In January 2016, Michigan Publishing, Amherst College Press, and more than 40 pledging liberal arts college libraries announced the launch of Lever Press, a new publishing program for book-length works aligned with the mission and ethos of liberal arts colleges, committed to open access, and focused on digital modes of scholarship.

The pledging institutions have contributed more than $1.3 million to support the work of Lever Press over the next five years, making it possible to publish fully open access works at no cost to the author (an approach we have referred to as “platinum” open access). Librarians and faculty members at these institutions also comprise the press’s oversight committee and editorial board. Supported by these pledges, Lever Press aims to acquire, develop, produce and disseminate a total of 60 new open-access titles by the end of 2020. Amherst College Press leads Lever Press’s editorial and acquisitions activity, while Michigan Publishing provides the administrative and technical platform on which the press runs.

Michael Roy, dean of the library at Middlebury College and chair of the Oversight Committee, says that Lever Press will allow a group of small liberal arts colleges to make a difference in the way in which scholarship is produced, shared and preserved.

“We are committed to contributing to broader changes that will allow scholarship to be produced in a way that is sustainable, makes creative use of the affordances of the Internet, and is able to reach a global audience,” he said. “Our partnership with Amherst and Michigan provides us with a depth of experience and a mature publishing infrastructure that will allow us to quickly establish ourselves in the marketplace, and will provide our authors with the services and resources they need to transform their ideas into world-class scholarship.”

Lever Press is accepting proposals for new series and titles. To submit a proposal, see the guidelines on the Lever Press website.