PubTech Radar Scan: Issue 9

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


  • 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.

Quick links

Final thought

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 ❤️.

PubTech Radar Scan: Issue 8


Product launches and new releases

Longer reads

Events, surveys and other opportunities

  • The Open Publishing Fest calendar is now available with a huge variety of sessions

  • Vlogbase (AI Video Search software) are applying for a grant so that they can put university lectures online for students in AI-searchable form. If you’re interested in having your lectures AI'd head to Twitter.  

  • FutureText Publishing is running a student competition for articles on the future of text: “What do YOU feel the future of text will be or can be? We are not looking for research or journalistic perspectives, we are looking for personal passions, whether it be for text on screens or text on paper, whether it be for typefaces, hypertext linking, libraries, neuroscience, books or social media–whatever you feel is important to write about and think about.”

  • Elsevier is looking for researchers and clinicians to join its Publishing Lab “By participating in the Publishing Lab, you will be directly involved in new publishing concepts, can help shape these up, or even propose ideas that we haven’t thought of yet. With the Publishing Lab we aim to develop tools and services that help researchers with their everyday tasks by soliciting direct feedback from a wide range of our authors, reviewers and editors, in all stages of their careers.”

Light relief

  • I ❤️ this correction notice! It must have kept a few people busy during lockdown. Via @NathanSRuiz

PubTech Radar Scan: Issue 7


  • ProQuest have launched a new text and data mining solution, ProQuest TDM Studio, for researchers. [Press release]

  • Enago has announced the launch of TRINKA, an AI writing assistant. “Built by linguists, scientists, and language lovers, TRINKA finds and corrects thousands of complex writing errors instantly…. Trinka is purpose-built for academic and technical writing with the most exhaustive technical spelling list, style guide integration, and formal tone usage.” 

  • Sherpa Romeo (aggregator of journal OA policies, publisher copyright and archiving policies) have a lovely new version of their website and are seeking feedback about functionality and usability

  • PubPub, the open source collaboration platform built by the Knowledge Futures Group, has partnered with AfricArXiv, the African preprint repository, to host audio/visual preprints. will enable multimedia submissions around research outputs, including community participation and feedback for and from researchers. [Press release]


Remote access


Events and opportunities

  • STM is looking to recruit a anti-piracy security consultant to review the current state of technical anti-piracy measures and create a cross-industry capability to fight piracy of academic books and journals.

  • The Open Publishing Fest is going to be held over two weeks in May, featuring discussions, demos, and performances that showcase our paths toward a more open source software, open content, and open publishing models. Propose an event here.

  • ALPSP have a new series of webinars exploring platform hosting initiatives called Case Studies in Collaboration. The three webinars will look at the partnership between Emerald & 67 Bricks, UCL Press & ScienceOpen, and SPIE & Project Euclid

  • eLife have announced the 15 project ideas to be worked on during this year's #eLifeSprint 🚀 Apply by May 24 to participate

A bit of light relief

PubTech Radar Scan: Issue 6



  • Following the acquisition of F1000Research by Informa plc., F1000Workspace has rebranded as Sciwheel and F1000Prime has rebranded as Faculty Opinions.

  • Does awarding Open Data Badges increase data sharing on BMJ Open? Not really. “Badges did not noticeably motivate researchers who published in BMJ Open to share their data; the odds of awarding badges were nearly equal in the intervention and control groups (odds ratio = 0.9, 95% CI [0.1, 9.0]).” The authors note that badges might be more effective if combined with a bundle of other incentives. 

  • Martin Klein and Lyudmila Balakirev have analyzed the resolution of DOIs associated with scholarly resources. The findings highlight the complexity of DOI resolution, “scholarly content providers reply to DOI requests differently, depending on the request method, the originating network environment, and institutional subscription levels”. I wonder how much of this variance is historic and how aware publishers are of what their platform providers are doing here?  

  • Digiday’s piece on what three independent publishers are doing to live to stay alive includes this nugget from Skift Research (travel industry analysis). “...rather than charging for access to its new webinar series, viewers are given the option to pay what they want. One webinar last month on business travel had over 3,000 viewers and while not every attendee paid, the average amount contributed from viewers was $37 per person.”  I think it would be great if this year’s STM Innovations Day could offer a pay what you can option. The meeting costs USD180 for non-members so I assume that it’s only the larger publishers who can pay for their staff to attend, a pay what you can model would open up the meeting to a much broader audience and could bring in some additional revenue for STM.

  • TNPS has picked up some interesting stats from about how Spain’s lock-down is changing reading habits: “Spain’s eBiblio government-operated public library platform has grown 130% since the State of Emergency was declared, picking up over 18,000 new users in three weeks...Bookwire and Libranda are both reporting a 50% increase in digital books engagement, while Kobo says ebooks are up 140% and audiobooks 254%.”


Events and grants

A bit of light relief 

PubTech Radar Scan: Issue 5


Publishing tech news

Funding & peer review


  • Join the ROR community (a community-led project to develop a unique identifier for every research organization in the world) on April 29 at 7am PT for an intro webinar covering the project scope, how ROR IDs are being used, and how to get involved. Register here.

  • STM and Center for Open Science are hosting a workshop on April 27  about data sharing covering how to select the best data policy for your journals, ensuring authors can publish their data alongside their article under a persistent DOI-link, helping authors to cite research data correctly, and giving additional recognition and credit to authors when data underlying research results are available. Register here

  • Cathryn Baldanza from ConTech.Live is thinking about setting up a weekly webinar looking at how the industry is working in the current climate, emerging tech available to help and to continue the conversations around how AI, Data Science and Emerging Tech is transforming the world of content. More info on LinkedIn.

Surveys and feedback wanted

  • OPERAS are running a survey aimed at social sciences and humanities researchers to find out more about current practices, habits and issues relating to SSH scholarly communication.[Deadline 13 April]

  • CDL, Educopia, Stratos, LYRASIS, COAR and Longleaf want your ideas on how to improve scholarly/library publishing infrastructure. “These might include new tools, enhancements to existing tools, bridges between tools, hosted solutions, or even work on shared practices and standards. We are also interested in learning about other projects or initiatives that relate to this effort.” [Closes 24 April]

  • NISO have published the JATS4R recommendations for preprint citations. “In order to differentiate cited preprint articles from journal articles we recommend that a value of “preprint” is used to populate the @publication-type attribute when citing the article as it was published on the preprint server.”Public comments open until 4 May

Loading more posts…