University press, Asia and Africa

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A university press is an academic publishing house specializing in academic monographs and scholarly journals. Most are nonprofit and an integral component of a large research university. They publish work that has been reviewed by scholars in the field. They produce mainly scholarly works, but also often have "popular" titles designed to reach their target audience, such as books on religion or on regional topics. Because scholarly books are mostly unprofitable, university presses may also publish textbooks and reference works, which tend to have larger audiences and sell more copies. Most university presses operate at a loss and are subsidized by their owners; others are required to break even. In China, university presses are profit-making institutions for their academ


By the time of independence in 1947, India had a well-established system of universities, and several leading ones developed a university press. The main areas of activity include monographs by professors, research papers and theses, and textbooks for undergraduate use. However, the basic problem faced by scholarly publishers in India is the use of multiple languages, which splintered and reduced the base of potential sales.

As new universities opened in Africa after 1960, some developed a press based on the European model. In Nigeria for an example, scholarly presses played a central role in shaping and encouraging intellectual efforts and gaining international attention for the product. However the established European presses, especially Oxford University Press, dominated the market, allowing a narrow niche for new local presses such as Ibadan University Press.

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