UK University Press Round-up

If you’re looking to work in academic publishing, it’s a good idea to know which academic presses are near you – or where you might be hoping to relocate to. All effort has been made to list areas of publishing, digital developments and thoughts on Open Access.

Open University Press and University of Nottingham Press have been omitted from this list, due to the lack of information available on them from their respective university websites. University of York Music Press has also been omitted due to the nature of its publications being unlike traditional university presses.


Cambridge University Press
is the world’s oldest publishing house, after being founded in 1534 and the second-largest university press in the world. It is both an academic and educational publisher, with the Press’s mission statement to ‘further the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.’

Areas of publishing: a wide variety of journals and books with topics ranging from Humanities; Social Sciences; Science; Medicine; Engineering & Technology; English Language Teaching & Learning; and Education.

Digital developments: Owing to the changes taking place in the way that books and content are bought and accessed, Cambridge believes that digital products, services and solutions could account for two-thirds of its sales by 2020. Since 2010, Cambridge has provided electronic book content through the website Cambridge Books Online. For many years, all of Cambridge’s journals have been published in both hard copy format and online. CUP also works in partnership with Hitachi Software Engineering to bring interactive whiteboards and teaching materials to schools.

Position on Open Access: CUP is one of thirteen publishers to participate in the Knowledge Unlatched pilot, a global library consortium approach to funding open access books. CUP is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.

Edinburgh University Press
publishes a range of research publications, which include scholarly monographs and reference works, as well as materials which are available on-line. The Press also publishes textbooks for students and lecturers. The press publishes around 120 books and 30 journals each year.

Areas of publishing: Edinburgh University Press publishes mostly in humanities and social sciences. After acquiring Dundee University Press in 2013, EUP has stated aims to publish more textbooks on law.

Digital developments:

Position on Open Access: EUP supports both gold and green open access publishing, and is one of thirteen publishers to participate in the Knowledge Unlatched pilot, a global library consortium approach to funding open access books.

University of Exeter Press
specialises in humanities publishing. With over fifty years dedicated to scholarly book publishing, it has a wealth of experience from which to continue to expand and develop its activities by branching out into new subject areas. These include cults, witchcraft and medicines; Arabic and Islamic studies; and projects concerning Asia and China.

Areas of publishing: mostly books on Classical Studies & Ancient History; Archeology/Landscape Studies; Film History; Performance Studies; History; Literature; Cultural & Social Studies; Linguistics; Education, Philosophy & Religion; and South-West Studies.

Digital developments: As well as publishing all recent titles as eBooks,UEP has adapted a selection of popular titles from the past twenty years to eBook. These are in ePDF and ePUB formats to ensure usability across digital devices.

Position on Open Access: University of Exeter has embraced open access, and has an OA Repository feature on the website, including information on how to receive OA funding, OA policies and the benefits of OA.

Launched in 1992, University of Hertfordshire Press established itself as the leading publisher in Gypsy and Traveller Studies.

Areas of publishing: Romani Studies; History; Theatre Studies; Psychology; Education; Sustainable Communities; and Law.

Digital developments: As far as I can tell from the website, UH Press only publishes their books as hard copies.

Position on Open Access: I cannot find any information on the UH Press and open access.

Imperial College Press is committed to producing high-quality books in both print and electronic format, embracing advances in modern technology to produce excellent ebooks alongside traditional print books.

Areas of publishing: mostly sciences, notably Physics, Engineering and the Life Sciences; Architecture & Building Management; Asian Studies; Business & Management; Computer Science; Economics & Finance; General Interest; and Mathematics.

Digital developments: Articles and Books available as print and online copies.

Position on Open Access: Imperial College is keen to develop Open Access, and has its own Open Access and Digital Scholarship blog.

Kingston University Press titles reflect the diverse nature of the student and academic bodies at Kingston University in ways which are designed to impact on debate, to generate mutual understanding and to complement the values to which the University is committed.

