A 1983 merger with a university publishing unit that specialized in audio and video products gave XJUP a comprehensive portfolio that covers different content formats. About 9,600 titles have been published, including 1,100 audio and video publications. The press’s staff of 160, of whom 83 are editors, adds nearly 900 new titles annually. Recent years have seen more than 60% of XJUP titles published in print and digital formats simultaneously. The press is also working on three national e-publishing platforms, including China’s medical imaging service platform.
Producing teaching and research-based content is XJUP’s main focus. “Our graduate education series was the first to be introduced in China, and its success has prompted us to continue expanding the 90-volume series, perhaps to more than 200 in a few years,” says general manager Zhang Wei, whose team released numerous high-level titles last year, including Tao Wenquan’s Numerical Heat Transfer, Yu Maohong’s New System of Strength Theory, Jiang Deming’s Principles of Higher Vehicle Internal Combustion Engines, and Li Huaizu’s Management Research Methodology. “We have just published Advanced Gas Turbine Design and Manufacturing Research, a groundbreaking book edited by Wang Tiejun that encapsulates results from 900-plus research projects.”
The abundance of science, technology, medical and public health titles in XJUP’s catalogue should not come as a surprise: the parent university houses five of China’s key laboratories and engineering research centers and three of its top eight affiliated teaching hospitals.
Collaborations with overseas STM publishers have been brisk since the press started in 1995. So far, about 100 high-level technical English textbooks and academic monographs have been created through such collaborations, including Application of Thermo-Fluidic Measurement Techniques (with Elsevier), Modern Technique and Method of Histochemistry (De Gruyter), Intelligent Fault Diagnosis and Remaining Useful Life Prediction of Rotating Machinery (Elsevier), and Unified Strength Theory and Its Applications (Springer Nature).
The press also has long-running collaborations with Cambridge University Press, Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill, Oxford University Press, and Pearson Education. “We have brought in over 300 titles—ranging from ELT titles to technical textbooks—from these publishers,” adds Zhang.
Recent years have seen the press add more trade-based and non-STM titles to its list. Recent works include Wang Xijing’s Xi’an Dwellings (a comparative study on Shaanxi residential culture) and an important series on China and the Silk Road that focuses on the impact of the country’s trade and investments in the region. XJUP’s unique location also provides plenty of materials for publication. “Xi’an, the oldest of China’s four ancient cities, is the starting point of the Silk Road, home to the terracotta warrior, and host to three ruling dynasties,” Zhang says. “Its rich historical and cultural legacy is perfect—not just for trade, but also academic and research-based titles.”
Zhang says the inclusion of trade publications reflects the press’s self-sufficiency. “On one hand, we fulfill the requirements of our parent university by publishing academic monographs and professional titles,” he says. “On the other, we produce textbooks, test guides, and educational materials to get sales. Then we have trade titles, which focus on unique topics that appeal to the public so that the additional sales will fund the other two. All three segments combined give XJUP a broad-based readership and revenue sources.”
Competition for authors, staff, resources, and sales is nothing new to Zhang. “We have to find our own niches and build on that,” he says. “So it is very important to recognize our strengths and not to deviate from them. For instance, we are not in the humanities and social sciences space, because authors from these disciplines prefer to publish with state-owned publishing houses or big companies in Beijing. We also know that we have better access and resources to produce unique titles on this region; Xi’an Dwellings is a good example. Such knowledge helps us to shape our publishing program and develop our collaborations with overseas partners accordingly.”
XJUP is planning to bring out a series of high-level monographs based on the latest research on human mitochondrial dysfunction, equipment fault diagnosis, and endangered species genome research alongside studies on Chinese folk drama. “Given the fast-paced development of science and technology in China, groundbreaking R&D will increase in the coming years,” adds Zhang. “We are keeping track of the best of these researchers and waiting to publish them and share their knowledge with the rest of the world.”