A weekly[ish] summary of all things Scholarly Publishing Tech with a sprinkling of Open Science developments, Marketing Tech and Journalism Tech.
Academic publishing infrastructure
Nature reports that finding cash to run regional repositories like INA-Rxiv and IndiaRxiv is proving difficult. The problems stem from COS, which hosts many of these repositories, introducing fees to cover maintenance costs. INA-Rxiv say they are unable to find the $25,000 annual fees needed to cover costs.
Elephant in the Lab has a good write up of the social, technical and political-economic problems associated with funding and governing research infrastructures identified at workshop during the The Open Science Fair last year.
Ed Hagen wonders if scientific publishing should move to Github. This has been discussed many times before and whilst the technical complexities of running journals this way aren’t too hard to solve there are more than a few pesky social and political-economic problems (see the Elephant in the Lab’s post above) that need to be overcome for this to happen at scale.
Format free citations
The number of journals that allow format-neutral first submission is rapidly growing and includes some Wiley titles, IOP Press, EMBO, The Company of Biologists, and many more. Aziz Khan has created a list of life science and biomedical journals that accept format-free initial submission.
In a move that seems set to become the new norm Nature is following other journals and has started to publish peer review reports as a trial.
The TOP Factor has launched to help researchers evaluate journals based on their processes and support of scholarly values. TOP aims to provide an alternative to the Journal Impact Factor.
Dimensions has added 1.5 million datasets into its database, including datasets from Figshare, Zenodo, Dryad and Pangaea as well as datasets from publisher data repositories at Springer Nature, PLOS, Frontiers and the American Chemical Society.
Mergers and acquisitions
EBSCO have invested in Code Ocean and protocols.io, two open science-oriented companies.
Allen Press and Silverchair will be launchubg a new platform called Meridian. Allen Press customers will benefit from the responsive web design, reader-preferred split-screen view, and personalized content suggestions.
Taylor & Francis announced the acquisition of F1000Research. The transaction does not include F1000Prime and F1000Workspace. I’m not entirely convinced by Martin Paul Eve’s analysis but I agree with his final points; “predict that T&F will not now wholeheartedly convert its journal portfolio for Plan S compliance. They might selectively switch some titles to zero-embargo green but this will be done on an analysis of the volume of funded research published”. Given the uncertainty around Plan S’s final form and differences in geographical/disciplinary adoption it makes sense for large publishers to keep as many options open as possible for as long as possible.
Cactus Communications continues it’s spending spree and has acquired Denmark-based technology solutions company, UNSILO. UNSILO provides AI tools and solutions for publishers to grow their business and improve customer experience through products.
Publishing Executive reports that Gmail will ‘penalize’ publishers who send email newsletters that are never opened. “Gmail began to penalize senders more heavily for longer-term inactives—those subscribers who hadn’t opened or clicked in more than 180 days—and there was some intermittent spam folder placement and a reputation drop as a result,” says Clea Moore of Oracle CX Marketing Consulting. That led to a noticeable drop in open rates for email campaigns that Oracle’s clients sent to Gmail addresses.
The Financial Times has an interesting programme which aims to educate young people about where to find trusted sources of information. It also makes the newspaper’s content available free of charge to 16 to 19-year-olds. Do any society publishers invest in similar initiatives?
According to WSJ, Google is Google is talking to European publishers about paying a licensing fee for content to appear in a free news product.
News Corp have released Knewz a news aggregator which links to about 400 local and national news sources.
Scroll, an innovative news subscription service which offers ad-free access to news websites in exchange for a subscription fee, is out of beta.
SODP has an interesting article about the winners and losers of Google’s September algorithm update which aimed to elevate original reporting. The Lancet, NIH and Medscape were all big losers according to their data: