University of Bristol

Celebrating 5 and 25 years: The commitment from the University

Professor Judith Squires, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, University of Bristol

The University of Bristol is proud to have established, and supported the development of, Bristol University Press. The Press was established to support the University’s core strategic objectives by creating an internationally-respected university press committed to world-class scholarship, challenge-led research and global impact.

The establishment of Bristol University Press 5 years ago followed 20 years of success with Policy Press, which has published high-impact work in social and public policy and applied subjects with a policy, professional and practice focus since 1996. The respect with which Policy Press was, and is, held amongst the academic, practitioner and publishing communities gave us confidence that the team which had created and grown Policy Press so successfully had the leadership and expertise required to create a first-rate University press.

The decision to create Bristol University Press was underpinned by a commitment to the importance of high-quality academic publishing, and a conviction of the vital role of Universities in supporting this endeavour. We also hoped that we would be able to develop a Press that would share, and amplify, the University’s values and priorities, echoing our research, education and social responsibility strategies and our commitment to international, EDI and sustainability objectives. The disciplinary focus of Bristol University Press was also aligned with our strategic investment in the social sciences (including politics and international relations; sociology; law and criminology; science, technology and society; business and management; economics and society, human geography; environment and sustainability) and our firm belief in the importance of social scientific research.

The Press’s guiding principles resonate strongly with the University’s ethos; focussing on Global Social Challenges (GSC), with clear links to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a commitment to high quality scholarship whilst encouraging new ideas and approaches that push scholarly boundaries; and a dedication to making an impact beyond the scholarly community, including among policy makers, professionals and wider society. We have also been pleased that the Press has worked so productively with Bristol scholars and research groups to publish world-leading research, including by establishing flagship series with Bristol editors teamed with international co-editors.

Finally, it is notable that a crucial factor in the Press’ success to date is the very high editorial, production and marketing services provided to authors. This is testament to the professionalism and dedication of the staff in both Policy Press and Bristol University Press. We have an outstanding team, and are proud that their success has been marked in a range of awards, including winning the Web Marketing Associations Best Publishing Website award and Highly Commended (second) in the ASPIRE Accessibility Award for the accessibility of our content.