Commercial publisher

The concept of a commercial publisher is used as a surrogate quality assurance test for books and book chapters in place of any formal peer review requirement. A commercial publisher is defined as an entity for which the core business is producing books and distributing them for sale.

For the purposes of this collection, university presses are regarded as commercial publishers.

Commercial publisher status

How to confirm commercial publisher status

  • collate data from the publisher's website that demonstrates the publisher meets the criteria for a commercial publisher.
  • use this template to write to the publisher which asks for a statement that their business meets the requirements

If publishing is not the core business of an organisation but there is a distinct organisational entity devoted to commercial publication it may be acceptable as a commercial publisher if:

  • publications are not completely paid for or subsidised by the parent organisation or a third party;
  • the publishing arm is responsible for the distribution of books and
  • there is an ability to purchase books from the organisation or other publications outlet/s.


Companies that may not be eligible for listing:

  • publishing units within faculties in universities (note the official publishing arm of a university, such as RMIT Press is usually eligible, but the publishing arm within a centre, within a faculty in RMIT, may not be eligible);
  • clearinghouses;
  • publishing arms of museums or galleries;
  • companies that are hired only to print or distribute a book, but bear no responsibility for the editing process or take no risk in choosing to publish; or
  • companies that publish books but sub-contract printing and/or distribution thus having no responsibility for the entire publishing process.