It’s been ages since my last newsletter. I took a break over the May Bank Holiday and then struggled to get going again. Like many others I’m tired. Fairly sure I’ve not had COVID but it could be a mild case of ‘Covid-19 Brain’ 😃.
New products & services
I am looking forward to seeing Kotahi, the new publishing platform from Coko.
iThinking are launching a new knowledge graph of scholarly and scientific publishing information called Integrity.
If you haven’t played with Scholarcy’s new summariser tool built using BART models from Hugging Face you’re missing out. This kind of technology is developing very quickly. Scholarcy have also removed the rate limits from their reference extraction and parsing API so anyone can create open citations for their paper.
Google seem to have a new ‘for context’ box to give readers the big picture around news stories. It will be interesting to see how this works and if there’s a way for academic publishers to bring users back to the original research
Sage Ocean (my current employer) are launching a new software tool, Texti, to help researchers prepare text for TDM. You can sign up for early access here.
The Royal Society of Chemistry have formed a joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing which includes a commitment to “…collaborate to enable diversity data to be self-reported by members of our community, and we will work towards a collective and compliant system so that researchers only need to self-report data once. We will share and analyse anonymised diversity data to understand where action is needed.”
Surprisingly the merger of CPA Global and Clarivate to “…form a true end-to-end solution that covers the entire innovation and IP lifecycle – from scientific and academic research to IP portfolio management and protection” seems to have passed without much comment.
HighWire Press have been sold to MPS. As Clarke & Esposito comment it does feel like the end of an era. The staff seem positive about the sale and it should bring some desperately needed investment. Highwire are well positioned to build a really strong and innovative infrastructure around preprints.
HighWire’s problems were many but even if their technology offering had been the best the market for platform services is shrinking. A quick browse through the archives of HighWire’s customer list highlights the problem. Over the years many society journals left for greener pastures, but many more ceased being independent publishers. Most [?] of the smaller publishers have been bought by the larger players. Plan S is going to drive further consolidation as society publishers seek income guarantees that only the biggest commercial publishers can provide. In ten years time the market for publishing infrastructure services is going to be considerably smaller and likely to be dominated by very large commercial players. I’m a fan of Amy Webb and I think her comments about the US big tech congressional hearings (badly condensed below) could equally apply to academic research.
“America's free market economy facilitates consolidation… And so, we have the G-MAFIA: Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, IBM and Apple… The bottom line is that Amazon and Google are now invisible infrastructure powering not just our economy, but our daily lives. We need a more sophisticated approach. ”
I am not feeling optimistic that this is a battle the open science community will win.
The switch from subscription access to OA means new and interesting opportunities, the IOP [I think] are looking for an Article Revenue Product Owner
Digital Science is running their first Global Showcase event from 28 Sept to 2 Oct. “We’ll be discussing the biggest challenges facing research and sharing stories about the many ways our digital tools are helping the research community.” Tickets here.
The Wellcome are running a virtual conference on Reproducibility, Replicability and Trust in Science in September.
HighWire have a great set of retrospective articles looking back over the past 25 years, all of them are worth a read. The latest one is from Anurag at Google Scholar.
Aaron Tay, Bianca Kramer and Ludo Waltman make the case for open abstracts
Following Josh Nicholson’s post about Scite on The Bibliomagician Lizzie Gadd writes about why she is nervous about AI-based citation evaluation tools.
Martijn Roelandse and Anita Bandrowski on how to “offload part of the peer review process onto machines” to improve reproducibility.
Persistent Identifiers 101 from UCL Library services does what it says on the tin and has nice infographic:
Just wanted to say a quick thank you to all the people who have contacted me asking when the next newsletter is coming out and checking to see if I’m still alive 😉. It has meant a lot to me and it is lovely to be part of a community that cares ❤️.