The West German University Press is a spin-off of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The spin-off was publically funded by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research NRW in 1999.
Its mission is to increase the national and international visibility of research results of the Ruhr-Universität and to offer members and alumni of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum a convenient and affordable publishing opportunity (on paper and online).
It is an academic press which entitles authors to a royalty from VG Wort of about 1000 Euros per book, which the press also helps them to receive. Furthermore, the press sponsors particularly doctoral theses with top grades, these are free of charge (up to 200 pages of black-and-white) and on a larger scale with possibly little or no additional payment. If a thesis is published by the Press then it receives an ISBN and is quotable.
Additionally the Press has requested to work with top grade academic distinctions at the national level and will take care of the distribution via electronic new publication services and pdf-flyers to mailing lists. After a qualifying period all publications can be made available online if requested. The Press also supports Open-Acess publications, it publishes these in line with the paper edition. These are all significant advantages versus the online-only position on the theses server of the Ruhr-Universität. (the so-called grey literature/ grey way).
Since 1999, the publising company has been spreading the research results of the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum all over German book trade, all over Europe via Amazon.de and worldwide with its branch in Los Angeles and over Amazon.com. The RUB is represented worldwide in libraries by books and journals. If you browse for example, Harvard University library, it is striking that not only are the English-language publications of the publishing house available there but also many German-language publications of the Ruhr-University are available there.
The press is inbetween the fourth largest and 10th oldest University Press with a University connection in Germany. It has shown that universities are able to break even and they see themselves as a model for university presses in general, whose employees, rent and budget at other universities is often paid using university funds and is located in university libraries. The University Press publishes books and the university library makes these publications available to readers.
The special feature of the University Press is that the profile of the publishing house largely corresponds to the profile of the university: Almost all faculties/departments are represented by the publishing house in the publications. The faculty of humanities is naturally more represented, because more publications are published in book form. The publishing house also offers PhD students of economics, medicine and scientific disciplines attractive opportunities to publish papers and cumulative dissertations. The parallel publication in the publisher's own journals or foreign journals is often not a hindrance. A dissertation or habilitation also in book form, if possible as a hardcover, is for example is always welcome when applying for professorships.
The publishing house makes the publications well-known at the Frankfurt Book Fair, at university and college libraries through magazines and on the Internet. There are free review copies, colored flyers, websites and short descriptions of each book in several languages.
Many authors do not know that simple books can often be achieved without printing costs. The application for printing costs is taken on by the publishing house. The research of a professor or research assistant is submitted by the publishing house with two good reviews from the Promotion Fund of the Department of Science of VG Wort. 40% of applications are approved. Theses with a top grade (up to 200 pages in black and white) are automatically achieved free of charge by the publishing house´s own funds, also with up to 150 free copies for the author or the faculty. Theses by foreign students are often sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service. Research results of projects by the German Research Foundation are often implemented with printing costs of the German Research Foundation.
In the spin-off, the publishing house ordered to make research results known and to give the university a face in the publishing world. This job has been made concrete by more than a dozen contracts at various levels of the university. Meanwhile, over 300 books and journals were published (about half were dissertations and the other half were conference proceedings and commemorative publications, research, habilitations and lecture notes), it created 44 book series and almost all faculties are represented. Each year, the publishing house´s publications are assorted with brief descriptions in a free publishing program, which has grown into a respectable book by itself.
Internationally, the University Press campaigns with lectures to encourage cooperation and to join networks, associations and federations together and for the provision of communication platforms including for the following things:
  • Standardization of in particular electronic data and metadata
  • Compilation of books published by various university presses on a platform
  • Introduction of the peer review process at university presses, that have never used peer review before
  • Communication and synergy between university presses
  • Quality assurance management
  • Advice and development for newly established university presses with the aim of helping them to become financially and professionally independent of the university administration, but at the same time having the technical supervision of the respective departments of the University
  • Hybrid publishing both in print as an e-book (and after an embargo time as open access) for each publication
  • Emphasis and profiling with university presses
  • Proofreading, style guides and revision of dissertations until ready for publication as a book.
  • Means to further the dissemination, including through sales in bookstores (directory of deliverable books) and Amazon
  • Marketing through flyers and mailing lists
  • Digital printing, long (theoretically permanent) availability
  • Readings, translations, International Exchange interns