Elsevier acquires Woodhead Publishing, known for food science and materials science & engineering

Why this large and small publisher are a good match

[caption align="alignleft" width="382"]With its acquisition of Woodhead Publishing, Elsevier expands its science and technology book publishing in several key areas, including food science and materials science & engineering. With its acquisition of Woodhead Publishing, Elsevier expands its science and technology book publishing in several key areas, including food science and materials science & engineering.[/caption]Elsevier has just announced that it acquired Woodhead Publishing Ltd. (@WoodheadTweets), based in Cambridge, England. The integration of the companies will expand Elsevier's books portfolio in some key subject areas, particularly food science and materials science & engineering.

The acquisition of Woodhead also includes Chandos Publishing, which has a portfolio of books in library information science and Asian studies.Woodhead, established in 1989, is also known for its high-quality content in the fields of energy & environmental technology, textile technology and biomedicine.

The publishing industry recognizes Woodhead for its business savvy and quality content. The Independent Publishing Guild (IPG) honored the company with The 2012 London Book Fair International Achievement Award, calling Woodhead "very active and innovative in whatever country it targets." The judges panel noted Woodhead's "international collaboration on its online publishing projects and [the] clear evidence of its careful research and thoughtful strategies in multiple territories."

Woodhead was also shortlisted for the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair IPG Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year Award and nominated for The Bookseller's 2013 Independent Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year award.

'We are a natural fit'

[caption id="attachment_21531" align="alignright" width="180"]Suzanne BeDellSuzanne BeDell[/caption]"Woodhead's global publishing program is very complementary to Elsevier's books portfolio," said

Suzanne BeDell(@Suzanne_BeDell), Managing Director of the Science & Technology Books group at Elsevier. "Researchers worldwide will have broader access to more high-quality content in some important subject areas."

She explained that researchers and practitioners will be able to access the Woodhead titles on ScienceDirect – Elsevier's online full-text scientific database – as well as in print and electronic formats through the Elsevier Store and other online retailers.

Woodhead Publishing Managing Director Martin Woodhead built the company over 24 years into a successful, internationally recognized business.

"Passing Woodhead on to Elsevier made good sense for our business," he said in the press release. "Elsevier is a publisher I much admire for the quality of its content, and we are a natural fit. I know that Elsevier will maintain the same high standards we've been committed to and will take our titles to a new level both in print and electronic markets."

Specialties in food science and materials science & engineering

The Woodhead food science list ranks as one of the largest in the world with over 250 titles, most of which are less than 10 years old. Due to the ever-increasing regulations in the food business and the quest for healthier and safer food, the demand for the titles on this list remains strong.The Woodhead materials science & engineering list specializes in:

  • Composite materials for civil, structural and transport engineering
  • Metals and metals processing, including welding/joining technologies and surface engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic and optical materials
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Civil engineering


Martin Woodhead

[caption id="attachment_26562" align="alignleft" width="240"]Martin WoodheadMartin Woodhead[/caption]

Martin Woodhead entered the publishing industry in 1966 as a sales representative for Macmillan. Three years later, he moved to a start-up, Gower Press, as sales manager. Working there gave him the idea and incentive to start his first company, so he re-mortgaged his house and established Woodhead-Faulkner in Cambridge in 1972, which grew until its acquisition by Simon & Schuster in 1987.

In 1989 Martin started Woodhead Publishing to specialize in books on the latest science and technology.

After 47 years in publishing, Woodhead said he plans to spend more time on things he enjoys, including his work with the Stationers' Company, a London livery company for the communications and content industries.


The Authors

[caption id="attachment_26561" align="alignright" width="151"]Cory PolonetskyCory Polonetsky[/caption][caption id="attachment_24582" align="alignleft" width="160"]Michelle McMahon

Michelle McMahon[/caption]

Michelle McMahon is the Publicity Manager for Elsevier's Science & Technology Books division (@SciTechBookNews). She is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Cory Polonetsky is a Marketing Director for Elsevier's Science & Technology Books division, responsible for channel strategy, product launches and business models.  He is also based in Waltham.

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1 Archived Comment

Jonathan Davis August 14, 2013 at 9:51 am

This is a very exciting development. Congratulations to the acquisition team. Having been the Commissioning Editor at Chandos Publishing (Woodhead’s library and info science imprint) prior to joining Elsevier, I look forward to finding out where the content I helped bring to print will sit in its new home at Elsevier.