STM Publishing – September 2020

STM Publishing – September 2020

Springer extends ResearchGate partnership; publishes white papers

It’s been a busy month for Springer Nature, which has announced a long-term content syndication partnership with ResearchGate, building on a pilot arrangement that began last year. The arrangement applies to articles published in the past five years in Springer journals and the past three years in Nature-branded journals; users who already have access to a particular article will now be able to read that article within ResearchGate, while those without access will see an enhanced abstract including metadata, figures and captions, and the first page.

The company has also released two white papers; the first, “Researchers at the Centre”, explores the benefits from the pilot phase of the ResearchGate partnership, while the second, “Diversifying Readership through open access: A usage analysis for open access books”, analyses the geographical diversity and usage of open access books. Based on the publisher’s near-4,000 books, of which almost 300 are available through open access, the report’s findings include that OA books on average achieve ten times more downloads and 2.4 times more citations than non-OA books, and that download numbers from the open web are generally twice those from institutional networks.

IOP Publishing moves forward on peer review

IOP Publishing is planning to roll out double-blind peer review across its full portfolio of journals by the end of next year, as part of its mission to tackle significant gender, racial, and geographical under-representation in the scholarly publishing process. The publisher, whose managing director Steven Hall recently announced his intention to retire in March 2021, to be succeeded by IOPP Publishing Director Antonia Seymour, has also issued a new global study of peer review that reveals a continuing imbalance in the distribution of peer review across the world. 55% of reviewers overall reported that they received what they felt to be the right level of review requests, but in Germany, the UK, and the US more than 40% felt they received too many, compared to 12% in China and 10% in India.

Scholastica reports on journal production and access

Scholastica has issued a report on “The State of Journal Production and Access”, surveying the views of 63 individuals working with scholarly society and university publishers that independently manage and produce academic journals. The report explores how such organisations currently approach journal production, and what their priorities for the future are; decreasing production time was rated the greatest production priority, while a majority believed institutional subsidies or grants to be the most viable option for funding fully open access journals.

COVID-19 peer review initiative expands

The C19 Rapid Review Initiative, set up earlier this year by Hindawi, the Royal Society, PLOS, and PeerJ to improve the efficiency of the peer review and publication process for research into COVID-19, has expanded to comprise twenty organisations with the recent inclusion of UCL Press, Springer Nature, MIT Press, and Cambridge University Press.

Journals news

A new partnership between SAGE and Hindawi will see the latter publish and develop three of the former’s open access journals – Trends in Hearing, Molecular Imaging, and Adsorption Science and Technology – for at least three years from next January, using its open source publishing platform Phenom. Each journal will remain under SAGE ownership while being fully managed by Hindawi.

Oxford University Press has launched the third title in its new open access journal series; Oxford Open Climate Change is an interdisciplinary journal covering all aspects of climate change, from its physical and biogeochemical aspects to possible natural or technical solutions. Meanwhile, Molecular Biology and Evolution (MBE), published in partnership with the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE), will switch to open access from January 2021.

The Royal Society of Chemistry has launched a new cross-disciplinary open access journal spanning all aspects of atmospheric science. Environmental Science: Atmospheres will cover fields from across the whole of the earth’s atmosphere, from cloud formation to pollution.

De Gruyter has acquired eight scientific journals from German publisher Carl Hanser; it will publish the titles – the International Journal of Materials Research, International Polymer Processing, Materials Testing, Practical Metallography, ZWF – Zeitschrift für wirtschaftlichen Fabrikbetrieb, Kerntechnik, Tenside Surfactants Detergents, and HTM: Journal of Heat Treatment and Materials – from the beginning of 2021.

SAGE has partnered with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the innovation foundation Nesta to launch a new open access journal, Collective Intelligence, devoted to understanding group performance in diverse systems.

In brief

Oxford University Press has appointed Lisa Attenborough as its new Group Communications Director, reporting to CEO Nigel Portwood. Attenborough has previously worked for organisations including Premier Foods, Marks and Spencer, United Biscuits, and Arla Foods.

Research Square has launched the beta version of its AI-based editing service. Built upon the editorial experience of its subsidiary American Journal Experts (AJE), it provides scientific authors with a language quality score and an automated language edit.

Identity and access management specialist Open Athens has become a member of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).


Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University.

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