Research in publishing and book history

Research is carried out in a range of interdisciplinary areas including contemporary publishing, book consumption and the life cycle of books, media convergence, digital developments, scholarly communications, post-colonial publishing, museum publishing, early twentieth-century publishing history (including publishing in World War One), and late twentieth and early twenty-first century publishing history. We welcome proposals for PhD research from both UK and international students.

Recent research activity and successes include:

  • the publication of The Oxford Handbook of Publishing (OUP, 2019), edited by Angus Phillips and Michael Bhaskar
  • the publication of the sixth edition of Inside Book Publishing (Routledge 2019), by Angus Phillips and Giles Clark
  • the publication of Print Cultures (Red Globe Press, 2019), edited by Caroline Davis
  • the publication of the article, 'What is a Book',  Publishing Research Quarterly, July 2019, by Miha Kovac, Angus Phillips, Adriaan van der Weel and Ruediger Wischenbart
  • the publication of the fourth volume of The History of Oxford University Press (OUP, 2017), edited by Keith Robbins, with chapters by Angus Phillips and Adrian Bullock
  • the publication of the article, 'Have we passed Peak Book? the uncoupling of book sales from economic growth', Publishing Research Quarterly, July 2017, by Angus Phillips
  • the publication of Creating Postcolonial Literature: African Writers and British Publishers (Palgrave, 2013) by Caroline Davis
  • the award of the British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Scheme (2012-13) funding to Caroline Davis, for the project 'Print, Publishing and Cultural Production in South Africa 1948-2012'. The co-applicant is Professor Archie Dick, University of Pretoria, and the project partners are Dr Sally Hughes (OICPS) and Dr Elizabeth Le Roux (University of Pretoria)
  • award in 2013 of Santander research scholarship to Angus Phillips
  • the publication of Turning the Page: The evolution of the book (Routledge 2014), by Angus Phillips
  • the publication of the second edition of The Future of the Academic Journal (Chandos 2014), edited by Bill Cope and Angus Phillips
  • the publication of The Cottage by the Highway and other essays on publishing (Brill, 2015), edited by Angus Phillips
  • articles in The Oxford Companion to the Book, The Blackwell Companion to the History of the Book, Routledge History of Women in Europe Since 1700, Les Professions du Livre, The Book in Africa, and Women at War Encyclopedia
  • seminar and conference papers in China, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, and South Africa, as well as a variety of UK locations.
  • research output from student research, including the publication of Rachel Craven’s MA dissertation on Internet Marketing in ELT Publishing as a Lightning Source print-on-demand title.
  • conferences hosted such as the SHARP conference in 2008 and Publishing for Social Change in 2009 - see the forthcoming conference on publishing studies in Florence (June 2020): By the Book7
  • Angus Phillips is the editor of the premier publishing journal, Logos
  • the award of the Women's History Network prize to Jane Potter for Boys in Khaki, Girls in Print: Women's Literary Responses to the Great War, 1914-1918 (Oxford University Press, 2005).

PhD and MPhil supervision

Length of study: minimum of three years full time and four years part time. 

The normal entry requirement for taking the direct route to PhD study is a recent master’s degree in a discipline appropriate to the proposed research. The master’s needs to have included research training and a research project. We welcome applications from both UK and international students.

The Culture and History of Publishing

Late nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first-century print culture, publishing and book history.  Examples of specific research areas might include authorship, reading and literary sociology, contemporary fiction and literary prizes, and the impact of editorial and technological issues on culture and society.

Contemporary Publishing

Studies of contemporary publishing and bookselling in local, regional and national contexts: strategy, policy, copyright, marketing, digital developments, authorship, readership, issues of development and publishing.  Geographical areas (outside the UK) where there is particular staff expertise include: Africa, China, Europe.

Scholarly Communications

As a result of the arrival of two members of the CIBER Research group, Professor David Nicholas and Anthony Watkinson, at OICP we are able to supervise PhDs in a whole range of important scholarly communication topics, such as scholarly social networks (e.g. ResearchGate,, early career researchers, predatory publishing, peer review, scholarly impact, trustworthiness, authorship, scholarly journals and monographs, open access and science, scholarly reputation and metrics. If you are interested and would like to discuss this more please email Professor David Nicholas at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)