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Meet the Member: School of Advanced Study
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Posted by IPG

1 What's your company called?

School of Advanced Study.

2 What do you publish?

Mostly monographs and edited collections in subject areas including politics, law, human rights, history, classics, literature and languages. We also produce some research reports and directories, and have recently launched an open access books platform that carries some backlist titles but will increasingly allow for new titles to appear in open access format as well as print straight away.

3 What's the story of the company?

The School is an academic body that is part of the central University of London, made up of nine institutes carrying out research promotion and facilitation in the humanities and social sciences. The publications team is part of the central School, providing services to all the institutes. Many of these, like the Institute of Historical Research and the Warburg Institute, have been publishing books since the 1960s, while some, like the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, have only started doing so within the last year or two. The central publications team was set up in 2008 to bring together publishing expertise across the School and benefit from economies of scale. Pretty much everything is done in-house: copyediting, typesetting, proofreading, ebook production and so on.

4 How's business?

It can be hard as a small specialist publisher to get our books to the attention of the people we know will want to read them. But we are getting there!

5 What do you enjoy about being independent?

We have the freedom to take risks, experiment with open access and publish work that is important and valuable but might not find a home with a commercial publisher.

6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?

For us in academic publishing, it has to be open access: how to make research available to the largest possible audience, while not devaluing it or the work we do as publishers, and simultaneously remaining sustainable.

7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?

Don’t be afraid to take risks and experiment.

8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?

We’ve only recently joined and don’t know why we didn’t years ago! The weekly emails are a good way to keep up to date with the industry, and the recent academic and professional Special Interest Group dinner was a great chance to network and hear about what others are up to. Moreover, a Lightning Source discount will pay for our membership in itself!

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