Interinstitutional Center for the Diffusion of Publications in the Human Sciences
Created in 1981 with the support and at the request of the Ministry of National Education, the CID’s primary goal is to ensure the promotion and the sale of works published in the areas of higher education and research throughout the bookstore’s network.
It currently brings together 17 university presses or institutional publishers.
To reach its objective, the CID has created a unique formula that combines the traditional tools of the diffuser-distributor and the tools specific to promoting highly specialized scientific publications.
A Commercial Approach at the Service of Academic Publishing
While it attempts to maintain a commercial approach, the CID has not lost sight of its primary objective: promote research works, something that cannot be done by the private publishing houses and distributors. Thanks to the support of the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, the center is in a position to carry out its activity without having to be immediately profitable, an aspect that generally pushes other publishers and editors towards collections that may be more “lucrative.”
For this reason, the center is especially adapted to the production and means of the publishers it represents: they may be small or mid-sized developing structures having already compiled a representative catalogue with great potential but which often have restricted budgets, or even established publishing services that have a rigorous editorial policy and which are focused on publications that are sometimes difficult to diffuse, but which have excellent scientific content.
The CID is meeting this challenge by fully combining diffusion and distribution, two complimentary activities that follow very different logics. While a representative can realistically only promote a limited number of works per year, distribution sectors have recently acquired some major industrial structures. The objective of such structures is to follow a scale economy logic, but also to meet the rapidly growing demand for French publications.
While this demand presents many advantages for large publishing houses, it is extremely unfavorable to the existence of small specialized publishers. It seeks to ensure rapid rotation, standard formats, reduced storage costs, and hence to keep books alive the shortest amount of time possible. It does not encourage deposits or other custom methods.
This is why the CID is both a diffuser and a distributor. It ensures quality service by combining these two activities, a guarantee that the publishers it represents remain independent.