University Press Numbers from the Lee & Low Diversity Baseline Survey 2.0

When Lee & Low Books reprised their groundbreaking Diversity Baseline Survey of the US publishing sector in 2019 (DBS 2.0), the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) recruited more than 30 publishers from among our US membership to help form a wider industry pool. The DBS 2.0 report was published in early 2020 and reflected demographics very similar to the original 2015 DBS. At the Association’s request, Lee & Low Books and survey coauthors Laura M. Jiménez and Betsy Beckert of Boston University’s Wheelock College isolated and analyzed the university press data, representing 926 individual responses out of just over 1500 staff contacted.

These data describe an extremely white industry segment—at 81%, the university press workforce is even whiter than the full Lee & Low DBS 2.0-surveyed landscape (76%)—and one that is also 64% cis woman, 79% straight-identifying, and 88% non-disabled.

Please also read “Reckoning with Whiteness in Scholarly Publishing,” an examination of the university press context of this demographic picture, by AUPresses Research and Communications Director Brenna McLaughlin, in the Scholarly Kitchen.

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