PPUR: going digital for its 30 years

Based at EPFL, for whom it’s the preferred publisher, the Presses polytechniques et universitaires romandes (PPUR) is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its foundation, with nearly 900 titles published and one-and-a-half million works distributed, by strengthening its digital publishing.

This development is exemplified by the online publishing of the monumental work that heralded the beginning of the PPUR – the Traité de l’Electricité (22 volumes and 8600 pages). Behind the publication of the Traité de l’Electricité in printed form was a rather crazy project involving a group of teachers at EPFL: Daniel Mange, Jacques Zahnd et Jacques Neirynck. The goal was to compile all the basic knowledge required for the training of electricians and electronic engineers.

It was finally achieved in 1974. Since then, the PPUR has developed enormously, and is today among the most important publishers in French-speaking Switzerland, with nearly 900 titles published and one-and-a-half million books distributed.

A prestigious university “brand”, the PPUR is also the publishing partner of the Institut national des sciences appliquées – National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) in Lyons, the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), and naturally of the universities and engineering colleges (UNIL, IDHEAP, HES, etc.). The PPUR publishes manuals and reference documents in a broad range of disciplines (engineering, architecture, management, etc.) in both French and English, under their imprint EPFL Press. It also successfully edits the Collection le savoir suisse, the equivalent of the well-known Que sais-je? books, of which 69 have been published to date.

Aware of the changes taking place in the world of publishing, the PPUR is among the main francophone publishers to offer an impressive and innovative digital catalog, achieved by leveraging synergies with the CRAFT (Center for Research and Support of Training and its Technologies) and the central library, all three organizations being located in the Rolex Learning Center.

An increasing proportion of this catalog is available in eBook format on the Izibook and Numilog platforms, as well as through the use of Google book search. La Collection le savoir suisse is also available in Bookapp; this is an e-book application for iPhone and iPad, which enables the annotation and a collective enrichment of their content.

Currently, more than 380 titles are available in electronic format – the PPUR is working in parallel to integrate the bookshop network in the electronic diffusion of their content. The editions and e-books of the PPUR are distributed worldwide by the best professionals in the domaine, and are available in more than 1500 bookshops and on the Internet.

Author: Didier Bonvin

Source: EPFL