"The Policy Press occupies a unique place among social science publishers. It publishes work across a range of policy issues, across a range of disciplines and across a range of products from detailed evaluations to broader topical explorations. But its publications have in common their contribution to a broader aim: the use of research evidence to improve policy making, practice, or social well-being. It reaches audiences beyond the narrowly academic aiming to improve the beneficial impact of high quality social science." Sharon Witherspoon, Deputy Director, Nuffield Foundation
Publishing with a purpose
Established in 1996, the aim of The Policy Press has always been to try to improve social conditions with publications that will make a positive difference to learning and research, policy and practice. In essence, we are a publisher with a purpose.
Based in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Bristol, we are now well-known as a leading international publisher of high quality books and journals across a wide range of subjects including: social policy and social welfare, childhood studies and family policy, ageing, social work and social care, public policy, criminology and criminal justice, health, housing and urban policy. Our authors range from leading scholars and thinkers around the world to talented first-time authors and we also collaborate with a large number of organisations and associations.
Many of our titles are multi- and/or interdisciplinary spanning disciplines including social policy, social work, sociology and political science. We have over 500 titles in our book list and publish around 70 new titles each year as well as some of the key journals in the field.
“It is a privilege to work with a publisher that cares so much about positive social change and that is prepared to take a risk on things worth taking a risk for." Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care, University of Birmingham
How are we different?
The independent, not-for-profit status of The Press is appreciated by our customers, authors and suppliers, in contrast to the financial imperatives of the large commercial publishing houses. We have a solid understanding of the needs and requirements of academics and students as a result of being based within a university. Our specialist focus also means that we have built up considerable knowledge of our audiences and the ways in which we can reach them. Quality is always at the forefront of everything we do.
Our titles feature regularly in the media; contributing to current debates and helping us achieve our aim of making an impact. We market and sell our publications in more than 60 countries internationally.
Run by a small dedicated team of staff we provide a friendly, reliable, flexible and collaborative service to our authors, customers and all with whom we work.
"The Policy Press are unique in offering a personalised service to all their authors and series editors. They work very closely with authors from ideas stage to book launch and are hugely supportive and rigorous in the process of publication. Consequently they provide high quality publications. They are knowledgeable about the disciplines they specialise in and are dedicated to promoting social science. They are great people to work with and great fun.”
Judith Phillips, Professor of Social Work and Gerontology, University of Swansea
The Policy Press has always been an environmentally aware organisation and we were minimising waste, recycling paper and saving energy long before green was the new black. We have also always had an awareness of our impact – reducing the negative and increasing the positive by changing the little things, such as reusing our jiffy bags, using fair trade tea and coffee, and supporting charities at Christmas rather than sending cards each year.
As a books and journals publisher our main environmental impacts are created by our products. To minimise those impacts we always use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved paper, our printing is all done within the UK and only by printers who are PEFC (Pan European Forest Council) accredited and who use ISO certified waste management companies. We make use of new technologies such as print on demand (which reduces waste as well as shipping) and produce both journals and books in electronic formats; we work with our distributors to minimise the packaging used when sending out your orders. Within the office we have high levels of energy saving awareness, we reuse and recycle paper, as well as the packaging from our fair trade snacks, and we encourage use of sustainable transport for business travel and commuting.
The University of Bristol’s Green Impact Awards gave us the impetus to formalise our commitment to these issues and led to the formation of a ‘Green Team’ in 2008 (of which more than half of staff are members) and to the creation of a sustainability statement. Our annual strategy highlights the good things that we do already and pinpoints the areas in which there is potential for change. We have also developed a bi-monthly newsletter, the Green Ps, which is circulated to staff (electronically of course) and includes information and ideas, questionnaires and campaigns. We were delighted to be one of only three university departments awarded a Gold Green Impact Award in 2010, and we will be involved in the awards again in 2011.
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