Rice University is closing its digital university press publishing in September.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports: “The move ends a high-profile experiment in digital university-press publishing. Closed once before, in 1996, the press was reborn in 2006 as an all-digital operation. But it had proven too expensive to sustain even in its new form, according to a statement by Eugene Levy, a Rice professor of astrophysics who stepped down as the university’s provost in June. As provost, Levy authorized the money for the press’s rebirth four years ago.”
Levy said in a statement that the hope was that the digital press would sustain itself on revenues from print-on-demand books, but book sales remained slow.
The Chronicle piece continued: “The Rice press relied on Connexions, the university’s online, open-source environment for creating and publishing scholarly content, as its e-publishing platform. Levy’s statement indicated that Rice books are likely to remain available through Connexions.”