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I have published five books - three monographs, one edited collection, and one textbook. The publisher matters. It matters in a number of ways. First, professional philosophers - your audience - are more likely to pick up a book from OUP or CUP than many other obscure presses. (look on your own bookshelf). Second, the prestigious publishers spend money and time on the production of your books. Some of the lower tier publishers produce books with many errors, and also with "light" refereeing, so they can be filled with some weak content. Third, for moving up in the profession, I think it is quite helpful to publish with a higher ranked publisher - it has enabled me to move.
The series issue - if the series is with the top presses, I doubt it matters much. I am not aware of book series by publishers that are regarded as lower status than the other books published by the publisher.

Marcus Arvan

Arthur: I think you're probably right about some of this, particularly the part about "moving up in the profession." But when I look at my own bookshelf, they're not just OUP and CUP volumes, not by a long shot. Looking at the books I have at home right next to me, I see some OUP and CUP volumes, but also Routledge, Wiley-Blackwell, Princeton UP, Harvard UP, Rowman & Littlefield, Columbia UP, Penguin, and Hackett...


I work in philosophy of science - so, in addition to CUP and OUP, I have a lot of Univ. of Chicago Press books. And then a fair bit of Routledge and Springer. So I imagine it is subfield specific. And because I also read sociology of science, there are a fair number of Princeton Univ. Press books.


Perhaps sticking to high ranked ones can help. I don’t think presses outside of OUP and CUP will necessarily damage your overall chances. But I also noticed that some tenured professors started publishing academic works under Penguin publishing or other non-academic publishers. It gives the illusion of being widely published without the quality control of scholarly editing. Academic publishing is important for tenure but once you’ve achieved it, there’s really not much incentives for you to publish books in academic presses anymore.

Daniel Weltman

Depends on the series, probably, but at least as far as I'm concerned, some series are exactly as prestigious as if one had not published in the series. I have in mind the Oxford Political Theory series (OUP) edited by Will Kymlicka and David Miller (I think), which has published many of the most well-regarded political philosophy books of recent years.


The series is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. Nobody ever notes the series on their CV, and I, for one, seldom notice it (except insofar as Elements are short and focused). When I do notice a series designation, I basically never know what else is in the series.

What I _do_ notice is the publisher.


I'm very surprised at the idea that being in a series would decrease prestige. I'm an ECR who has published one book, with a top publisher, in a series, and in my case I thought the series placement *increased* the prestige, because the series in question is very well-regarded and contains some important/influential books . Regardless, I have never gotten any hint that being in a series per se means less prestige.

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