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Information for Authors
All work published by the Press is subjected to a process of peer review. Our intent and design is to create a process of peer review equally rigorous to that which characterizes the best in scholarly publishing, while at the same time more collegial than most manage to be. We believe that the work of refining and strengthening scholarly arguments is an objective that engages the best of the scholarly endeavor, and so we spend considerable effort in identifying peer reviewers who demonstrate not only mastery of their respective fields but who share our aspirations for what peer review can be when practiced collaboratively.
At the same time, we offer to authors a willingness to support alternative forms of manuscript review. We’re planning to create a community of commentators and annotators on all of our works utilizing hypothes.is, and we see this tool as a potential pathway to a robust open review process. We are prepared to provide support to our authors through CommentPress and other fora in order to engage a broader community of peers and scholars.
Digital-first, Print on Demand
- We are a digital-first press because we see digital technologies providing powerful means for assuring the broadest possible access to new scholarly ideas. By focusing first on translating the findings of research and scholarly reflection to formats on the web and downloadable digital artifacts, we can equip scholars with new tools for communicating their ideas and arguments—and accelerate the impact of these ideas among scholars and a broader audience.
- In addition to being available on the web and as downloadable files, works published by the Amherst College Press are placed in the Amherst College Digital Collections (ACDC) as a means of assuring the long-term, bit-level preservation of our author’s works.
- We provide a print-on-demand pathway for works created by the Amherst College Press, partly as a means of increasing the potential audience for the authors who publish with us and partly to assure that the work of our authors will be preserved in print collections as well.
Our commitment to open access is premised on a number of basic claims:
- We do not believe there is a necessary link between scholarly merit and success in the marketplace—and we believe that academic publishers following traditional models of production are increasingly constrained by market forces, both in deciding what to publish and in facilitating access to scholarship once it is published by researchers everywhere.
- We are persuaded that scholarship made available as open-access work is more likely to be found, read, and cited by researchers everywhere. In this view we are supported by recent research demonstrating the particular benefit of open access scholarship to scholars working in the developing world. But we are also of the view that scholars seek first to have impact in the world of their peers, and are eager to find new ways of communicating with researchers in their fields on a global scale—in ways now inhibited by the market operations of academic publishing.
- Finally, we are persuaded that open access is a smart business strategy. It reclaims ownership of the core mission of scholarly communication on the part of the institution that stands behind the press. And it recognizes the reality that market forces should not—but often do—shape editorial decisions in presses that are effectively trade publishers.
Creative Commons licensing
We are also committed to providing access to the work we produce on the basis of Creative Commons licenses. Copyright in the work produced by the Amherst College Press is usually retained by our authors, but from time to time, when agreeable to authors, is held in the name of the Trustees of Amherst College. All work produced by the Press is issued under Creative Commons licenses agreed to with our authors, signaling to the broader scholarly community the ability to distribute, share, and copy the work without concern for permissions payments or other monetization strategies. Read our model author’s contract…
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Submit Your Work
We are currently accepting general works of interest to the Press, as well as submissions for three series: Laws | Literatures | Cultures, New Pathways for Studies in Ethnomusicology, and Public Works: Insights from the Humanities on Issues in the Public Square. Authors are encouraged to read the series descriptions, and to submit work utilizing the links provided on each description page.