We’ve been working a long time to cultivate our mysterious persona (since 1943!), but sometimes being mysterious isn’t all that great. People we meet often have questions about who we are and what we do.
Most folks are familiar with the “Big Five” publishers, and they do great work. But there are more than 120 university presses in America (not to mention Europe, Australia, China, Canada, and the UK) publishing ~12,000 books a year!
The main difference between our press and a publisher like one of the Big Five is that our books must all be peer-reviewed before they can be published. University press books are sent to scholars and peer-reviewers across the globe to be vetted before they are approved for publication. Even books like The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book were reviewed by experts in the field. This process ensures that our published books remain of the highest quality and helps us maintain a clear and focused mission.
University presses, as a whole, are instrumental to the expansion of knowledge and scholarship. From scholarly monographs and journals, to partnerships with universities, libraries, historical societies, and others, university presses ensure the continued development of research, ideas, and understanding. Below are a few more reasons why university presses matter. For more information, visit www.aupresses.org.
- University Presses make available to the broader public the full range and value of research generated by university faculty.
- University Press books and journals present the basic research and analysis that is drawn upon by policymakers, opinion leaders, and authors of works for the general public.
- University Presses help to preserve the distinctiveness of local cultures through publication of works on the states and regions where they are based.
- University Presses encourage cultural expression by publishing works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction and books on contemporary art and photography.
- University Presses, through the peer review process, test the validity and soundness of scholarship and thus maintain high standards for academic publication.
- University Presses add to the richness of undergraduate and graduate education by publishing most of the non-textbook and supplementary material used by instructors.
- University Presses extend the reach and influence of their parent institutions, making evident their commitment to knowledge and ideas.
- University Presses help connect the university to the surrounding community by publishing books of local interest and hosting events for local authors.
- University Presses provide advice and opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in publishing.
We want to demystify the machinations of our university press and reach out to our community and friends, old and new. In the weeks ahead, we’ll introduce our staff, feature our process, and of course, highlight our books along the way. We couldn’t do what we love without the support of our readers and fans, so don’t be shy! We’re always delighted to answer any questions anyone might have about UPK, who we are, and what we do.