McGraw-Hill Education: Book Management for a Landmark Textbook: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Edition

Keywords: books, medical, production, copyediting, design, composition, XML, management


McGraw-Hill Education (MHE) provides students and professionals with the global standard of best healthcare practices by delivering current and comprehensive resources from leading authors and institutions.  MHE traces its history back to 1888 and continues today as one of the leading providers of textbooks and digital solutions for medical students and practitioners.

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine is MHE’s landmark text that continues to define internal medicine for generations of students and clinicians. First published in 1950, it is in its 19th edition and comes in two volumes with expanded digital content also available. Harrison’s is widely regarded as one of the most authoritative books on internal medicine and has been described as the "most recognized book in all of medicine."

MHE partnered with Cenveo Publisher Services to manage all aspects of production and composition of this important tome. MHE recognized that a successful partnership would reduce costs and improve quality and efficiency by centralizing the production workflow with dedicated staff.


To produce and publish Harrison’s on schedule and with current staff levels, MHE partnered with Cenveo to produce all 486 print and digital chapters. Manuscript was received by Cenveo in more than 30 batches, which were out of sequence. Tracking chapters, editors, and reviewers was critical to keep the project on schedule and organized. Continuous design and associated design requirements were a necessity as well as a challenge because the two-volume book could only be paginated once sequential chapters were available.

Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine is a challenging project. Cenveo stayed on top of everything and truly became an extension of our publishing office. The transformation from thousands of files to a beautifully designed two-volume book delivered ahead of schedule is the result of a dedicated and conscientious team.
— Roger Kasunic, Vice President of Production and Manufacturing, McGraw-Hill Professional

 The evolving nature of medical science and understanding are reflected in the book’s chapters on topics such as Ebola. The 2014 Ebola epidemic, the largest in history, occurred during the book’s production. Cenveo’s staff worked with editors and reviewers to heavily revise content during production to keep current on changing information.  The successful management of content against publication date constraints is also reflected in the book’s massive 1000-page index. Paginated chapters had to be processed and categorized by the indexer while the production process was ongoing


MHE and Cenveo optimized a process-driven and custom book production solution that involved copyediting more than 17,000 manuscript pages and complex composition of over 4,000 pages. The final files for 349 print-book chapters and 137 online chapters were delivered ahead of schedule. Final XML created by Cenveo was loaded to MHE’s AccessMedicine flagship subscription site for select chapters even before the print version was released.  More than 2,200 figures and 1,200 tables were tracked, edited, and organized during the production of this book. Experienced staff acted on behalf of MHE in just the way its own staff are expected to operate. Interacting with prominent physicians and authors by Cenveo’s book staff resulted in a trusted production environment that produced and delivered final print files ahead of schedule. The index was also finalized and delivered 2 weeks prior to the print date. 

New features for this edition include 137 additional e-chapters, which Cenveo managed, edited, produced, and delivered 1 month ahead of schedule. During the final stages of production, Cenveo worked with MHE to ensure full permissions were held for appropriate assets. With a renowned list of world leaders in clinical, academic, and research medicine, Harrison’s 19th is positioned to maintain its reputation as the definitive textbook for internal medicine.


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