Nomos Publishing has existed under its current name since 1964. It is among the leading scientific publishers in the German-speaking world in the fields of law, social sciences and the humanities. Every year, Nomos publishes more than 850 books and 50 trade journals. Virtually the entire publishing catalog is available electronically. Since 2002, Nomos has been a part of the Beck-Group, but has remained independent from the Group’s other publishers with regard to its program development. We maintain close relationships with partner publishing firms in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain and other countries. In 2009 Reinhard Fischer Publishing Company was acquired. Since 2015 Edition Sigma belongs to Nomos Publishing. In 2017 Tectum Publishing became part of the Nomos family and in 2018 Ergon Publishing and Academia Publishing followed.
The history of Nomos publishing
The early years
Nomos arose from August Lutzeyer Publishing, which was located in Baden-Baden starting in 1953. The latter became established in the years after the Second World War as a specialist publisher for legal works, with particular emphasis on issuing texts in loose-leaf format. The collection “German Federal Law” played a central role at that time. After the Treaties of Rome were ratified in 1957, European legal provisions were also documented. In 1963, the partners of Suhrkamp Publishing – Siegfried Unseld and the Swiss Reinhardt Brothers – bought August Lutzeyer Publishing. Suhrkamp had acquired Insel Publishing a short time previously, and the partners were interested in August Lutzeyer’s printing shop, which specialized in printing small batches on lightweight paper. Moreover, they also considered the up-and-coming scientific publisher to be a good investment.
Nomos as part of Suhrkamp
About one year after the acquisition, the house was re-christened Nomos Publishing. This name is derived from the classical Greek term for “law” (νόμος). Within the loose-leaf collection “German Federal Law” and other collections, such as “The Compendium of European Law”, one also found numerous expositions, on the basis of which the publishing house gradually built up a wide catalog of commentaries and handbooks. Concurrently, a comprehensive scientific program consisting of dissertations, habilitations, monographs and anthologies began to emerge.
Initially, the thematic emphasis was on public law, European law and international law, along with governmental doctrine, European politics and international relations. Other specialist domains were gradually added until, by the year 2000, Nomos had established itself as one of the leading scientific publishers in the fields of law and the social sciences.
The acquisition by C.H.Beck
At the end of the 1990’s – faced with a reform in the inheritance tax law – the owners of Nomos decided to sell the publishing house. It was initially sold in 1998 to Springer (Scientific) Publishing. Shortly thereafter, Springer was itself acquired by Bertelsmann, and Bertelsmann promptly sold Nomos to the Munich-based C. H. Beck publishing house. The managing directors of the publishing house and the printing plant are Alfred Hoffmann und Wolfgang Bonin.
Key program areas
Nomos one of the few publishers with a “full-range” publishing program that allows it to present current topics in an interdisciplinary fashion.
Each year, Nomos publishes more than 850 books. The subjects range from traditional scientific texts to reference books and commentaries to course literature.
The central publishing focus today is the issuing of outstanding scientific works from the fields of law, social science and the humanities. With nearly 700 new releases per year, these works also represent, numerically, the largest portion of our publishing program. The scientific program is divided into more than 330 active publication series. Here, the field of law is completely covered, including the basic subjects, comparative law and the relationships to neighboring disciplines. In the social sciences and humanities, the program focuses on political science, European studies, sociology, media and communication, and also includes social work and social economics along with the traditional economics disciplines. In the past few years, other programmatic areas have been extensively upgraded. These include modern history, health, cultural studies, philosophy and religious studies.
Along with certification documents and other monographs and anthologies pertaining to individual topics, there are numerous research-based reference books that are directed toward university students, researchers and instructors, as well as toward practitioners in the private sector, in administration, associations, etc.
When marketing works having an international scope, Nomos frequently collaborates with publishing partners in Austria, Switzerland and other European countries. This is particularly true for the steadily growing portion of scientific works written in English. Here, Nomos collaborates closely with leading British scientific publishing houses.
Literature for legal practitioners
A comprehensive collection of books for legal practitioners has evolved from the documentation of legal texts. Since 2000, we have continually expanded our offerings of commentaries, reference books, form collections and monographs on subjects relevant to practitioners. Today, they encompass all of federal law and substantial parts of state law, as well as the law of the European Union and international law. Our literature for legal practitioners is itself divided into several series. For example, there is the large, often multi-volume Nomos Commentaries (NomosKommentare), the more compact portable commentaries (NomosHandkommentare) and the instruction and practice commentaries (NomosLehr- und Praxiskommentare). The latter two pertain particularly to the field of social law. In addition to these series, there are also solitary publications, such as the work “von der Groeben” on European Union law, along with completely new formats, such as the keyword commentaries and the commentaries on process forms. Textbooks, form books and shorter introductory works round out this collection of publications for practitioners.
Since 2010, Nomos, C. H. Beck and Hart Publishing have jointly published numerous commentaries and text books in English on selected subjects within the areas of European and international law.
Since 2008, Nomos Publishing has built up a broad collection of course literature in the field of law. Along with the main series NomosLehrbuch (Nomos Textbook), NomosStudium (Nomos Studies) and NomosReferendariat (Nomos Clerkship), there are also course books and compendiums on national law and many introductory works on legal subjects written for lay audiences. In the area of social sciences, there are course books on political science, sociology and social work. The course literature catalog also includes numerous other textbooks on the broadest spectrum of topics covered in our publishing program.
Nomos issues more than 50 professional journals that reflect our entire publishing program and range from journals for practitioners to highly specialized scientific periodicals. Many of these journals are leaders in their fields, such as “Zeitschrift für Urheber- und Medienrecht” (Journal for Copyright and Media Law), “Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht” (Journal for Environmental Law), “Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft” (Media & Communication Science), “Blätter der Wohlfahrtspflege” (Public Welfare Gazette) or “Soziale Welt” (Social World). Particularly noteworthy are also the numerous interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary journals, such as “Leviathan”, “Kritische Justiz” (Critical Justice) and “Rechtswissenschaft” (Jurisprudence).
Virtually our entire publishing catalog is also available electronically. Books and magazines aimed primarily at legal practitioners are published via the database NomosOnline. Here, one also finds KiJuP-Online, a site developed in collaboration with the German Institute for Adolescent Help and Family Law. Other such collaborative sites are expected to follow.
The scientific program, the textbooks and the English-language commentaries can be accessed on the in-house bi-lingual platform Nomos eLibrary. The eLibrary was designed primarily to serve the needs of scientific libraries and their users. More and more, however, it is also being used by other specialist publishers, such as Vahlen and C. H. Beck.