Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Ediciones UC represents Chile as an academic publisher in Frankfurt

Ediciones UC -with the support of ProChile- stood out as one of the main national stamps at the 2021 Frankfurt Book Fair , held between October 20 and 24. Thus, the UC publishing house became the only academic type selected to represent the country in this version.

“Emblematic books of national and international academic production are the heart of the editions of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, which have accompanied the country in its social processes and today aim to continue to internationalize” – ProChile

“We are in front of the main university publishing house in the country,” says ProChile, an institution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that promotes the supply of Chilean goods and services in the world. “Emblematic books and national and international academic production are the heart of the editions of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, which have accompanied the country in its social processes and today aim to continue to internationalize”, says the government entity, as an introduction to the following interview with María Angélica Zegers, director of Ediciones UC, and which we reproduce here.

-You propose to be a relevant actor in the dialogue with culture and also to be a window to society. How has this experience been that has led you to be the main university publishing house in the country today?

“Ediciones UC is the publishing label of the Catholic University, and was created in 1975 with the aim of providing an editorial service to support teaching, research and literary creation carried out at the university. However, the publishing house was heir to a publishing tradition installed in the university, in particular by Ediciones Nueva Universidad, created at the end of the sixties and which published more than 100 titles, including some as emblematic as the first edition of Violeta Parra’s “Décimas” or the “Artefactos” of Nicanor Parra “.

but we are sure that they are essential to transmit the quality knowledge that is developed within a University. And that is part of the public role that the UC has, which considers it essential to guide its action with an eye on the students, but also very centrally in the community. The Catholic University genuinely seeks to collaborate in the development of Chile through teaching, research and extension, and in this role books are a central instrument. ”

-What do you think are the main changes that the publisher has undergone at this time in tune with the changes in those that accompany society?

“We are framed within the structure of the university, therefore, our vision and our mission are oriented according to that, which for a publishing house is a great source of energy and new topics, because there are few institutions that collect from social feeling is better than a university. It is enough to remember that some of the most relevant social movements in the world have started within the universities, because the strength of young people is an irreplaceable motor, in them it is all boiling of new ideas, concerns , it is all to go forward and in particular at the Catholic University, which has quality as the central axis of its work, the vocation will always be to explore, move the margins, dare to go for more “.

because it is the main factor for promotion in academic careers, and very relevant in the quality certification of universities. The truth is that academic publishers are not designed to compete in the rankings of readership, but so that quality knowledge reaches people and the authorities have supported us in this and in relieving the important role of the book within the university “.


María Angélica Zegers, director of Ediciones UC, and Patricia Corona, general editor. “Our publisher tries to ensure that the topics covered reflect social demands, an issue that for economic reasons will not always be addressed by a commercial publisher, but the challenge is twofold, because it is also necessary to be profitable,” says Zegers.
“We have grown a lot in recent years and we are the main university publishing house in the country in number of publications, and also one of the most important in Latin America, but the number does not mean much if it is not supported by the quality of the publications and for a variety of issues that effectively takes care of the challenges and problems of the population.Our editorial tries to ensure that the topics covered reflect social demands, an issue that for economic reasons will not always be addressed by a commercial publisher, but the challenge is twofold , because you also have to be profitable. Another change is that Ediciones UC not only publishes university authors,but for quite some time we have been open to external authors who trust us as a prestigious publisher to publish their works “.

illustrators, etc, and it must be said that today there are thousands of completely free and legal reading alternatives. We have books on our page that are totally free of payment, and I think it is very central to understand the challenges facing the industry in terms of protecting intellectual property and valuing the fair work of all people. ”

-What are the challenges that come to the UC publishing house in the remainder of the year and into which territories would you like to expand?

when Ediciones UC and Chilean publishers in general were very little known. We reached out to top-tier publishers and they trusted us and today we can proudly say that we have many broad collaboration agreements and co-published books where we share our logos and where we meet authors and publishers. This enriches the editorial work, allows us to learn, open our gaze and also show the Chilean reality outwards. I am interested in releasing this because sometimes it is said that the Fairs are almost social instances, and for us they have always been, at least in Frankfurt, a lot of learning, a lot of enrichment, of meeting a lot of valuable people, that in the end has resulted in publications of the highest level “. We reached out to top-tier publishers and they trusted us and today we can proudly say that we have many broad collaboration agreements and co-published books where we share our logos and where we meet authors and publishers. This enriches the editorial work, allows us to learn, open our gaze and also show the Chilean reality outwards. I am interested in releasing this because sometimes it is said that the Fairs are almost social instances, and for us they have always been, at least in Frankfurt, a lot of learning, a lot of enrichment, of meeting a lot of valuable people, that in the end has resulted in publications of the highest level “. We reached out to top-tier publishers and they trusted us and today we can proudly say that we have many broad collaboration agreements and co-published books where we share our logos and where we meet authors and publishers. This enriches the editorial work, allows us to learn, open our gaze and also show the Chilean reality outwards. I am interested in releasing this because sometimes it is said that the Fairs are almost social instances, and for us they have always been, at least in Frankfurt, a lot of learning, a lot of enrichment, of meeting a lot of valuable people, that in the end has resulted in publications of the highest level “.

“Several years ago we proposed internationalization as the central axis of our development in a two-way path: that our books should be distributed abroad and bring good titles from other publishers to Chile and in this Frankfurt was key” – María Angélica Zegers, director of Ediciones UC

“In a complex university, such as the Catholic University, there is enough knowledge to give life to first-rate academic publications, and bringing that knowledge to society is not for us a collateral consequence, but rather a central part of our central mission and, In this sense, the interconnection with other top-level national and international publishers, with other universities, study centers, civil organizations, are key elements in today’s world. It is hard for me to think that academic publishers do not have this reality as a central engine of In addition, in Chile the trade union publishing association is very fragmented,with several groups in a country that is not large and that has low reading rates and I am convinced that on this issue the union is strength and we should tend to go there in the academic edition.

In the global world there are no legitimate reasons to keep knowledge enclosed within the walls of a campus and there are many effective instruments to achieve higher levels of impact. Just imagine the infinite possibilities of the digital book and e-commerce that allow you to reach another continent with a product in three days. Our immediate challenge is to consolidate ourselves as a benchmark for academic publishing at the regional level, especially by promoting the internationalization of our fund “.

“Ediciones UC maintains co-editions and collaboration with some of the most important publishers in the world such as Springler, Routledge, Oxford, MIT, Columbia, National Academies of Science, British Library, Universidad de Los Andes Colombia, or UNAM, to name a few It is also very important for us to participate with our peers in Associations with EULAC, which brings together Latin American university publishers and UNE, the association of Spanish university publishers, with whom we have a special collaboration agreement. Our books are distributed on commercial platforms. and top-level academics, and although it has been a long road and not without difficulties, much has been achieved and there is still much more to be done.It is undoubtedly a very relevant objective for us as an academic publisher and necessary today in this global world, where we interact and need each other “.

“Today more than ever, when we see that speeches are so polarized and where Manichean positions prevail, I believe that this work between different publishers, in connection with governments, the civil and private world, allows us to collaborate in achieving meeting points for Through books, this is not a saying, we really believe that the interdiscipline and collaborative work seen in the university is a nice way to imagine a new way of understanding ourselves as a society to achieve a better life. “


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