UCL Press celebrates 7 millionth book download

Posted on March 23, 2023 by Alison Fox

UCL Press is delighted to announce that its books have now been accessed more than 7 million times- a mere 10 months after it reached the 6 million mark! You can find the full details here.

Since launching in 2015, the Press has published more than 280 academic books – including monographs, edited collections and textbooks- in a wide range of subjects. UCL Press books have been downloaded in 246 countries and territories across the world, reaching readers in countries as far afield as the Northern Mariana Islands and Antarctica, in addition to serving the needs of scholarly communities closer to home. 

The 7 millionth download was Lockdown Cultures: The arts and humanities in the year of the pandemic, 2020-21. Edited by UCL's Dean of Arts and Humanities, Stella Bruzzi, and Maurice Biriotti, with Sam Caleb and Harvey Wiltshire, the book is a unique response to the question of how the humanities commented on and were impacted by one of the dominant crises of our times: the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Professor Bruzzi said: “On 26 March 2020, three years ago almost to the day, the UK was told to ‘stay at home’ as lockdown measures legally came into force. The lockdown year of 2020–2021 feels like both a distant and an all too recent memory, but one, nevertheless, in which culture played a crucial role. UCL Press recognised the value of a volume offering a fresh perspective on that difficult – for some, tragic – episode of shared history from the perspective of the arts and humanities and it is hugely exciting, and a privilege, to be the 7 millionth download of such a forward-looking publisher!”

The most popular UCL Press title continues to be How the World Changed Social Media by Professor of Anthropology Daniel Miller and a collective of eight other esteemed global anthropologists. The title has been downloaded over 725,000 times since it was published on 29th February 2016 and has been translated into a variety of languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Portuguese and Italian. 

Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost (Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science), Chief Executive of UCL Press, said: ‘UCL Press goes from strength to strength, The Press has literally re-invented the concept of academic publishing for monographs. The commercial route to monograph publishing is broken. Open Access, with its global impact, has re-defined what impact means in a scholarly setting. UCL is delighted to have achieved such success with UCL Press within 10 years of its birth. Open Access monographs are the future.’

UCL Press continues to demonstrate the success of a model that seeks impact and visibility over revenue generation, and that reaches global audiences not previously considered possible for scholarly books and journals via traditional sales models. The Press looks forward to celebrating its 8 millionth download soon! 

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