Purpose and Organization

How is UC Press related to the University of California and what is its mission?

UC Press is an autonomous unit of the University of California's Office of the President. It is not associated with any one campus of the University. As the nonprofit publisher of the University of California system, our mission is to disseminate scholarship of enduring value to multiple audiences. In publishing for diverse groups, University of California Press supports the University's mandates for research, teaching, and public service. Director Alison Mudditt reports to the Provost for Academic Affairs.

What is the function of the UC Press Foundation and its Board of Trustees?

The UC Press Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Foundation was established in 1980 (as the Associates of the University of California Press) to raise funds to support the work of UC Press. The Foundation is guided by a Board of Trustees made up of cultural and civic leaders from Northern and Southern California.

There are also a Board of Directors and an Editorial Committee. What are their functions?

The Board of Directors is an advisory board appointed by the Provost of Academic Affairs to oversee UC Press's finances and operations. The Board of Directors consists of University of California Office of the President executives, publishing leaders, the co-chairs of UC Press's Editorial Committee, and the chair and vice-chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees. The Editorial Committee includes twenty distinguished faculty representing all UC campuses and is appointed by the Academic Senate of the University of California to review and approve every project for publication under the imprint of University of California Press.

About Our Business

How is a university press different from a commercial book publisher?

University presses make available to students, scholars, and the broader public the full range of research, intellectual endeavor, and artistic creativity undertaken in educational and cultural organizations around the world. Driven by the mission of promoting and preserving scholarship rather than increasing the bottom line, university presses play a critical role in disseminating great ideas. For more information, visit the website of the Association of American University Presses.

How does UC Press compare to other university presses?

University of California Press is among the six largest university publishers in the United States. Its peers include the presses of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, and the University of Chicago. Among this group, UC Press is the only press associated with a public university and the only one located west of the Mississippi.

How many books and journals does UC Press publish each year? Who selects what books and journals to publish?

Each year UC Press publishes approximately 200 new books and 40 multi-issue journals. All publications undergo a rigorous peer review process that includes vetting by the acquisitions editor, at least two outside specialists, and our Editorial Committee. While some UC Press publications result from unsolicited proposals, the majority of our books are sought out by our editors.

Is UC Press involved in digital publishing?

Here is a short list of UC Press's digital publishing initiatives.

Current Scholarship Program
This is a partnership between University of California Press and JSTOR. An enhanced JSTOR platform carries all current and archival content for the complete run of all UC Press journals. Libraries may purchase custom current content collections based on their specific preferences and may also seamlessly link and search across their JSTOR archival subscriptions. Other benefits include a single point of ordering and invoicing and access point for library patrons.

Digitization of UC Press's Print Archive
In 2010, UC Press partnered with Google to scan copies of books in our print archive. The books that Google scanned are now in the Google Books Partner Program. You can view up to 10% of many of our books via www.ucpress.edu. See an example here. Additionally, we identified roughly 2,000 books that Google scanned that were out of print and for which UC Press still held the rights. These are 100% open and readable through searches on Google's site and, in many cases, at www.ucpress.edu. See an example here. You can also access the full text in UC's Melvyl catalog using the preview link on the catalog page. 

UC Press has been a leader in working with wholesale and retail e-booksellers to make its catalog of e-book titles widely available on a variety of different platforms.

You can buy e-books directly off of ucpress.edu. Browse e-books.

Our e-bookselling partners include:

Amazon.com (Kindle)
American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Humanities E-Book
Barnes & Noble
Dawson Books
Google ebookstore
IG Publishing
Ingram Digital
Sony Reader Store

You may also purchase UC Press e-books from these Independent Booksellers.

Mark Twain Project Online
Mark Twain Project Online applies innovative technology to more than four decades' worth of archival research by expert editors at the Mark Twain Project. It offers unfettered, intuitive access to reliable texts, accurate and exhaustive notes, and the most recently discovered letters and documents. Its ultimate purpose is to produce a digital critical edition, fully annotated, of everything Mark Twain wrote. /MTPO/ is a collaboration between the Mark Twain Papers and Project of the Bancroft Library, the California Digital Library, and the University of California Press.

Social Media
Visit the UC Press blog, listen to podcasts, view video, follow our twitter feeds (@ucpress or our subject-specific twitter feeds @educatedpalates and @educatedarts), or visit our facebook page. You can also sign up for RSS feeds or subscribe to UC Press eNews.

UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004
A joint project of UC Press and the CDL's Publishing Group, 1982-2004, includes nearly 2,000 UC Press-published scholarly books on a range of topics, including art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction. Access to the digital books is free for all UC faculty, staff, and students; more than 750 titles are also freely available to the public. Print versions of many of the books can be purchased directly from UC Press. The CDL employs an XML and Java-based infrastructure to support the publication of these digital books. Readers benefit from format flexibility, full-text searching and internal links to footnote and index references.

For whom does UC Press publish? Who are its audiences?

UC Press books serve audiences of general readers, students, scholars, policymakers, and activists. Our books are sold to retail outlets and libraries throughout the world.

Who are UC Press's authors?

UC Press attracts manuscripts from the world's foremost scholars, writers, artists, and public intellectuals. About one-fourth of UC Press authors are affiliated with the University of California.

Sources of Support

As a nonprofit publisher, how does UC Press support itself?

UC Press's revenues come primarily from sales of our books and journals, while University subsidy accounts for a small percentage. Generous philanthropic gifts from individuals and organizations fill the critical gap.

Why do UC Press books need to be subsidized? Why doesn't UC Press just raise the prices of its books?

A portion of UC Press's publishing program is devoted to specialized scholarship; these books have small print runs and therefore rarely recover their production costs. Other books with complex production specifications, such as those in the arts and sciences, are expensive to produce. UC Press is dedicated to reaching the audiences for which its books are intended; pricing the books for their markets often means that subsidy is required to break even.

How can I support UC Press?

Learn about membership levels and benefits, or make a gift online. Thank you!