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7 universities around the world that are owning publishing
7 universities around the world that are owning publishing

If a university is not actively pursuing a publishing strategy, they are leaving one of their best tools in the toolbox. When you take an environment of scholars, academics, researchers and students that are firm believers in making contributions to their fields, and combine that with the distribution capability of publishing - you can get amazing results. The talent, insights and content matter available to education organisations should see them excel at publishing and content marketing, and indeed we have seen some really strong market publications evolve as part of this new dynamic.

When it comes to publishing these universities are not just taking on other education organisations, they are competing head to head with leading news and media publications, in addition to the many education providors created by startups and brands around the world.

So let's have a look at who's smashing it out of the park:

1. Harvard Business Review

We will be honest, the HBR just has to sit at the top of this list. While the HBR magazine has been around since 1922, the publishing venture as we know it today really started in 2009 when HBR brought in Adi Ignatius (the former deputy managing editor of Time magazine) to be its editor-in-chief. As a result, Ignatius overhauled HBR's editorial focus, broadening its audience and improving its impact by including more contemporary topics.

The online version of HBR now gets over 14 million visits a month, with 43% of that traffic coming from search, and 26% from direct - this once academic-focused magazine has now become one of the leading business publications online.

2. John Hopkins University

As the United States' first research-driven university John Hopkins focuses on revolutionising education and research around the world. With over 24,000 students spread across nine schools, and research activities spread across more than 150 countries, the ability to bring together multiple divisions into a single cohesive publishing venture was critical. The HUB is the result; a centralised news centre for a diverse, decentralised university - covering a vast array of topics, from cutting-edge cancer research, to deep-trench diving vehicles, to the psychology of hoarders. 

3. Stanford Business School

When compared to HBR, the Insights publishing site powered by Stanford feels pretty similar - almost identical in fact. While the editorial mission describes a focus on research, the articles published on Insights itself could be perfectly at home on the HBR site. While the site itself does well with over a million visits a month, it seems like Standford is missing a large opportunity to differentiate itself from HBR and build a publication that has its own unique flair.

If HBR had not already existed this would have been a smashing publication - it's just a prime example of the importance of being first to market and staking out your publishing territory.

4. University of Oxford

And it's not just in the states. The top universities in the UK and Europe are also actively pursuing publishing - with the University of Oxford showcasing their content front and centre on their main website homepage. While this differs from some of the more typical stand-alone publishing ventures run by other universities, the statement that it makes by positioning content over and above university information is a powerful one. When the leading universities in the world are making these kinds of statements, we need to be listening.

5. Delft University of Technology

As one of the leading technology universities in the Netherlands, Delft has also made its homepage one driven by publishing. Aligning closely with the university's academic and research focus, the articles published by Delft are on the latest innovations, discoveries and research happening in technology.

6. University of Melbourne

Looking a bit closer to home, there are some great examples of university driven publishing happening right now in Australia. Pursuit, the latest offering by the University of Melbourne is a stand-alone publishing venture focused specifically on cutting-edge research and expert commentary that explores the wide breadth of the university's research undertakings. 

In a similar move to that of HBR in 2009, the University of Melbourne has brought in strong publishing experience to run the publication - in the form of Phillip Gardner, the former Herald Sun editor-in-chief. Since the launch 18 months ago the Pursuit site gets almost 100k visits a month, with half of those visits coming from outside Australia.

7. University of Technology, Sydney

Taking a different approach is the University of Technology, Sydney's School of Journalism - their new publishing site Central News is completely staffed by their journalism students (and supervised by a professional editor). This publishing site not only acts as a brand awareness driver for the university, but also provides their students with practical and real-life insights into the art of journalism.

So to sum it all up there are many different ways in which universities around the globe are winning at the game of publishing, from stand-alone sites to content driven homepages. Out of all of these one fact stands clear - to stand out as a thought leader in the education sector, universities need to be putting content (and publishing) front and centre.

This article was originally published by Cognitives.

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