The Emerald timeline

Some key milestones from our first 50 years


The company is born

Dissatisfied by publishing outlets of the time, a group of academics from the University of Bradford School of Management form Management Consultants Bradford (MCB). Dr Keith Howard and colleagues oversee the establishment of what would become one of the world’s leading independent academic publishers.


First journal bought for just £1

The business purchased its very first journal, Management Decision for just £1. Management Decision is one of the oldest and longest running scholarly management journals. Throughout its history, it has enjoyed outstanding international exposure.


The foundations for success

50 academics from the University of Bradford School of Management each pay £100 for a share in the company's first office. The building, a converted terraced house, established the company's roots in Yorkshire which are maintained to this day.


First full-time employee

The first full time employee is hired to help process article submissions and journal production. As Emerald enters its 50th year there are now over 350 employees worldwide.


First ‘Think Tank’ meeting

For the first 10 years, all journals were published and managed by separate companies. At the annual 'Think Tank' meeting, the decision is taken to merge individual companies into one publishing house. This meeting continues to this day and has informed many key developments in our history.


Action learning

Paving the way for our commitment to usable research, the company becomes the official publisher for International Management Centres, an independent action learning business school. 


Moving with the times

Continuing success leads to the acquisition of bigger premises: a Victorian house able to accommodate 25 staff managing a growing portfolio of 25 journals. At the same time, the business takes the decision to buy six STM journals taking a step into the STM market. 


A platform for leading thinkers

Michael Porter, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University, and one of the most cited and well known authors in business and economics, publishes with Emerald: Technology and Competitive AdvantageJournal of Business Strategy.


The first digital product

Digitization and launch of ANBAR on CD-ROM, the company's first electronic abstracting & indexing product. Acquired by Emerald in 1981, ANBAR was named after the creator's daughters Anne and Barbara and later became Emerald Management Reviews.


A connected community

As part of our absolute commitment to providing quality service and supporting resources for authors, editors and reviewers the 'Literati Club' is launched.


Research with real impact

It has been 27 years since author Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web and Emerald's journal, Internet Research published his article on the project. World‐wide web: the information universe


Global markets

The first overseas office opens in Japan and establishes a global presence which now includes representation in over 20 countries, with offices across five continents. Pictured are staff from the Malaysia office which opened in 1994.


Management research database

The company begins publishing its journals as the Electronic Management Research Library Database (EMERALD) on CD-ROM. One of the first publishers to embrace this medium, 'Emerald' would later become the company name. The following year the online version of 'Emerald Fulltext' goes live.


Emerald Insight launched

The first version of the company’s research platform goes live; provides accessible and discoverable eJournal content. Emerald eJournal Collections now features over 255,000 articles from over 350 journals.


We become 'Emerald'

With the success of its first digital database, the company adopts the name Emerald Group Publishing, with a global brand relaunch and a new visual identity and vision.


Dr Keith Howard

After a decade of expanding Emerald's global presence, Dr Howard takes full control of the business following a share purchase with Dr Barrie Pettman. Emerald continues to grow as a principled, independent family-owned business.


Book publishing

On our 40th anniversary, we acquire a collection of books from Elsevier, strengthening our expansion into book publishing and the field of social sciences. 


Backfiles collections

Over 68,000 articles from 120 journals dating back to 1898 are digitised. In 2017 Emerald's Backfiles Collection extends its offer to include content up to 2006, which adds a further 60,000 articles. 


Dr Howard receives OBE

Dr Keith Howard is awarded an OBE for services to business, sport and to the arts in West Yorkshire from Her Majesty The Queen. This commitment is largely achieved through the Emerald Foundation, our charitable arm.


Dedicated to subject specialism

Emerald extends its specialist focus into health and social care with the acquisition of Pier Publications. 


Global relevance

The business launches Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, a digital collection of peer-reviewed teaching case studies focusing on business decision making and management in global markets. 


Research Media

An innovative business dedicated to translating scientific research into a language everyone can understand and engage with, Bristol-based Research Media joins forces with Emerald.


A dedicated research platform

Emerald's research content is relaunched via Atypon's Literatum platform.



Delivering learning support and online tools for leaders and managers across more than 300 organizations, Edinburgh-based GoodPractice provides an exciting opportunity to grow our business in the corporate sector.


50 years of research

'What started as a specialist academic publisher is now a global business focused on bringing research to life, with Emerald Group owning three companies that bridge research, education and professional learning and development'. Richard Bevan, Emerald Group CEO


Making a real impact

Introduced our Real Impact Awards, and launched impact literacy workbooks, supporting our commitment to not only supporting the impact agenda, but also in challenging outdated practices.


Better insight

Relaunched Emerald Insight to make content more discoverable, and became a signatory of DORA. Launched SDG Gateways on Emerald Open Research with content freely accessible to everyone. Welcomed Mind Tools, a global provider of research and learning resources, to the Emerald Group.


Our commitment

Signed United Nations SDG Publishers Compact, committing to publishing content that will help inform, develop and inspire action towards real-world challenges. Proud winner of the 2020 IPA ‘Independent Publisher of the Year.