OUP launches Oxford Scholarly Editions Online

Jayanta Mallick Kolkata | Updated on September 07, 2012 Published on September 07, 2012

Oxford University Press (OUP) this month launched the new Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO) and re-launched Oxford Handbooks Online and Oxford Reference.

According to OUP, OSEO is a digital publishing initiative that will bring the renowned collection of Oxford scholarly editions online for the first time.

Initially, it is being launched with 171 editions of works, written by authors principally active between 1485 and 1660. OSEO will publish the original texts of approximately 12,000 works, which include 200 plays, some 7,000 poems, and over 5,000 letters. OSEO will provide reliable critical editions of original works by some of the most important writers in the humanities, such as William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, as well as works from lesser-known writers such as Shackerley Marmion.

Sophie Goldsworthy, Editorial Director for Academic and Trade, and Project Director of OSEO, said: "With such a sheer volume of texts available online, it has never been more important than it is now to help scholars and students navigate to trusted primary sources on which they can rely for their research, teaching, and learning. Over the past century and more, Oxford has invested in the development of an unrivalled programme of scholarly editions across the humanities. OSEO now takes these core authoritative texts down from the library shelf, unlocks their features to make them fully accessible to all kinds of users, and makes them discoverable online."

The electronic environment of OSEO provides a new research method and tool for the reader, who can quickly examine the history of the scholarly editing of a work or see instantly how a particular word used in a text has changed over time. Students and scholars can interrogate texts in ways that could never have been done before, with a click of a mouse.


The relaunch of the resource site for Oxford Handbooks Online has been reengineered in response to usage data and market research. According to OUP, it is now better aligned with how scholars and students access and use this kind of resource.

The site has a more sophisticated functionality that makes it easier to search, browse, and download individual essays, and important modifications have been made to the underlying publication model that make it possible to publish individual chapters online in advance of print, provide updated versions of existing articles, and to publishing online-only articles on emerging areas of research.

Oxford has appointed an Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board of subject experts in each discipline to provide guidance and ensure quality. The coverage in Oxford Handbooks Online has been significantly expanded, increasing from four disciplines to fourteen to include psychology, history, and other major fields of research.


Oxford Reference has also been redeveloped bringing together over 1.7 million entries. OUP integrated the reference content from Oxford Reference Online and the Oxford Digital Reference Shelf onto the new Oxford Reference platform.

This would help users to easily access and cross-search reference works.

The Oxford Quick Reference collection contains over 125 core academic dictionaries allowing users to quickly check facts and key information about a concept, person, term, subjects, or language. The Oxford Reference Library contains over 180 in-depth and specialist titles from Encyclopedias and Companions.

OUP’s Oxford Index, a free discovery service, lets users search across Oxford's digital academic content and find related content across all of their online sites.

Published on September 07, 2012
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