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Oxford University Press navigated a challenging academic publishing market during the year. Maintaining strategic investments and digital innovation helped to protect the Press’s long-term presence across its academic markets. The Press published nearly 5,000 scholarly, reference, and higher education titles and there were almost 150 million downloads of its online journal content.

Susan Ferber, Executive Editor (New York), took this photo of the OUP office on Madison Avenue. “I have been commuting from Long Island to Manhattan by train for 18 years. It never fails to thrill me when I walk down 34th Street toward the Empire State Building and OUP’s historic landmark building.”

Academic Overview

Macroeconomic challenges, legislative initiatives, budgetary issues in key channels―such as the institutional library market―and digital disruption made academia a complex environment in which to operate.


In Higher Education, students are increasingly renting free textbooks and drawing on free resources rather than purchasing. The impact of declining dictionary print sales was exacerbated by the negative effect of ad blockers on advertising revenues online. Budget pressures, shifts in library ordering behaviour, and a drop in ebook demand drove down academic book sales.

More positively, the Press’s journals business, academic publishing in India, and dictionary licensing all achieved significant growth. The acquisition of two start-ups―Epigeum and―coupled with continued development of online services such as Oxford Scholarly Editions Online and Oxford Research Encyclopedias, reflect the Press’s focus on specific areas of opportunity in the academic market.


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