Lever Press has opened 2018 by publishing its “Statement of Values,” a clear statement of the values grounding its work as a scholarly publisher. “As we’ve grown from imagining what a sustainable open-access press might be to establishing a press and signing contracts with authors, we began to focus on the values that we want to be sure inform our work,” said Mike Roy, Dean of Libraries at Middlebury College and chair of Lever’s governing Oversight Committee. “Because this is a values-driven initiative, it is important to us that we articulate those values in a transparent way.”
There are few parallel examples of scholarly presses making clear the values that guide their work. “When the Committee asked us to put together a group of examples of values statements from around the university press world, I thought it would be a pretty straightforward research project,” said Mark Edington, Lever’s publisher. “As it turned out, there are extremely few. I’m proud that Lever is making itself distinct in this way.”
Lever’s Statement of Values communicates to authors and readers not just the kind of work we seek to publish, but the values by which we will conduct our work. It is a means by which we will hold ourselves accountable for the trust invested in us by the institutions that support our work. And it will undergird the clear commitments that we have held to from the beginning of this initiative—alignment with the mission and ethos of liberal arts institutions, open access publications that do not require payments from authors or their institutions (“Platinum Open Access”), and support for the publishing of digitally native scholarship that includes insights from diverse voices and viewpoints.
Lever Press, a scholarly press operated in partnership between the Oberlin Group, Amherst College Press, and Michigan Publishing Services, is supported by a consortium of fifty-four liberal arts institutions of higher education.