To Life
Our story starts here

A message from the Emerald Group chairman,
Dr Keith Howard OBE

In 1967, when I started the business along with 50 other academics, I had little idea that I would have an opportunity 50 years later to introduce the successful story of a global publisher.

While I didn't know what the company would look like today, I did have a firm belief that what we were doing would enable the body of management research to grow and make a practical impact. Looking back across the years as one business has grown into a wider group, now covering a diverse range of subjects, content types and services, I can take immense pride in what we have achieved.

As I look to our future as an independent family business, I have great faith in the talents of our leadership and people in enabling the research, education and practitioner communities to accomplish their aims.

Reaching this anniversary is the combined achievement of many who have worked for and alongside Emerald over the years, including of course those who write, read and use the research we publish. I take great pleasure in this opportunity to thank them all for their part in our continuing story.

Continue with our story

Browse through the decades

Some key milestones from the past 50 years

    1. The company is born


      Dissatisfied by publishing outlets of the time, a group of academics from the University of Bradford School of Management form Management Consultants Bradford (MCB). Dr Keith Howard and colleagues oversee the establishment of what would become one of the world’s leading independent academic publishers.

    2. First journal bought for just £1


      The business purchased its very first journal, Management Decision (originally the British Journal of Management) for just £1. Management Decision is one of the oldest and longest running scholarly management journals. Throughout its history, it has enjoyed outstanding international exposure and currently boasts a Thomson Reuters Impact Factor of 1.134 and received over 780,000 article downloads in 2015.

    3. Laying the foundations for success


      50 academics from the University of Bradford School of Management each pay £100 for a share in the company's first office. The building, a converted terraced house, established the company's roots in Yorkshire which are maintained to this day.

    4. First full-time employee


      The first full time employee is hired to help process article submissions and journal production. As Emerald enters its 50th year there are now over 350 employees worldwide.

    5. Key decisions taken at first ‘Think Tank’ meeting


      For the first 10 years, all journals were published and managed by separate companies. At the company’s annual "Think Tank" meeting, the decision is taken to merge individual companies into one publishing house. The "Think Tank" meeting continues to this day and has informed many key developments in the company’s history.

    6. Building a publishing portfolio with confidence


      By 1981 the company has grown to 20 employees and publishes 15 journals, all of which are still published by Emerald, including Thomson Reuters (ISI) ranked titles European Journal of Marketing, Industrial Management & Data Systems and International Journal of Operations & Production Management.

    7. Action learning is in our culture


      Paving the way for our commitment to providing usable research, the company becomes the official publisher for International Management Centres, an independent action learning business school. Emerald is passionate about Learning & Development that is based on practical problem solving. This is demonstrated through the ongoing Emerald Academy, an action learning programme for staff members.

    8. Moving with the times


      Continuing success leads to the acquisition of bigger premises, a Victorian house able to accommodate 25 staff managing a growing portfolio of 25 journals. At the same time, the business takes the decision to buy six STM journals taking step into STM market. Today, the Engineering eJournal Collection contains 26 titles, of which over half are ranked by ISI and 92% are included in Scopus.

    9. Creating a platform for leading thinkers


      Michael Porter, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University, and one of the most cited and well known authors in business and economics, publishes with Emerald:

      Technology and Competitive Advantage, Journal of Business Strategy

      "Technological innovations can have important strategic implications for individual companies and can greatly influence industries as a whole. Yet not all technological change is strategically beneficial. This article focuses on ways to recognize and exploit the competitive significance of change".

    10. Going digital - the first electronic product


      Digitization and launch of ANBAR on CD-ROM, the company's first electronic Abstracting & Indexing product. Acquired by Emerald in 1981, ANBAR was named after the creator's daughters Anne and Barbara and later became Emerald Management Reviews.

    11. Building a connected and informed community


      As part of our absolute commitment to providing quality service and supporting resources for authors, editors and reviewers the "Literati Club" is launched. Later renamed ‘Emerald Literati Network’, this community is now home to over 100,000 members worldwide.

    12. Delivering research with real impact


      It has been 27 years since author Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web and Emerald's journal, Internet Research published his article on the project.

