|Why Choose AUP?
Submitting a Proposal
Guidelines for Authors
Peer-reviewing and Quality Control
AUP's Commissioning Editors
Choosing to publish at the Amsterdam University Press (henceforward AUP) is a choice for scholarly excellence and a global presence. AUP supports and stimulates scholarship by working closely with scholars to produce outstanding academic publications, in print as well as digitally. As one of the premier university presses in continental Europe, AUP can guarantee high quality. Each volume is evaluated by an international editorial board or appointed experts, supplemented by peer-reviews undertaken by the boards and/or AUP, and an overarching academic advisory board ensures that appropriate quality-control mechanisms are in place and followed.
AUP publishes the work of internationally recognised scholars in its academic series in English (that is, for a global readership) while publishing work in Dutch aimed at a broad, educated Dutch-speaking audience. AUP publishes scholarly books and handbooks (periodicals, monographs, thematic essay collections and digital resources), textbooks for tertiary (and occasionally secondary) education, and so-called trade books which make scholarly research accessible to a broad readership. In addition, AUP has agreements with major national and international organisations to publish their outputs, and publishes dissertations and public lectures for partner universities. Fiction, children’s books, cookery books, autobiographies and devotional writings all fall outside our scope.
AUP publications are sold and distributed across Europe, North America and Australasia; also in Asia and Latin America. By partnering with The University of Chicago Press in North America, and distributors and agents elsewhere, AUP has a marketing and distribution network that covers the entire international academic market.
Publications in Dutch are promoted through an extensive network of contacts in the Dutch-speaking media, and representatives dealing with all serious bookshops and chains in the Netherlands and Flanders. For more detailed information, read our corporate brochure here.
AUP therefore can cater for different audiences, so prospective authors should be clear whether your envisaged readership overlaps with AUP’s:
1. Is your book for specialists in your research field (and in English)?
2. Is your book aimed at a field much larger than your own discipline or area of expertise?
3. Is this a book that is intended to be required reading for students, and if so, students at what level?
4. Is it a "trade" book (and in Dutch)—that is, one intended for general readers, those without specialized knowledge in your area?
5. Is it a dissertation or public lecture and, if so, is it intended to be published as such (e.g. for a thesis defence) or in a substantially rewritten form?
If your book falls into category 1 or 2, it is likely to be a Scholarly Publication (see below), unless it is in Dutch when it may fall under Popular Science. Category 3 is discussed below as a Textbook, Category 4 as Popular Science, and Category 5 under Dissertations and Public Lectures.
AUP publishes scholarly books, essay collections, periodicals, handbooks, printed and digital resources provided that they fit AUP’s areas of specialism. The primary criterion for acceptance is academic excellence, followed by an evaluation of AUP’s ability to market the specific work successfully (i.e. that it falls within AUP’s subject-areas and profile). Financial considerations play a secondary role. As far as possible, AUP aims to publish volumes under its own financial risk and to avoid asking for any contributions by authors. The exceptions to this rule apply to heavily illustrated volumes (and to all illustrations where rights and the acquisition of suitable images is the responsibility of the authors) and to Open Access publications where a publication grant is always required.
The criteria for acceptance are therefore:
- academic quality;
- cutting-edge research, often with an interdisciplinary or multi-faculty approach;
- research in topics falling within the remit of AUP’s series and subject-areas of interest;
- work aimed at a global scholarly audience.
AUP’s publications focus on several key subject-areas in the humanities and social sciences:
- Asian Studies: with a focus on politics, economy, religion, health and welfare, and culture,– with a concentration on East Asia, South East Asia and Central Asia;
- European History: with a focus on several thematic areas – archaeology, landscape and material culture, religious life, cultural communities, and art and architectural history – and several chronological periods: Late Antiquity through to the Early Modern period, the Dutch Golden Age, and Revolutionary Europe (ca. 1750-1830)
- Media & Communication: Media & Communication at Amsterdam University Press has a strong international scope with several high-standing book series such as Film Culture in Transition and MediaMatters. The list covers different disciplines and subjects ranging from traditional film theory and history to television and new media studies. Together with the Network of European Cinema and Media Studies), AUP publishes the esteemed Open Access journal NECSUS – European Journal of Media Studies;
- Language Studies: with a particular focus on Dutch language, ethnography and historical and contemporary reference works, particularly dictionaries and grammars;
- Social & Political Sciences: incorporating series of publications done in association with a number of major Dutch research institutions or think-tanks, including the IISG (International Institute for Social History), NIOD (the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the WRR (the Scientific Council for Government Policy).
Further information on each subject-area can be gleaned by studying the current series and periodicals in the particular field. Alternatively, consult the relevant AUP commissioning editor below.
AUP is successfully increasing its focus on the distribution of knowledge on issues that are of interest to a wide audience. These so-called ‘Trade’ publications in Dutch are aimed at a broad readership in the Netherlands and Flanders. The authors of AUP books for the general market – more than fifty of which are published each year – combine academic depth with an accessible writing style, even when addressing complex subjects.
Current areas of publication include fundamental science (books by, inter alia, Sander Bais and Vincent Icke), economics (by, inter alia, Willem Middelkoop and Ed Westerhout), history, music, religion and philosophy, and so on. The series ‘Elementaire Deeltjes’ consists of compact books which try to answer the question: ‘What’s that all about?’ Sample titles here include Astronomy, the European Union, Vaccination, Socrates. For further information see: www.elementairedeeltjes.nl
A proposal should give the AUP editors and marketing staff—most of whom will not be specialists in your area—a clear and detailed idea of what your book will be about. The proposal should tell AUP staff why you are writing this particular book at this particular time, and its popular relevance and resonance.
