Press is an equalizer.

Alexia Hudson-Ward, Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries, Oberlin College

The scholarly publishing landscape needs more experiments like this, and I think many presses will benefit from the path that Lever carves out.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, author of Generous Thinking, in an interview in Inside Higher Ed
Two women present their work to a group of people. A male student works on his laptop in the library.