Abstract

For much of their history, university presses have been synonymous with scholarly communication, but presses no longer define the border of scholarly communication, even as they remain very much at its center as publishers. Presses are increasingly hovering above the line of a traditional scholarly communications service role and a more market-driven, but still resolutely scholarly, identity as publishers. University presses have been challenged to reiterate their own value while themselves undergoing a quiet transformation, redefining their missions, how they serve the scholarly community while becoming more self-sustaining, and how they can leverage their strengths.

In this presentation, two press directors speak about the ways in which university presses are meeting today’s challenges and positioning their organizations for increased service and relevance in the digital age. Armato looks at the forces in play that could help to resolve tension as presses adapt their mission to the far more dynamic, digitally interlinked, and innovative scholarly environment that still remains in its infancy, while Mudditt explores how university presses are in a unique position to provide solutions and make complex information accessible, promoting access to and engagement with this knowledge among scholars, students, and public audiences.

DOI

10.5703/1288284315078

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The Twenty-First-Century University Press: Assessing the Past, Envisioning the Future

For much of their history, university presses have been synonymous with scholarly communication, but presses no longer define the border of scholarly communication, even as they remain very much at its center as publishers. Presses are increasingly hovering above the line of a traditional scholarly communications service role and a more market-driven, but still resolutely scholarly, identity as publishers. University presses have been challenged to reiterate their own value while themselves undergoing a quiet transformation, redefining their missions, how they serve the scholarly community while becoming more self-sustaining, and how they can leverage their strengths.

In this presentation, two press directors speak about the ways in which university presses are meeting today’s challenges and positioning their organizations for increased service and relevance in the digital age. Armato looks at the forces in play that could help to resolve tension as presses adapt their mission to the far more dynamic, digitally interlinked, and innovative scholarly environment that still remains in its infancy, while Mudditt explores how university presses are in a unique position to provide solutions and make complex information accessible, promoting access to and engagement with this knowledge among scholars, students, and public audiences.