Brenda O'Neall-Smith, ISU Press, (515) 292-0140 (Ext. 627)


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University Press and Blackwell Science, an international scientific and technical publishing company, have signed a letter of intent to merge.

The merger, which is expected to be effective by Sept. 1, was announced Monday, July 17, by ISU Press and Blackwell Science officials. Blackwell Science is a leading independent scientific and technical publisher and the largest publisher for academic and professional societies in the world. Blackwell Science and ISU Press have worked closely together for several years in veterinary, agriculture and other publishing areas.

ISU Press will continue to operate from its Ames headquarters and will keep the ISUP imprint. Gretchen van Houten, editorial director, and Brenda O'Neall Smith, operations director, will remain in their positions. No change in the number of employees is expected. ISU Press currently employs 24 people.

"This merger ensures a strong, bright future for the ISU Press," said Al Austin, president of the ISU Press board of directors. "It holds great benefits for scholarly publishing in Iowa, and will greatly improve the ability of the ISU Press to compete in an increasingly digital world."

ISU Press was founded in 1934, and has an international reputation in agriculture, veterinary medicine and aviation publications. It is affiliated with Iowa State University, though it receives no state funding. Its board of directors is composed primarily of ISU faculty. The future of the ISU Press has been under study by the board this year, due to the need to update facilities, equipment and technological capabilities.

"Blackwell Science has offices in 10 countries, a significant investment in electronic publishing, and an excellent reputation in scholarly publishing. Blackwell Science is the perfect partner to take ISU Press to the next level," Austin said.

"ISU Press and Blackwell Science have been friends for a number of years already and have developed a mutually beneficial relationship," said Robert Campbell, Group CEO of Blackwell Science. "We are delighted that the bonds between us now are strengthened and look forward to an exciting future for us both. The growth prospects are tremendous and Blackwell will be able to provide the necessary access to export markets and technology."

While fundamentally a merger, Blackwell will make a payment for ISU Press. Proceeds will be used to establish an endowment to support scholarly publishing activities at Iowa State University. Details still are being worked out, but the endowment will be more than $2 million, Austin said.


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