London Book Fair debates open access, diversity, and inclusivity
STM and scholarly publishing were prominent once again at this year’s London Book Fair, where Wednesday’s half-day Research and Scholarly Publishing Forum was complemented by a series of talks at the Faculty. Both the present and the future of Open Access came under consideration, with panellists across several sessions exploring such issues as the collaboration required to make OA work, asking whether in future all scholarly content might be free, and questioning whether enough was being done to make research available to those outside the university system, and in the global south.
Diversity and inclusivity were also hot topics, with Elsevier VP Michiel Kolman joining RSC Press Officer Omar Jamshad and panellists from the STM Association’s Early Career Publishing Committee to discuss some of the initiatives currently being undertaken to encourage wider participation and inclusivity in academic publishing.
And it was a big night for scholarly publishing at the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, as SAGE founder Sara Miller McCune was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award to recognise her enormous contribution to the industry over the past five decades. The Academic and Professional Publisher Award, supported by Research Information, was won by Dutch publisher Brill, founded in 1683 and still breaking new ground.
Springer prepares IPO
Springer Nature has confirmed that it is planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange within the next few months. CEO Daniel Roper has stated that the IPO – which is expected to raise around €1.2bn, reportedly valuing the company at more than €7bn – will ‘help us to accelerate our journey going forward’.
New pan-African open access megajournal launches
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences’s Next Einstein Forum and Elsevier are partnering to launch Scientific African, a new open access megajournal intended to expand access to African research and increase scientific collaboration across the continent. Elsevier will be providing the publishing infrastructure for the venture at cost, and will also its expertise in data sharing, marketing, editorial management, and data analytics expertise.
Clarivate acquires, hires, and extends
It’s been a busy month for Clarivate Analytics, which has acquired AI-technology start-up Kopernio, which aims to improve access to scholarly research by providing legal single-click access for researchers to millions of journal articles and academic research papers worldwide. Clarivate plans to invest in and upscale Kopernio alongside integrating it into its existing products and services, to ‘create the definitive publisher-neutral platform for research workflow and analysis for scientific researchers, publishers and institutions worldwide’.
Caroline Birkle has been appointed General Manager of Clarivate’s research information management system Converis. Birkle, who has previously held posts with the Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomson Reuters, and Holtzbrinck Publishers, will continue to be based in Germany, where she will manage an international team.
Meanwhile, Clarivate’s peer review platform Publons has announced an extension of its Reviewer Recognition Service partnership with Taylor & Francis, following a successful thirty-journal pilot project launched in April 2017. The service will now provide automated recognition for up to 250 Taylor & Francis journals; more than 18,500 peer reviewers have tracked more than 58,000 peer reviews so far.
Blue sea thinking from Cambridge opens up oceans of data
Cambridge University Press has announced a new partnership with computational reproducibility platform Code Ocean that will enable its authors to publish their code openly on the Cambridge Core platform, making it free for others to access, download and share. Political Science Research & Methods will be the first journal to adopt Code Ocean, in an extension of its existing policy of requiring authors to deposit the data necessary to reproduce their findings.
River flows both ways
River Valley has announced that the two-way integration of its ReView submission system with the bioRxiv preprint server will enable authors of biology and biomedical papers to submit papers to a journal directly from bioRxiv, and vice versa.
Karger gains Health and opens new office
The Switzerland-based Karger Publishers has acquired UK medical information service Health Press Ltd, best known for its brands Fast Facts, Patient Pictures, and Embarrassing Problems. The publisher has also opened a new office in Dubai and added two open access scientific journals to its portfolio: both the International Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism and the Dubai Medical Journal have been developed in partnership with the Dubai Health Authority.
Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University