Emerald Publishing is a groundbreaking scholarly publisher based in the UK with a mission to create a fairer, more equitable environment where research can have a real impact. This innovative company is led, in part, by Publishing Director Sally Wilson. Sally is responsible for the strategic development of Emerald's global publishing program, comprising journals, books, and teaching cases with a focus on author experience and innovation through non-traditional content types.

We recently spoke to Sally Wilson and asked her how Emerald became a leader of mission-led publishing, what publishers and libraries should do to drive change and Emerald's role in supporting research that addresses sustainable development, equality and diversity, and creating a healthy research culture. Here is what she had to say:

What is the strategic goal of Emerald Publishing?

To be the home of choice for authors of applied and social sciences research globally that shines a light on, and helps to solve, real-world problems to enrich the lives of those that will benefit from their research – other researchers, librarians, students, and consumers of research,  policymakers, practitioners, and citizens.

What is mission-led publishing and why is it important?

As a publisher, it is important to use our platform to help further change in academia, provide pathways to research and publish mission-led research that has a real-world impact and supports society. Currently, this means responding to the UN SDGs as part of the UN’s Decade of Action that aims to improve the lives of millions globally by solving some of the world’s business problems, from poverty to gender equality, from climate action to hunger. We recently relaunched our Real Impact Manifesto (originally launched in 2018). Emerald firmly believes that real-world impact is far more than citations. It's about making a difference. It's communities joining together to find ways to make changes. Impact is the provable effects of research in the real world.

It isn’t just what is published, but also ways of working—ensuring our authors and editors are diverse – representative of our whole society and where the best research is happening globally, from a range of career stages and subject matter experts working in policy and practice.

We are also supportive of underrepresented groups, with 2022 being the year we had an increased focus on commissioning Indigenous research to help play our part in tackling the challenges, inequalities, and injustices Indigenous communities face.

What subjects/fields does Emerald specialize in?

Our impact-driven books publishing program offers a platform for innovative and interdisciplinary research across a broad range of topics, including:

  • Business & Economics
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Education
  • LGBT & Gender Studies
  • Library & Information Science

Can you list 5-10 popular e-books that are being used in academic curriculums?

  1. Contemporary HRM Issues in the 21st Century
  2. Fundamentals of HR Analytics: A Manual on Becoming HR Analytical
  3. 21st Century Corporate Citizenship: A Practical Guide to Delivering Value to Society and your Business
  4. Design of Technology-Enhanced Learning: Integrating Research and Practice
  5. Becoming Digital: Toward a Post-Internet Society

What is Emerald Publishing doing to support the elevation of diverse authors and equitable and inclusive content?

We are actively monitoring Emerald's journal editorial boards and book editorial boards to make sure that they have diverse gender identities represented. In tandem, we are monitoring the geographic spread of contributors across our editorial boards to ensure that academics from the Global South and Global North are represented.

When we review book proposals, we endeavor to ensure that academics that are globally diverse and at a range of career stages are invited to review. We have introduced a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Books Commissioning Editor role, which is aligned to a dedicated diversity and inclusion books list. This is a unique position to Emerald Publishing, which highlights the importance that we place on diversity and inclusion.

Can you list 5-10 books that are helping audiences understand DEI issues in our society?

Emerald titles:

  1. Equality vs Equity: Tackling Issues of Race in the Workplace
  2. Counting Black and White Beans: Critical Race Theory in Accounting
  3. Disability and Other Human Questions
  4. The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor Vol: 24
  5. The Culture of Women in Tech: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

Other titles:

  • Michelle Obama – Becoming
  • Malala Yousafzai - We Are Displaced
  • Akala - Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire

Why do you feel EBSCO is a strong partner in helping Emerald Publishing provide e-books to academic libraries worldwide?

EBSCO has been a strong advocate in the academic sector for decades. They listen to the needs of libraries, researchers, and publishers and carefully assess where improvements can be made to the benefit of many. They believe in the quality and strength of the research ecosystem, and Emerald is proud to be a publisher partner working towards those shared goals.

How can academic libraries add e-books from Emerald Publishing to their existing collection of EBSCO eBooks?

Libraries can add e-books from Emerald using EBSCOhost Collection Manager (ECM) or GOBI.

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