UK: Manchester University Press Enters Distribution Deal with Germany’s De Gruyter

In News by Porter Anderson

Scholarly presses: Manchester University Press agrees to have its lists and ‘ManchesterHive’ digitally distributed by De Gruyter.

At the University of Manchester, home to Manchester University Press. Image – Getty iStockphoto: AC Manley

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘To Further Extend Our Reach’
The University of Manchester’s press in England has announced an agreement to have its front- and backlist collections distributed by Germany’s Berlin-based De Gruyter and hosted by its site.

Manchester University Press, founded in 1903, reportedly has some 2,000 titles that will be made available in the arrangement, with academic libraries accessing the publisher’s annual ebook collections exclusively through the press’ own ebook platform—ManchesterHive—as well as at DeGruyter.com.

Today, Manchester University Press publishes more than 200 books annually, scholarly publishing in the humanities and social sciences including history and literature, as well as political science, economics, ethnography and archaeology, and mass media.

In the De Gruyter program, Manchester will become part of the German distributor’s University Press Library facility online. That’s a distribution model, De Gruyter says, “that provides libraries with complete annual digital output from some of the world’s most renowned university presses, with DRM-free and multi-user access.

“After Edinburgh University Press and Bristol University Press,”  De Gruyter says, Manchester University Press “will be the third university press from the United Kingdom to be added to the University Press Library, which overall will then handle content from a total 22 international university presses. In addition to the university presses, the platform hosts Berghahn Books and Multilingual Matters/Chanel View Publications.

De Gruyter itself comes to the table a scholarly publisher of note, having published works by Kant, Marx, Nietzsche.

All told today—having effectively leap-frogged its own background as a publisher to become a distributor of others—De Gruyter is handling digital access to more than 75,000 ebooks and 500 journals in some 30 subject areas from its own publishing program.

Simon Ross

In a comment on this week’s announcement, Manchester University Press CEO Simon Ross is quoted, saying, “Manchester University Press has benefitted from a sustained commitment and investment in its digital future, producing high-quality content and platforms to meet the growing international demand for our award-winning books.

“It’s important for us to work with people and organizations that share our purpose and values, so we’re excited to start this partnership with De Gruyter to further extend our reach into university libraries worldwide.”

Michael Zeoli

And in welcoming Manchester University Press, De Gruyter’s Michael Zeoli, director of the distributor’s publisher partner program, is quoted, saying that the publisher “adds richness and variety to our scholarly UK press partners and complements the highly regarded university presses included in the De Gruyter partner program.”

Manchester points out in its material about its work that today its backlist “is largely kept in print using print on demand and electronic editions.

“It was part of part of the European OAPEN project to investigate Open Access publishing, and was an early adopter of supplying electronic editions alongside the traditional hard and paperback volumes. It continues to publish in the area of history and literature, and the political sciences, but also has lists in economics, political economy, ethnography, international law, film and television studies, archaeology, art history and theater studies.”


More from Publishing Perspectives on academic and scholarly publishing is here, more on digitization is here, and more on De Gruyter is here. More on university presses is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s publishing market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.