A typically busy month for STM publishing has seen a great many launches, conferences, and new partnerships. On the eve of its fiftieth anniversary in 2017, Emerald Group Publishing announced a £27.5m financing package with Barclays and HSBC to support ambitious plans for growth and acquisitions. Head of Innovation Rebecca Evans was also highly commended in the Digital Achiever of the Year category at the 2016 FutureBook awards.
Three conferences looked to the future of the industry. The UKSG one-day conference focused on researchers’ changing needs, with speakers including Anthony Watkinson, Steven Inchcombe, and Richard Burkitt asking how publishers, scholarly start-ups, libraries and information services are responding to those changes. Spot On London, back after a break in 2015, and hosted by BioMed Central, Digital Science and the Wellcome Trust, explored the future of peer review; recordings of all the sessions are now available from the BioMed Central website. And in Reykjavik, the inaugural PIDapalooza conference brought together more than a hundred people to discuss the future of scholarly identifiers with speakers including Jonathan Clark and Clifford Tatum; the slides from the talks can all be found on Figshare.
Open Access continues to be a growth area. The new Wellcome Open Research platform, launched by the Wellcome Trust in August in partnership with F1000, has published its first twenty articles. Working on a model of immediate publication followed by transparent invited peer review, the platform publishes research funded by Wellcome, and does not charge APCs. And the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has launched a new open access programme, IET Open, combining two new journals – IET Cyber-Physical Systems: Theory and Applications and Engineering Biology – and the IET’s three existing open access journals. All five journals will publish under a creative commons license.
The past month has seen the usual flurry of activity from the Digital Science stable, including an investment in Transcriptic, the California-based robotic cloud library for life sciences offering biologists a fully automated cellular and molecular biology platform from within a web browser. Digital Science also announced that its Global Research Identifier Database will be made openly available under a ‘No Rights Reserved’ CC0 license, with copies of the monthly database being uploaded to Figshare from January 2017. Meanwhile, Overleaf partnered with Cambridge University Press to give authors at three Cambridge journals – Political Science Research and Methods, the British Journal of Political Science, and Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia – access to the Overleaf platform and templates. And Altmetric has also announced a partnership – with IOP Publishing, the publishing arm of the Institute of Physics – to embed its badges into articles published in IOP journals, providing authors with insights into how their research is being used and discussed. IOP Publishing has also announced the launch of the new multidisciplinary journal Nano Futures, devoted to cutting edge areas of nanoscience and related technologies, and opening for submissions in early 2017.
Kudos has made several announcements, including a new partnership with Helsinki University Library, the successful completion of its second funding round, and new appointments to its board of directors. Jon Conibear, formerly of OUP, Blackwell Science, Informa, and Hearst, will take up a role as non-executive chairman at the start of 2017, accompanied by Dominic Ely of Zinc Ahead and AVEDAS founder Jan Christopher Maier.
And finally, Lettie Conrad, formerly Executive Product Analysis Manager at SAGE, has been announced as the new North American editor of the Learned Publishing journal, published by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing.
Alastair Horne writes our STM and Academic Newsletter.