Document Type

Presentation

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Association of Research Libraries and the Society for Scholarly Publishing Seminar

Publication Date

11-2010

Abstract

The original role of a press in a research university was to publish and disseminate the research and scholarship of the faculty. The university was willing to undertake a significant level of subsidy because the press was seen as fulfilling a central part of the mission of a research university. In the second half of the twentieth century, many faculty began to be concerned that to publish with one’s own university’s press might be considered a conflict of interest. An unforeseen consequence of this was that a university press was no longer seen as fulfilling a university’s specific mission to publish the university’s scholarship and research, and this resulted in decreased subsidies. This in turn has forced presses to pay more attention to the bottom line. Now in a period of deep budgetary crisis, many university presses feel threatened. Last year the USU Press was faced with such a situation. But recognizing the centrality of the Library and the history of university presses, I proposed to incorporate the Press into the Library and bring it back to the center of the University’s mission. We are initiating an experiment to publish USU faculty authors in all fields and disciplines as Open Access electronic books that will once again place the Press, now integrated into the Library, right at the center of the university.

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