May 19, 2022

New White Paper: “A Study of Direct Author Subvention for Publishing Humanities Books at Two Universities”

Here’s a new white paper (Sept. 2015). From of Indiana U. of U. of Michigan made available earlier this week in the U. of Michigan Deep Blue repository.

Links to three data files are also found below.


A Study of Direct Author Subvention for Publishing Humanities Books at Two Universities: A Report to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation by Indiana University and University of Michigan.


This white paper presents recommendations about how a system of monographic publication fully funded by subventions from authors’ parent institutions might function, based on research activities supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation at Indiana University and the University of Michigan. While the contributors present a strong argument for implementing such an “author subvention” system, they describe a number of challenges and potential unintended consequences. Particular issues discussed include how to determine which publishers would be eligible for support, how best to support untenured faculty, and how to avoid disenfranchising scholars at less well-funded institutions.

Background and Authors

This report was produced as the main deliverable from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant 41400692, “A Study of Direct Author Subvention for Publishing Humanities Books at Two Universities.

The Indiana University team led by PI Carolyn Walters, consisted of Jason Baird Jackson, Scott Smart, Nick Fitzgerald, Gary Dunham and Shayna Pekala.

The University of Michigan team led by PI James Hilton consisted of Paul Courant, Sidonie Smith, Meredith Kahn, Charles Watkinson, Jim Ottaviani, and Aaron McCollough.

Lead authorship of the different sections in this report is indicated in the opening paragraphs.

Direct to Full Text (55 pages; PDF)

Direct to Three Data Sets

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.