AAUP Issues Report on New Business Models for Scholarly Publishing

NEW YORK, NY – The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) today issued “Sustaining Scholarly Publishing: New Business Models for University Presses.”

Access the full report online here.

Within the scholarly communications ecosystem, scholarly publishers are a keystone species. University presses—as well as academic societies, research institutions, and other scholarly publishers—strive to fulfill the mission of making public the fruits of scholarly research as effectively as possible within that ecosystem. While that mission has remained constant, in recent years the landscape in which it is carried out has altered dramatically.

“Sustaining Scholarly Publishing” explores many current scholarly publishing experiments and initiatives, defines characteristics of effective business models and the challenges of transitioning from a traditional sales-based model, and presents several recommendations for sustaining high-quality scholarly publishing throughout this time of change. The AAUP report was prepared by the Task Force on Economic Models for Scholarly Publishing, chaired by Lynne Withey, now-retired director of the University of California Press.

“This is an exciting time to work in scholarly communications, and the report shows why: there is an immense breadth of innovation and experimentation going on at AAUP member presses,” said Peter Givler, Executive Director of the Association. “The conclusions and recommendations issued by Lynne and her team show a clear path to continued successful transition and truly effective collaboration within our community.”

Among the report’s recommendations:

  • Active and open sharing of lessons learned by participants in existing digital publishing projects should be an ongoing process.
  • The support of foundations, libraries, and university administrations in providing funds to work toward the digital future has been, and will remain, crucial.
  • Open access is a principle to be embraced, if publishing costs can be supported by the larger scholarly enterprise. University presses, and nonprofit publishers generally, should be fully engaged in these discussions.
  • Proposals and plans for new business models should explicitly address the potential impact of the new model on other parts of a press’s programs, as well as explicitly address the requirements, both operational and financial, for making the transition to a new model.

Download the full report or read more online.

The Association of American University Presses is an organization of more than 130 non-profit scholarly publishers. AAUP and its members are dedicated to the support of creative and effective scholarly communications. Visit the AAUP web site,, to learn more about the association and its members.

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