The University of North Carolina Press has been awarded a $998,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York to support the development of capacities at university presses for the publication of high-quality digital monographs. The funding will be used to create a scaled platform where university presses will collaborate to achieve cost efficiencies on a broad range of digital publishing activities, including copyediting, composition, production, operations, and marketing services.
The three-year project, which began January 1, 2015, is being led by principal investigator John Sherer, the Spangler Family Director of UNC Press. It is being built upon UNC Press’s existing fulfillment company, Longleaf Services.
“We are very grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their support of this project,” said Sherer. “As publishing has advanced using digital technology, the benefits of operating at scale have never been more apparent. But most university presses lack access to the kind of scale experienced by commercial publishers. This initiative will provide presses with a much-needed option for collaborating and realizing the advantages of these new technologies.”
Donald Waters, Senior Program Officer for Scholarly Communications at the Mellon Foundation, said: “University presses are seeking to retool their operations to take advantage of digital media and digital workflows to bring new works of scholarship to the broadest possible audiences at the lowest possible cost. The services that UNC Press will develop as part of this grant promise to help a broad set of presses achieve this necessary retooling.”
Barbara Kline Pope, President of the Association of American University Presses, remarked, “This is just the kind of collaboration that will allow university presses to continue to thrive as connectors between scholars and readers—and now to realize the kinds of efficiencies necessary to remain competitive in the marketplace.”
Founded in 1922, UNC Press is the oldest university press in the South and one of the oldest in the United States.