Areas of publishing: Creative Writing & Essay Writing; Life Writing, Memoir & Biography; Iris Murdoch Studies; Human Rights & History; and Publishing.

Digital developments: Titles are only available as print copies.

Position on Open Access: Kingston University has a research repository, but this does not appear to be linked to the university press.

Liverpool University Press
is the third oldest in the world after Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press. It currently publishes approximately 70 books a year and 25 journals.

Areas of publishing: It specialises in modern languages, literatures, history, and visual culture.

Digital developments: As well as publishing online eBooks and journals, LUP created a digital E-library of Translated Texts for Historians. LUP also distributes the Evellum Scriptorium Series of digital facsimile editions and teaching resources for Medieval manuscripts.

Position on Open Access: Liverpool University Press is one of thirteen publishers to participate in the Knowledge Unlatched pilot, a global library consortium approach to funding open access books.

Manchester University Press currently publishes 145 new books a year and 14 journals as well as an extensive backlist of over 1000 titles. MUP has well-established editorial, production, design and marketing department and employs nineteen staff. In addition the various departments within the Press regularly call upon an established pool of professional freelancers.

Areas of publishing: Anthropology; Archaeology; Art History ; Business Studies; Cultural Studies; Economics; Education; Film & Media; History; International Relations; Irish Studies; Language Texts; Law; Literature; Local Studies; Music; Politics; Reference; Religion; Sociology; Study Guides; and Theatre Studies.

Digital developments: MUP has many digital resources, including the Manchester Medieval Sources Online platform and the Manchester Scholarship Online which makes extensive scholarly studies available in the same place for the first time.

Position on Open Access: Manchester University Press has been actively involved in Open Access publishing for several years, and is pleased to offer its authors and contributors a high-quality route to open access publication both in the form of journal articles and of monographs. MUP is a founding member of the OAPEN project which has led the way in developing a sustainable platform for OA publishing of monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences. As all journals are subscription-based, authors are able to self-archive in subject repositories (Green OA).

Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. The university became involved in the print trade around 1480, and grew into a major printer of Bibles, prayer books, and scholarly works.

Areas of publishing: printing over 6,000 titles a year, it’s safe to say OUP publish in all areas. Journals focus on Arts & Humanities; Law; Medicine & Health; Science & Mathematics; and Social Sciences.

Digital developments: Oxford University Press produces online editions of many of its most acclaimed scholarly and reference works including dictionaries, encyclopedias, general reference material and monographs in a wide range of subject areas.

Position on Open Access: The OUP is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. It has been noted as one of the first university presses to publish an open access journal (Nucleic Acids Research), and probably the first to introduce Hybrid open access journals.

Policy Press, established in 1996, is an academic publisher based in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at theUniversity of Bristol, United Kingdom. Independent and not-for-profit, the company specialises in the social sciences and aims to improve social conditions with publications that will make a positive difference to learning and research, policy, and practice.

Areas of publishing: focusing on the social sciences, including Sociology; Social Policy; Childhood & Family Studies; Social Work; Criminology; Public Health; and Urban Policy.

Digital developments: Policy Press have introduced Policy Press Bytes and Policy Press Shorts as new ways to entice readership in accessible ways.

Position on Open Access: Policy Press journals comply with the majority of funding agency mandates for Open Access publication of work they support. Gold OA is available for monographs.

University of Wales Press has published over 3,500 titles since 1922 and currently publishes 70 titles a year. UWP began creating e-books in 2009 and has around 250 digital editions currently available.

Areas of publishing: Books, eBooks and journals focusing on Archaelogy; Art & Music; Biography; Gender Studies; Hispanic Studies; History; Language & Linguistics; Literary Criticism; Media, Film & Theatre; Medieval; Philosophy; Politics; Reference; Religion; Science; Social Policy & Law; Social Sciences; Sport; and Welsh & Celtic Studies.

Digital developments: Books and journals available in print and online.

Position on Open Access: As of March 2015, UWP are looking for a sustainable method of OA to implement in the press.


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