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University of Newcastle Library guides

Strategic Publishing: Books

Book publishing

Questions to ask when choosing a book publisher:

  • Does the publisher provide a high standard of editorial support?
  • Are the editors recognised experts or practitioners in the discipline?
  • Is the publisher responsible for all aspects of the publishing process, including review, copyediting, design, printing, distribution, marketing and publicity?
  • Check recently published titles at the publisher website - does your research area align with the publisher's target audience?
  • Is the publisher website 'polished'? Are titles easy to locate and marketed well?
  • Check with colleagues and your Senior Research Librarian if the publisher has a good standing in the academic community.
  • If the publisher offers open access titles is it a member of a recognised professional association committed to best practice in publishing, such as COPE, or the Open Access Publishers Association?

Be extremely careful of print-on-demand and vanity publishers (such as LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, and VDM) who mass-email early-career researchers and authors of recently published theses offering to publish their thesis as a book. Usually the content of thesis published by these publishers remain largely unchanged and are sold without peer review or editing of the thesis. Your copyright may also be affected. Check the information about predatory publishers for more information.

Books published by print-on-demand and vanity publishers may not be eligible for categorising as an A1 (authored) book for internal reporting and ERA purposes.