The University of Chicago Press

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Publisher analysis

About the publisher

Name: The University of Chicago Press Books


Purpose, objective, or mission: Founded in 1890, the mission of the Press is “the obligation to disseminate scholarship of the highest standard and to publish serious works that promote education, foster public understanding, and enrich cultural life. Through our books and journals, we seek not only to advance scholarly conversation within and across traditional disciplines but, in keeping with the University of Chicago’s experimental tradition, to help define new areas of knowledge and intellectual endeavor.”1

Target audience: Both scholars and casual audiences, in the United States and abroad. 2

Owner: The University of Chicago Press.

Are published books peer reviewed? Unknown

Types of books published: Research, reference works, educational texts, “non-scholarly work by writers, artists, and intellectuals from within and beyond the academy, translations of important foreign-language texts, both historical and contemporary, and books that contribute to the public’s understanding of Chicago and its region”. 3

Medium: Print and digital. 4

Topics covered: Subjects include: Literature and Criticism, Sociology, Education, Music, Anthropology, History, Art, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Digital Studies, Environmental Studies, Writing Guides, General Reference, Regional Reference, Political Science, Religion and Philosophy, and Economics & Business. 5

Number of titles published per year: “The Books Division has published more than eleven thousand books since the Press was founded. It has more than five thousand books in print at the present time.” 6

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of submissions accepted: Book proposals only on accepted subjects. The Press has a separate division for journals. The publisher explicitly states they do not accept unrevised dissertations, Festschriften, or works of original fiction.

Submission and review process: “If you wish to present a book proposal, please write to one of our acquisitions editors, by post or email, sending a letter of introduction, curriculum vitae, table of contents, and a prospectus. You may include a sample chapter, but please do not send a complete manuscript unless invited.” 7

“There is no set format, but a good project description (or book proposal, as it is also called), will include an accessible overview of the work, a concise chapter-by-chapter summary, an account of your book’s relationship to comparable or competing works, your assessment of your book’s audience, and practical details including length, number of illustrations, and the status of the work. All this should be accomplished in 5-10 pages. For suggestions on project descriptions and other elements of a submission, we highly recommend chapter 5 of William Germano’s Getting It Published.” 8

“You may hear from us very quickly, but you should expect to hear in three to four weeks. If you have not heard within a month from the editor to whom you submitted your project, feel free to send a query by e-mail.” 9

Editorial tone: Unknown.

Style guide used: Unknown, though keep in mind that the Press publishes The Chicago Manual of Style.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publisher’s potential for LIS authors

The Press publishes across a wide array of subjects, including books about both library science and publishing. Glance over the list of currently published LIS books on their website to get a better sense of what the Press is looking for.  In looking at the list of currently published books, there have only been seven titles published on LIS-specific subject matter in the past ten years. This provides ample opportunity for LIS authors to publish in an arena that does not currently have a diverse catalog, fulfilling a niche for this publisher. Prospective authors penning writing guides, or writing about literary, media, cultural studies or education are encouraged to contact an appropriate editor.


Audience analysis

About the publisher’s audience

Size: This is a relatively large publishing house, having published more than 11,000 works since its foundation in 1890. It’s editors have worked to “build a broad but coherent publishing program engaged with authors and readers around the world.”10

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The Press publishes books that appeal to a vast, international audience: books about Chicago and surrounding areas, translations of foreign language texts and significant non scholarly works are just a sampling of their publications.11 If published by the Press, their marketing department ensures that publicity and promotions will be conducted in the United States as well as from satellite offices in the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan.12

Reader characteristics: Scholars and casual readers with specific interests.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter:  Because University of Chicago Press publishes on an array of topics, readers will have a spectrum of knowledge of LIS subject matter.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Readers of books published by the Press can generally be considered knowledgeable and, potentially, subject experts. The Press also distributes dozens of other publications from the likes of the American Meteorological Society, Association of University Presses, Amsterdam University Press and many others from all over the world.13 Considering that many of these, like the Press, are affiliated with a university, potential authors may want to keep in mind that the general readership leans in a scholarly direction.

Last updated: April 25, 2021


Show 13 footnotes

  1. “About,”, Accessed April 25, 2021,
  2. “About.”
  3. “About.”
  4. “About.”
  5. “Acquisition Editors,”, accessed April 25, 2021,
  6. “About.”
  7. “Book Submissions,”, accessed April 25, 2021,
  8. “Submissions FAQ,”, accessed April 25, 2021,
  9. “Submissions FAQ.”
  10. “About.”
  11. “About.”
  12. “Marketing Information for Authors,”, accessed February 11, 2018,
  13. “Major publishers marketed & distributed by the University of Chicago Press,”, accessed February 14, 2018,
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