by Alison Shaw
4th July 2019

Alison Shaw

It is that time of year again when we are out at conferences, meeting our authors, editors, readers and making new connections. At these events, we’re often asked about becoming Bristol University Press and where Policy Press now fits.

When we launched Policy Press (PP) in 1996, our very first conference was the Social Policy Association. As we head there again, it is amazing to reflect on how things have changed for The Press, and importantly what has not changed, since those early days.

Twenty years later, in 2016 we launched Bristol University Press (BUP). Change can be difficult and, as usual, we haven’t played by the rules. Publishing imprints usually follow after the lead brand is established, but not for us! We moved Policy Press to an imprint of BUP.

We created BUP so we could take our publishing ethos out to wider scholarly communities and global audiences. We wanted to ensure that PP could continue to do what it had always done – publishing research to inform policy – as well as supporting aligned areas with a practice orientation such as social work, gerontology, health and social care.

In short, having PP as an imprint allows us to keep it’s character and mission, and it’s place at the heart of our publishing, while maximising the impact and reach of the work published from it.

The most important, and the most heartening thing for me, is that the core values that were at the heart of Policy Press at its inception are still with us today:

• a social as well as scholarly purpose;

•  making a difference, having an impact and contributing to social change;

• putting authors/editors first with a high-quality service, sensitive copy-editing and hands on marketing and PR;

• supporting our scholarly communities and working collaboratively to help them achieve their goals.

These values are reflected in every book, series and journal we produce, including these from Policy Press:

selected titles from Policy Press

And these from Bristol University Press:

selected titles from Bristol UniversityPress


Policy Press is the same as it has always been, just part of an expanded organisation. Our staff team created and managed Policy Press and it is the same team who have created Bristol University Press. We have grown rapidly over the past couple of years, thanks to the investment of the University of Bristol, which has been exhilarating. We thank everyone for continuing to support us throughout this complex and exciting process.

We believe that Policy Press will be stronger as a result of the investment in Bristol University Press. There will be benefits in terms of greater international presence, expanded global representation, improved infrastructure and technology investment all supported by an exceptional staff team drawn from leading international publishers as well as our own longstanding amazing staff.

In the wider world,  scholarly publishing has been transformed, as digital technologies revolutionise how people find, access and use research and teaching materials, and as a company we embrace this.

We continue to receive heart-warming feedback on our work and our team and we will do everything we can to ensure that as we grow we will sustain our high level of service and products.

We hope to see you at one of the conferences and events we are attending and do let us know how you think we are doing so we can continue to give you the best service and products we can. Take a look at photos from our recent events below.

If you are interested in publishing with us, find out more in our Why publish with us? flyer.


Waterstone's launch of 'The End of Aspiration' by Duncan Exley

Waterstone’s launch of ‘The End of Aspiration’ by Duncan Exley

Launch of the International Journal of Care and Caring

Launch of the International Journal of Care and Caring

Margaret Ledwith at the Community Development conference in Dundee

Margaret Ledwith at the Community Development conference in Dundee

Benita Matofska and Sophie Sheinwald on the Generation Share book tour

Benita Matofska and Sophie Sheinwald on the Generation Share book tour

The Policy & Politics annual lecture

The Policy & Politics annual lecture

Our stand at the year's British Society of Criminology conference

Our stand at the year’s British Society of Criminology conference