The Oxford University Press is the largest academic publisher in the world and, arguably, the oldest. Many of the resources and capabilities behind its growth over the first two-thirds of the twentieth century have become increasingly problematic since then. Dan Raff (Wharton) will discuss, from an evolutionary perspective, the business history of how the Press navigated the turbulent operating environment of the 1970s and 80s and then emerged amidst the technological dislocation of the new millennium. The future of academic presses as businesses remains uncertain if not precarious; and whether the new technology will lead to a regeneration of knowledge diffusion or its end as we have known it is a dominant question for academics in our time.
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