Marsh, R. (2007), "Emerald at 40", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 23 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/oclc.2007.16423aaa.001
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Emerald at 40
This year Emerald Group Publishing Limited celebrates its 40th Anniversary. As anyone with more than two score years under their belt (or approaching it) will know, 40 represents a milestone. It marks a point at which we have, or we are supposed to have, come to terms with the world and reached a good understanding of what we want from life. And for those of a more contemplative persuasion, it prompts us to reflect on our earlier years and how we got to where we are.
It is perhaps not so different for a company. In many ways, to reach the age of 40 for an organisation is quite an achievement. Emerald’s own history began in 1967 with the acquisition of one journal, Management Decision. The company was begun as a part-time enterprise by a group of senior management academics from Bradford Management Centre. The decision to found the company, known as MCB University Press until 2001, was made due to a general dissatisfaction with the opportunities to publish in management and the limited international publishing distribution outlets at this time. Through the creation and development of the journals, not only was this particular goal achieved, but also the foundations of a successful business were laid. By 1970 the first full-time employee was appointed and by 1975 there were five members of staff on the pay roll. In 1981, there were 20 members of staff and three years later the company had grown to a size that meant we had to move to larger premises – one half of the current site at 62 Toller Lane.
Through the 1990s Emerald came of age. In 1990 the first marketing database was introduced and several years later we acquired a number of engineering journals to add to our increasing portfolio of management titles. The IT revolution also began to impact on the publishing and content delivery processes during this period. Writing in 2007, it seems hard to remember a time when information was not available at the click of a button and articles were not written and supplied in electronic format – and yet it was only 11 years ago that Emerald launched the online digital collection of articles as a database. The move was seen as pioneering and helped to shape the future of the company thereafter. The name of the database was Emerald (the Electronic Management Research Library Database) and in 2001 we adopted this name for the company.
So, how does Emerald look in 2007? Emerald has grown into an important journal publisher on the world stage. The company now publishes over 150 journals and we have more than 160 members of staff. Emerald has always stressed the importance of internationality and relevance to practice in its publishing philosophy. These two principles remain the cornerstones of our editorial objective. The link between the organisation and academe that was so crucial in the foundation of the company continues to influence corporate thinking; we uphold the principle of theory into practice.
Emerald also continues to carry the tag of an innovative company. Through our professionalism and focus on building strong networks with our various communities, we have launched and developed initiatives such as the Literati Network for our authors and a dedicated web site for managers. These innovations and many more, help to set us apart from other publishers. For this reason, we feel confident in stating that we are the world’s leading publisher of management journals and databases. It is important to us that we continue to strengthen the links with our readers and authors and to encourage research that is relevant across the globe. In more recent history we have, for example, awarded research grants in Africa, China and India. We also opened offices in China and India in 2006, adding to our existing offices in Australia, Malaysia, Japan and the USA.
We would like to thank the editors, editorial advisory board members, authors, advisers, colleagues and contacts who, for the past 40 years, have contributed to the success of Emerald. We look forward to working with you for many years to come.
Rebecca MarshDirector of Editorial and Production