Appendix I

10/17/17

SENATE COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES, INFORMATION SYSTEMS, AND TECHNOLOGY

Penn State University Press

(Informational)

Founded in 1956, Penn State University Press is an active member of the Association of University Presses (formerly the Association of American University Presses). The Press, reporting to the Dean of Libraries, publishes annually approximately 65 peer-reviewed books and more than 60 peer-reviewed journals. Areas of specialization in its book program include art and architecture, rhetoric and communication, history, religious studies, Jewish studies, African American history and culture, and medieval and early modern studies. Press books are always reviewed widely, and have been reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Review of Books, as well as Science Magazine. The first title in our Graphic Medicine series, Graphic Medicine Manifesto, was nominated in 2016 for the highly competitive Will Eisner Awards, our Graphic Medicine book on Down Syndrome, Hole in the Heart, was named a 2016 Reviewers’ Choice title by Foreword Reviews, and Slate named Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers one of the Best Historical Coffee-Table Books of 2016.

The University’s Editorial Committee, which reviews the peer-review reports for all book projects under the PSUP brand, consists of faculty from the University, the University Libraries, and from the Faculty Senate Committee on Research and the Committee on Libraries, Information Services, and Technology. This Editorial Committee meets 5–7 times per year to review the peer-reviewed projects under consideration. These projects appear with the Penn State University Press imprimatur. A Press imprint whose titles are reviewed but with an eye also toward audience as well as scholarly rigor, Keystone Books focuses on content for the citizens of the Commonwealth and the mid-Atlantic region. Under this line, one would find our book on the history of Beaver Stadium (Lair of the Lion), the second edition of Bill Russell’s volume on mushrooms, and our award-winning photographic portrait of the clearing of the Old Growth forests of Pennsylvania, Wood Hicks and Bark Peelers.

The Press enjoys an international reputation for the high material and editorial quality of its more than 1500 titles in print. Its publications are collected by research libraries and scholars around the world, and the Press has distribution partners in the United Kingdom and EU, Australia and New Zealand, and Japan. We continually seek to expand our impact. We have editors and authors in Germany, England, Japan, South Africa, Israel, Australia, Korea, Turkey, Brazil, China, and numerous other countries. We conduct our operation in a manner that is fair, environmentally friendly, economically balanced, honest, and respectful of others.

The Press collaborates with a wide variety of institutions for copublishing opportunities or distribution arrangements. We have partnered with The Morgan Library, the Frick Collection, the National Gallery of Singapore, Princeton’s Index of Medieval Art, the Wolfsonian (Florida International University), the University of Michigan, New Jersey City University, Northern Illinois University, Nanjing University Press, and currently work with more than twenty scholarly societies. The Press attends the London Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair, where it buys and sells translation rights. Its volumes have been translated into Korean, Russian, Turkish, Italian, French, German, and various other languages. Working together with colleagues from the Libraries, we’ve also built inroads into the Beijing Book Fair and the Guadalajara Book Fair.

The Press, as a division of the University Libraries, shares a commitment to Open Access publishing. We currently publish two journals Open Access and utilize a platform for an open monograph series as well as more than 50 volumes from the Libraries’ Special Collections. An initiative to make available to the Penn State University community of faculty, staff, and students Open Access volumes from our backlist is underway.

The Press is a not-for-profit organization, and it must finish “in the black” each year. The University provides a budget allocation of roughly 10% of the Press’s operating expenses. Revenue generated from selling books, journals, rights and permissions (including translations), and income from outside project subsidies (especially in art and architectural history), contribute approximately 90% of the income target of $3.5 million dollars annually. This chart shows the distribution of costs. Salaries are only around 44% of our operating costs.

The Press’s strategic plan for 2017–2022 calls for aggressive growth, and it expects to increase its revenue from the sales of scholarly content (books, journals, datasets) to roughly $4.5 million dollars by 2022, a roughly 8% annual rate of growth. Acquisitions of assets figures into this calculation.

Key strategic priorities for 2017–2022:

  • grow publishing output / increase revenue
  • increase quality of book acquisitions
  • expand journals program
  • look for Open Access opportunities
  • increase international presence of the Press
  • create an endowment for the Press

SENATE COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES, INFORMATION SYSTEMS, AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Fred Aebli
  • Robert Bridges
  • Mary Beth Clark
  • Barbara Dewey
  • Roger Egolf, Chair
  • Joseph Enama
  • Mathew Krott
  • Michal Kubit
  • Anna Mazzucato
  • John Messner
  • Terry O’Heron
  • Barry Pawlowski
  • Jacqueline Reid-Walsh
  • Jennifer Sparrow
  • Eric Walker, Vice Chair