The bepress mission
Founded by professors in 1999, bepress exists to serve academia. We deliver scholarly communications and publishing services for academic institutions, empowering their communities to showcase and share their works for maximum impact. Through our services bepress seeks to link communities of scholars, listen to their needs, and provide solutions to support emerging academic missions and goals.
The story of bepress
Berkeley Electronic Press
The heart of bepress has always been about listening to faculty and library needs and responding with simple, technology-based solutions that support librarians and scholars in navigating the changing world of scholarly publishing.
Bepress was built by scholars to serve the needs of scholars. In the late 1990's, academic journals were plagued by slow turnaround times, limited access, and unreasonable prices. Publishers wanted to maximize profits, while editors wanted to maximize readership and share ideas. In 1999, UC Berkeley Professors Robert Cooter, Aaron Edlin, and Ben Hermalin banded together to launch a sustainable alternative: Berkeley Electronic Press, now simply called bepress.
Cooter, Edlin and Hermalin saw that the internet held the potential to increase publication speed and put control in the hands of scholars and libraries. Bepress began by developing an innovative online editorial management system specifically designed to make peer-review workflow as quick and easy as possible. These editorial management tools became the foundation for a highly-ranked suite of peer-reviewed journals published online by bepress, with fast turnaround times for authors, a front-running "guest access" model for readers, and a commitment to sustainable prices for libraries.
The tools we created and honed to support these journals became popular. Editors started asking us if they could use our tools when working with other publishers. We began licensing the software as a service and realized that there was a great need for both the software and the support bepress provided, including technical updates, publishing expertise, optimized web discovery, and customer support. We saw that, in line with our mission, we could serve the unmet needs of scholars by offering this software service more widely.
To address the broader crisis in scholarly communications, bepress then set out to provide authors and universities with a solution for them to share their research openly and widely. Thus bepress pioneered Digital Commons, a software service that is now the leading hosted institutional repository (IR). Digital Commons serves institutional needs by showcasing the breadth of scholarship produced at an institution--everything from faculty papers to student projects, annual reports, and community partnerships. Through Digital Commons, libraries are able to support faculty in creating and editing sustainable scholarly journals, as well as a variety of other publishing initiatives like e-only press imprints, conference proceedings, student research, and more. The content is all the institution's own; bepress provides the platform, the support, and the expertise.
Over time, bepress has developed other services for authors, editors, and researchers, including several specific to the legal field. These software services include LawKit for law review editors and ExpressO, which makes law review submissions fast, easy and paper-free. ExpressO is now the standard service by which law reviews in the U.S. accept submissions.
In designing SelectedWorks, a research announcement tool that maximizes the readership and impact of a scholar's work, we combined our knowledge of scholarly publishing trends with faculty requests to create a comprehensive service. SelectedWorks actively links communities and provides increased discoverability and impact metrics.
In 2011, bepress chose to exit the commercial subscription-based journal business in order to focus all of our energies on our open access services; this meant selling the 60+ bepress journals which we had published for the last decade. We believe the future of scholarly publishing lies in the hands of libraries and scholars to provide open access and effective research dissemination. That belief drives our work to provide authors and universities with solutions for them to showcase and share their research.
Over the years, the core mission has remained unchanged: to provide effective publishing and research dissemination services that keep control in the hands of scholars and libraries.
All of these things we do come from who we are. We are a small and dedicated company with diverse employees, too many advanced degrees, and a shared love of academia. Our supportive work environment translates into creative thinking, good listening skills, and personalized customer service.
Meet the founders
Bepress was founded by faculty and keeps faculty at the heart of everything we do. The founders still regularly contribute to and participate in the growth and development of bepress services.
Robert Cooter is the Herman F. Selvin Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. As a pioneer in the field of law and economics, he helped found the American Law and Economics Association and served as its President in 1994-1995. He is co-director of Berkeley's Law and Economics Program. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received an honorary doctorate from Hamburg University in 2002. He co-founded the Latin American and Caribbean Law and Economics Association (ALACDE), and he served as its president in 2005. Besides numerous articles, he is co-author of Law and Economics (5th edition, 2008, with Tom Ulen) and author of The Strategic Constitution (Princeton, 2000). Learn more at Robert Cooter's SelectedWorks site
Aaron Edlin holds the Richard Jennings Chair and professorships in both the economics department and law school at UC Berkeley and is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He specializes in antitrust economics and antitrust law. He served on the Obama campaign's competition policy committee, and as Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton White House covering industrial organization, regulation and antitrust. He is co-author with P. Areeda & L. Kaplow of one of the leading casebooks on antitrust; he has also published many articles on industrial organization, competition policy, antitrust law, and a variety of other issues in economics, law and public policy in leading journals. Learn more at Aaron Edlin's SelectedWorks site
Benjamin E. Hermalin
Benjamin E. Hermalin holds professorships in both the Economics Department and in Berkeley's Haas School of Business. In the latter, he is the Thomas & Alison Schneider Distinguished Professor of Finance. His areas of research include corporate governance, the study of organizations, and law & economics. He was the Interim Dean of the Haas School for most of 2002. He served as the Economics Department Chair from 2005 until 2008. Learn more at Benjamin E. Hermalin's SelectedWorks site