      World‐wide web: the information universe

      The World‐Wide Web (W3) initiative is a practical project designed to bring a global information universe into existence using available technology. This article describes the aims, data model, and protocols needed to implement the "web" and compares them with various contemporary systems.

    13. Extending our reach into global markets


      The first overseas office opens in Japan and establishes a global presence which now includes representation in over 20 countries, with offices across five continents. This includes Australia, China, Dubai, India, Malaysia, South Africa and USA. Pictured are staff from the Malaysia office which opened in 1994.

    14. The first management research database


      The company begins publishing its journals as the Electronic Management Research Library Database (EMERALD) on CD-ROM. One of the first publishers to embrace this medium, “Emerald” would later become the company name. The following year the online version of “Emerald Fulltext” goes live.

    15. launched


      With the emergence of new technology, the first version of the company’s research platform goes live. Digitally driven and committed to global dissemination, provides accessible and discoverable eJournal content. Emerald eJournal Collections now features over 140,000 articles from over 300 journals within 13 subject collections.

    16. The company becomes “Emerald”


      With the success of its first digital database, the company adopts the name Emerald Group Publishing, with a global brand relaunch and a new visual identity and vision.

    17. Dr Keith Howard takes full control of Emerald


      After a decade of expanding Emerald's global presence, Dr Keith Howard takes full control of the business following a share purchase with Dr Barrie Pettman. Emerald continues to grow as a principled, independent family-owned business.

    18. Emerald becomes a book publisher


      On Emerald's 40th anniversary, the company acquires a collection of books from Elsevier, strengthening our expansion into book publishing and the field of social sciences. Today, Emerald boasts a portfolio of more than 2,500 books, with over 150 new titles publishing each year.

    19. Over 100 years of management research


      Over 68,000 articles from 120 journals dating back to 1898 are digitized. In 2017 Emerald's Backfiles Collection will extend its offer to include content up to 2006, which will add a further 60,000 articles. In addition, new flexible Backfiles Subject Collections will allow customers to pick and choose only subjects they need.

    20. Dr Keith Howard receives OBE


      Dr Keith Howard, Emerald’s founder is awarded an OBE for services to business, sport and to the arts in West Yorkshire from Her Majesty The Queen. This commitment is largely achieved through the work of the Emerald Foundation, the company’s charitable arm.

    21. Dedicated to subject specialism


      Emerald extends its specialist focus into Health and Social Care with the acquisition of Pier Publications. Today, 90% of titles in this collection are included in Scopus and in 2015 received over 500,000 downloads.

    22. Local insight with global relevance


      The business launches Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, a digital collection of peer-reviewed teaching case studies focusing on business decision making and management in global markets. With plans to launch a new case studies product in 2017, Emerald remains committed to providing users with an insight into real-world business scenarios.

    23. Research Media joins Emerald Group


      An innovative business dedicated to translating scientific research into a language everyone can understand and engage with, Bristol-based Research Media joins forces with Emerald.

    24. Emerald Insight, a dedicated research platform


      Emerald's research content is relaunched via Atypon's Literatum platform. The platform now hosts over 150,000 journal articles, over 1,650 books and over 500 cases. In 2015 users downloaded over 30 million articles and chapters.

    25. GoodPractice joins Emerald Group


      Delivering learning support and online tools for leaders and managers across more than 300 organizations, Edinburgh-based GoodPractice provides an exciting opportunity to grow our business in the corporate sector.

    26. 50 years of bringing research to life


      “What started as a specialist academic publisher is now a global business focused on bringing research to life, with Emerald Group owning three companies that bridge research, education and professional learning and development: Emerald Publishing, Research Media and GoodPractice”. Richard Bevan, Emerald Group CEO

    Our Story

    Emerald has achieved so much in the past 50 years and we couldn’t be prouder! This is our story - join us on our journey and discover how we have got to where we are today.


    Research Impact

    Discover how Emerald’s research of novel and new ideas has evolved over the decades, whilst inspiring the next generation of thinkers.

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    Explore the personal stories and contributions of our editors, authors, customers and employees that have helped to grow the family business.

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    Where will we be in 2017? Follow us at various conferences and events throughout the year.

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    See how we have fundraised over the years and donated to projects close to our hearts.

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