The BSA noted with interest SAGE’s announcement on 7 December that owner Sara Miller-McCune passed control of the publishing house to a trust.

Social science research has been at the heart of SAGE’s publishing programme since it was founded in 1965 and their approach was one of the reasons the BSA partnered with SAGE.

The BSA has a longstanding relationship with SAGE Publications through our journals. We have 2 wholly owned journals (Sociology and Work, Employment and Society) and we partnered with SAGE to publish them in 2002. We also have two journals shared with SAGE, which supported the launch and growth of both of these journals from their beginnings: Cultural Sociology (2007) and Sociological Research Online (1996).

It has always been important for the BSA to consider with whom it is partnered and SAGE’s dedication to the social sciences, as well as their independence from other commercial publishers has been a consideration.

As SAGE told the BSA’s Network in 2014, Sara Miller McCune put an estate plan in place to protect SAGE’s independence and mission.

“Under the terms of this Estate Plan, the voting shares of the company will eventually be transferred to a trust. The non-voting shares will be gifted to a small group of new shareholders comprised of universities and charitable organisations that support social justice initiatives. The trustees have been named in the estate plan, and are essentially prohibited from selling SAGE in the future. The goal is for SAGE to continue in perpetuity as a unique, independent publisher and as an advocate for the social and behavioural sciences.” (Network, Summer 2014, pg 46)

This latest news makes a firm step towards ensuring SAGE’s continued independence and focus on the social sciences. The estate plan, SAGE’s independence and the security that their mission will remain focussed on education and educational bodies has always been well-received by the BSA. Given the major changes occurring in the publishing industry, it is positive to see some security for a social and behavioural sciences publisher. SAGE publishes a lot of sociological content and, given the turbulence of the academic publishing industry, it is heartening to see some security established for a publisher known for good quality sociology books and journals.

  • The SAGE Press release can be found here.
  • An interview on the Bookseller with Ziyad Murar, President, Global Publishing is available here.