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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Upskilling Tips for Academic Publishing

By Meghan Capper, Sukhpreet Chana, Misha Manani and Joe Pilbrow


If you’ve been a student, you may have encountered academic publishers such as Oxford University Press, SAGE and Taylor & Francis. Whereas trade publishing produces books for a general consumer audience, academic publishing specifically targets students, professors and librarians. They distribute research and scholarship through non-fiction, books, journals, textbooks and online resources catering to many subject fields, from humanities and science to business and medicine. Academic publishing mainly uses peer review; the author submits a manuscript and the editorial team selects reviewers in the same field to assess the quality of the research. In this article, we round up key academic publishers, their specialisms and the work experience on offer.


Key Academic Publishers


SAGE Publishing: An international publisher specialising in the social sciences with journal articles, books, learning resources and catalogues available. They value ownership, curiosity and the desire to make a positive contribution to society. Check out their job listings in the UK and the USA.


Taylor & Francis Group: A global academic company of journal articles and eBooks. They publish a range of topics including the arts, sciences, law and technology and have roles in marketing, sales and editorial at their Routledge imprint.


Wiley: They publish collections and journals to support professional and educational growth. This covers different branches including medicine, healthcare, culinary and hospitality. Take a look at their careers page.


University Press (UP): The various locations of University Press originate from different institutions of higher education in the UK. Great places to work which always have jobs going include Oxford UP, Cambridge UP, Manchester UP, Edinburgh UP and Liverpool UP.


Bloomsbury Publishing: This is a unique case where the publisher has a huge trade division but also focuses on the academic side tailored towards students, teachers and librarians. Their careers area is excellent and easy to navigate according to your interests.


Resources and Organisations


Social Media for Academic Publishing: This discusses how social media can be successfully used to market academic journals. It outlines the challenges faced by marketers in academic publishing while recognising its worth in drawing attention to more scholarly content. You can access this by registering at The Publishing Training Centre.


Society for Scholarly Publishing: This organisation encourages and offers support when developing a career in the academic publishing field. Their website features a Careers Centre, Professional Profiles section, Fellowship Program, Volunteer section and a Professional Skills Map.


Publishing Academic Papers for Early Career Researchers (Midlands Hub): The British Academy Early Career Researcher Network is hosting an online event for graduates that want to pursue their career further by networking. This allows you to enhance your knowledge about writing journal articles, factors to consider when publishing academic papers and much more. Join the guestlist to find out more information about the event.


Top Tips


Show an interest in the subject area: Academic publishing covers a whole range of different subjects, from environmental sciences and mechanical engineering to religion and philosophy. Many roles will be subject specific, so being able to show a genuine interest in the field will go a long way in the recruitment process.


Tailor your CV: Make sure your CV demonstrates your interest in academic publishing. Trade and academic publishers will be looking for different qualities, so make small changes to your CV to better meet the job requirements.


Be open-minded: Lots of publishing hopefuls are understandably excited by the thought of working at Penguin Random House or HarperCollins, but roles at these companies are extremely competitive. Academic publishing is a great alternative. You’ll learn loads about the industry and the experience will serve you well for the future.


Contact recruiters: Academic publishers often use recruiters to advertise vacancies and process candidates. Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn and sign up on their websites to receive job alerts so you don’t miss any of the latest roles. Check out Inspired Selection, Redwood Recruitment, Think Selection, and Creative Access.


Gain experience at your university: Lots of universities have an in-house press where you may be able to get some valuable experience, or even an internship, while you study. Speak to tutors and career advisors who could put you in touch with a relevant publishing contact.


Research the company: Follow academic publishers on social media, read their blog posts and keep on top of the industry news. Showing an awareness of the publishing environment in your cover letter or interview will really impress a hiring manager.


Thank you for reading issue seventy-eight! Join us again for issue seventy-nine where we will cover the Upskilling Dictionary: Sales.


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