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One thing after another: Book series and navigating the crisis in scholarly publishing--a case study

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(Project Report) M.Pub.
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The number of series published by university presses in Canada and the United States doubled between 1980 and 2000. In the same two decades scholarly book publishers experienced the full onslaught of the crisis in scholarly publishing. Why do university presses develop series in this context? And what role do they play in publishing programs? This study focuses on the development, production, and marketing of series at one medium-sized university press. UBC Press was founded in 1971 and suffered a severe crisis in the late 1980s that threatened its existence. It has since restructured its operations, refocused its publishing program, and transformed itself into Canada’s leading publisher of social sciences. An analysis of the Press’s experience with series over the long term and interviews with its staff reveals that series helped the Press weather the crisis, and they played an important, if uneven, role in its transformation.
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