Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year

Academic Publisher of the Year

WInner: Academic, Educational & Professional Publisher of the Year

Emerald Publishing

Emerald Publishing

The market town of Bingley in west Yorkshire is not where many might expect to find the UK’s most impressive academic publisher of 2018. But it is where Emerald Publishing has been quietly thriving for more than half a century now, demonstrating the often forgotten strength of independent publishing beyond London and other big academic cities.

With a social sciences list that now encompasses more than 3,000 books and 300 journals, Emerald had one of its best ever years in 2018, notching up double-digit book sales growth and pushing determinedly into translation rights.

As the academic sector grapples with the issue of Open Access, perhaps the standout achievement was the launch of the Emerald Open Research platform, providing an open peer review process and free access to all.

The British Book Awards judges applauded Emerald’s PR and marketing activity, which achieved some impressive coverage for its books in mainstream as well as academic channels; and the launch of its new Library Advisory Network, through which it is using academic librarians to shape its future content and services.

The judges also admired Emerald’s care of people—authors and staff alike. “This is obviously a great place to be published—a real go-to place for academics,” they said. They saw concerted efforts to support diversity too, both in its output by appointing its first Gender and Diversity Publisher, and in-house by launching a STRIDE initiative and tackling issues around family-friendly working and the gender pay divide.


  • Rowman & Littlefield International
    Widely respected just six years after its UK launch, it had a big publishing event with Peter Hain’s Mandela
  • Sage Publishing
    Shortlisted for the seventh year in a row, it evolved the tech side of its business through acquisition and took on its thousandth journal
  • Kogan Page
    Continued to reimagine its business and management publishing with new audio and trade lists as it entered its sixth decade
  • Jessica Kingsley Publishers
    Now part of the Hachette group, it proved itself no less passionate about the social sciences niches it serves
  • Historic Environment Scotland
    In just its fourth year of publishing, the public body produced some ambitious frontlist publishing
  • Collins Learning
    Responded well to another tough year in the schools sector, with Collins Big Cat and Collins Dictionaries among its big brands
  • Bloomsbury Publishing
    Marked its 10th year in the academic sector with sharp digital and print sales growth and new partnerships