New UVM Press breaks down barriers to scholarly publishing

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Open-Access Model Empowers Researchers and Readers by Removing Costs
Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont has launched an open-access academic press aimed at removing the financial barrier between peer-reviewed research and audiences worldwide. Fully funded by the university and overseen by UVM Libraries, the UVM Press operates under a “diamond open access model” – meaning that authors pay no fees to publish with the press, and readers pay no fees to access the press's published materials.
“Research is fundamental to our mission here at UVM, and creating unfettered access to knowledge and ideas that arise from research is an important expression of that mission,” said UVM President Suresh Garimella. “We are proud to launch the UVM Press with an open-access approach that removes barriers and expands the community of researchers and readers.”
Among UVM’s Our Common Ground values is Openness, a commitment to “encourage the open exchange of information and ideas.” That vital aspect of scholarly discourse can be blocked, however, by the traditional model for publishing and accessing research.
That model gatekeeps journals, books, papers, and other academic publications by monetizing the publishing process; the necessary reach of important research is not realized unless authors are willing to pay to publish it and readers to access it. An open-access model eliminates these cost constraints.
Bryn Geffert, UVM’s dean of libraries, has experience with open-access publishing having launched the Amherst College Press in 2013. Geffert also led a consortium of libraries in establishing the open-access Lever Press in 2016.
Geffert believes that the role of a library is to connect patrons to information, making UVM Libraries a logical partner for managing the UVM Press.
“For us, it’s about shining a brighter light on scholarship that deserves the attention and recognition it does not receive due to restrictions imposed by conventional publishers,” Geffert explained. “An academic library has an obligation to provide information to everyone, everywhere, regardless of means, and this open-access press allows us to fulfill that mission.”
UVM Provost Patricia Prelock added, “The power of knowledge access cannot be overstated. The benefit of this open-access platform is significant not only in addressing financial barriers to publishing peer-reviewed work on the part of the researcher, but also for the reader who has free access to knowledge that can enrich their thinking and advance their work for the betterment of the world."
Geffert said staff managing the press are eager to establish new partnerships that harness the power and potential of the open-access model. Possible projects include partnering with scholarly societies and organizations to establish new journals, helping with the transition of existing journals to the diamond open-access model, and helping scholars produce book series in their areas of specialty.
“The power of the press is now ours; we are now welcoming innovative ideas for how to get the greatest use out of it,” he said.
Staffing will be expanded to better accommodate those potential partnerships and projects, according to Geffert. He said the press's managing editor of journals, Aimee Diehl, will be joined by a book editor in the coming year.
Geffert recounted that the UVM Press’s first publication idea came from Eric Roy, a faculty member in UVM’s Gund Institute and a member of the American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES), who inquired about creating an open-access journal for that society. The result: The Journal of Ecological Engineering Design – a partnership between the AEES and the UVM Press – officially launched at the society's annual meeting on June 6.
Learn more about the UVM Press at
About the University of Vermont
Since 1791, the University of Vermont has worked to move humankind forward. UVM’s strengths align with the most pressing needs of our time: the health of our societies and the health of our environment. Our size—large enough to offer a breadth of ideas, resources, and opportunities, yet intimate enough to enable close faculty-student mentorship across all levels of study—allows us to pursue these interconnected issues through cross-disciplinary research and collaboration. Providing an unparalleled educational experience for our students, and ensuring their success, are at the core of what we do. As one of the nation’s first land grant universities, UVM advances Vermont and the broader society through the discovery and application of new knowledge.

UVM is derived from the Latin Universitas Viridis Montis (in English, University of the Green Mountains).
Source: 6.6.2023. BURLINGTON, Vt. The University of Vermont