The Press in a world of technological change, 1970–2000
Luna, P. (2016) The Press in a world of technological change, 1970–2000. In: Robbins, K. (ed.) The History of Oxford University Press. Volume 4. Oxford University Press, Oxford. (In Press)
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Oxford University Press’s response to technological change in printing and publishing processes in this period can be considered in three phases: an initial period when the computerization of typesetting was seen as offering both cost savings and the ability to produce new editions of existing works more quickly; an intermediate phase when the emergence of standards in desktop computing allowed experiments with the sale of software as well as packaged electronic publications; and a third phase when the availability of the world wide web as a means of distribution allowed OUP to return to publishing in its traditional areas of strength albeit in new formats. Each of these phases demonstrates a tension between a desire to develop centralized systems and expertise, and a recognition that dynamic publishing depends on distributed decision-making and innovation. Alongside these developments in production and distribution lay developments in computer support for managerial and collaborative publishing processes, often involving the same personnel and sometimes the same equipment.