- What problems are you setting out to solve?
- What confusions do you wish to clarify?
- What previously unknown or unfortunately neglected story are you planning to tell?
- A proposal should give an answer to what might be called the Passover question: "How is this book different from all other books?"
The follow-up and equally important questions: Why does this matter? To whom?
For more extensive advice on successful publications you may wish to consult:
William Germano, Getting It Published. A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious About Serious Books (University of Chicago Press, 2001)
Susan Rabiner & Alfred Fortunate, Thinking Like Your Editor. How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction – and Get It Published (Norton, 2002)
AUP publishes textbooks for tertiary and upper secondary school levels, primarily but not exclusively in Dutch. The majority are set-texts offering introductions or tools for the study of university subjects at bachelor (undergraduate) level, and in applied subjects at technical universities. AUP has, in addition, a successful tradition of providing editions of key literary texts from Old and Middle Dutch to contemporary Dutch classics, for use in secondary schools.
Scholars or groups of scholars interested in submitting a publishing proposal are advised to consult the Commissioning Editor responsible for this field of publications. Naturally, two key aspects concern the longevity of such a work, and the likely annual intakes of students (at one or more universities, or according to school curricula) for whom such a work would be a guaranteed set text.
AUP’s textbooks are therefore primarily intended as set texts for particular courses with large student intakes over several years. Studies by scholars which are intended as background, occasional and optional reading for students, where the principal purchaser would be a university or school library (rather than the students themselves) are unlikely to fit the profile described above.
Submitting a Proposal
If you wish to submit a proposal for a publication, please submit a Proposal Form. This provides all the information necessary for AUP to make an initial evaluation about the work’s suitability for publication according to the profiles set out above. It also provides the information required for issuing a contract.
The stages in evaluation of a proposal and the acceptance of a manuscript involve the following steps:
- Evaluation by an editorial board of a scholarly series or periodical (or relevant specialists, in the case of Popular Science books in Dutch), based on an entirely independent assessment of the quality of the work.
- Presentation of the proposal to AUP’s monthly Publishers Meeting where commissioning editors, marketing representatives and AUP’s director (editor-in-chief) assess the proposal, in terms of suitability to the overall list, and its financial viability.
- A contract can be issued at this stage (or subsequent to peer-review). In each case, however, a contract is conditional on satisfactory reports being received by independent peer-reviewers. The advantage of an early contract, however, is that the author knows the intended publisher and has a commissioning editor and series editorial board as support during the writing process.
- After peer-review, the author is required to submit the definitive manuscript for approval by the editorial board (to ensure that the peer-reviewers’ remarks are suitably incorporated) and, in the case of scholarly publications, a so-called AUP ‘gatekeeper’ who checks the technical aspects of the submission – that the text conforms adequately to AUP’s style-sheet and that images are all adequate for publication and do not infringe copyright.
Guidelines for Authors
AUP’s Style-Sheet is here (the Dutch-language version is here). Authors are advised to follow the preferences of the series in which their volume will appear. For instance, in most social-science series the Author-Date (sometimes known as ‘Harvard’) referencing system is common. However, in many humanities series the Surname-Short Title (or ‘Oxford’) referencing system is standard. In the latter case, AUP recommends that a single reference is provided in full – for each work cited in the footnotes – either at the end of the relevant article (or chapter) or at the end of the entire volume. In footnotes, therefore, the short reference (Surname-Short Title) only should be used. This assists consistency and digital searching possibilities.
Guidelines on copyright, including those involving images, are found here, together with a illustration Checklist to be submitted alongside your images, so that the layout people can place the images in the correct size, location, and order. Guidance on compiling an index can also be found here.
Peer-reviewing and Quality Control
Popular Science books in Dutch are evaluated by suitable experts consulted by AUP. All books undergo copyediting checks to ensure that the finished books are of the highest standard of content.
Scholarly publications are all evaluated by international editorial boards (or in the case of books published outside a series, by appointed experts). The initial evaluations and readings of the manuscript by the board are supplemented by peer-reviews undertaken by the boards and/or AUP. In addition, AUP has an overarching academic advisory board which ensures that appropriate quality-control mechanisms are in place and followed.
Textbooks are evaluated and monitored using systems drawn from both the Popular Science and Scholarly publications, as appropriate to the target audience of the textbook.
Saskia Gieling:Asian Studies, Islam Studies, Language Studies, Popular Science (in Dutch)
Maryse Elliott: Media & Communication Studies, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)
Simon Forde: European History (archaeology, medieval history)
Shannon Cunningham: Asian Studies (US & Canada), Medieval Studies
Inge van der Bijl: European History (modern history), Popular Science (in Dutch), Journals
Ebissé Rouw: Popular Science (in Dutch)
AUP has an overarching Advisory Board comprising representatives from Dutch and international universities, which meets approximately three times a year, to ensure that AUP’s scholarly direction and standards are being maintained.
The vast majority of scholarly publications are evaluated by independent series, each with their own Editorial Board. Typically these comprise five to six scholars from different continents. For textbooks and popular science publications, AUP takes individual guidance from experts in the relevant field. Please consult the list of series to find particular details on the remit of each series, contact details for the board, and on occasions the current membership of the board.