Despite the global pandemic, our Academic publishing division performed robustly and accelerated its transition from print to digital provision of scholarly content and higher education materials.

Long-standing investments in digital platforms and a huge effort by colleagues across the Press to digitize content led to increases in digital usage and eBook revenues across all areas. Digital revenues increased by 13.6 per cent and eBooks by 101 per cent. Journal usage on the Oxford Academic platform increased by 12.1 per cent, and online products by 8.6 per cent.

We faced sharp declines in print sales as university libraries and bookshops were closed for long periods. The pandemic led to significant disruption as Oxford University Press employees, suppliers, and customers moved to remote working. However, colleagues responded to the challenge and demonstrated considerable determination and resilience, as did the Press’s authors, suppliers and customers.

Digital revenues increased by


eBook revenues increased by


Online products increased by


At the start of the crisis, publishing teams created a hub of the latest research about COVID-19 and pandemic response from journals and online products, as well as relevant blog posts. The hub received 22 million views from January 2020 to the end of this financial year and continues to grow. Among the research housed here is an article published in the journal, Clinical Infectious DiseasesIt Is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—which was influential in the introduction of national policies on mask-wearing.

For Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO), we added more than 2,000 works during the year, in part due to a dedicated project to digitize existing titles that hadn’t previously been made available digitally. The site now contains more than 19,000 books and has recorded over 21 million views in the year. Furthermore, both the Oxford World Classics and the What Everyone Needs to Know series were launched as online products for the first time.

The COVID-19 hub received

22 million

views from January 2020-March 2021

We added more than


works to Oxford Scholarship Online

We continued to accelerate our Open Access (OA) publishing. We increased output by 32 per cent in the calendar year, launching 12 new titles, and now have 18 Read & Publish agreements currently in place. We also launched Oxford Open, a flagship open access journal series underpinned by values of open research and open data, but with the same rigorous peer review quality synonymous with our publishing.

Oxford University Press’s Academic Division published a total of 2,504 titles this year—1,871 academic and professional and 392 in Music, as well as others in Trade, Reference, and Higher Education.

Heather Cox Richardson’s How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America was one of the year’s bestsellers. We had many other publishing highlights to celebrate, including:

  • Lyndsey Stonebridge’s Writing and Righting: Literature in the Age of Human Rights was pronounced a book that will ‘revitalise literary criticism’
  • Stephen Wall’s Reluctant European: Britain and the European Union from 1945 to Brexit provided us with the definitive history of a dysfunctional relationship, told with wit and insight by someone who had worked at its sharp end for 30 years
  • A translation deal for 26 Shakespeare titles from the Oxford World’s Classics series into Simplified Chinese

The pandemic adversely affected our Music publishing primarily due to the closure of choirs and no live performances which affected our Rights & Hire business.

But there was good news to celebrate when Oxford University Press choral and vocal composer Cecilia McDowell won the Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Works Collection.

Other particularly impactful areas of interest include the publication of the second monograph report with Cambridge University Press, and the creation of a race and diversity hub, making a selection of useful resources freely available to everyone following the global Black Lives Matter protests in May 2020.

Academic case studies



Highlighting the importance of SHAPE