Quick update before I head off on holiday for some much needed R&R.
Shiny new things
Going to start with a lovely example of Scandi-Chic, The Norwegian Medical Journal’s new Drupal website. Simple, functional, welcoming, and built to serve the needs of its readers. The new platform will be open source and available for other publishers to reuse.
Andrea Chiarelli writes about building Spark – a new (open access) discovery extension
The former founders of Kopernio, Mendeley, and Publons have joined forces to launch a new company – Cassyni. “Cassyni is a smart online video seminar space - making it much easier for researchers to create, capture and publish content and recordings of academic seminars in a cohesive and transparent manner.” (Also see Twitter 🙂)
ASAPbio has launched a crowd preprint review trial with bioRxiv preprints in cell biology
The Lens have launched launches the Collective Action Project: 'Innovation without Borders'
Cactus is working on a new recommendation engine that uses almost no customer data. Will be interesting to see how well this works compared to other services that make intensive use of user data.
PLOS has been awarded a grant from the Wellcome Trust’s 2021 Open Research Fund to accelerate the development and testing of new solutions that promote and reward open science. Part of the grant “ will support expert design and optimisation of these visual cues so that they are engaging to readers and deployable on the PLOS platform, and in-depth user research to help us understand why the solutions have any of the effects we might observe.”
The School of Splice has launched a new audio program to help you build a viable media business.
Simon Linacre from Cabells introduces the first SDG Impact Intensity™ rating from Cabells and Saint Joseph’s University
Odds and Ends
Dan Quintana on Replication studies for undergraduate theses to improve science and education. There’s probably a high volume/low cost/fast turnaround business model here to serve undergrad students who [sadly] need a publication for points to get their chosen medical placement in the UK or help ensure a place on a coveted postgrad course. Done in partnership with a university and with other students providing templated peer review it seems a more valuable use of student’s time than the “I did a survey of friends/made up some data” type undergrad dissertations.
Interesting talk about ChronosHub and the problems it solves (skip to 278). The complexity of managing OA publishing within institutions is captured in this diagram:
For publishers, the addition of new middlemen is likely to lead to more tech/data requests and may well lead to even more consolidation within the industry as the smaller independents turn to the bigger publishers for help rather than building out their own infrastructure. Not sure what Tim Elfenbein’s comment on Twitter was referring to but it seems particularly relevant here:
“1. Digital publishing is coming to require more, not less, intermediation (as initially promised), if from a different set of still emerging infrastructures and orgs. 2. Each and every intermediary needs its own business model to stay afloat.”
Crossref offers a masterclass in how to respond after you’ve made a monster cock-up.
Good to see HighWire back in action and John Sack doing what he does best, talking to researchers and presenting that information back to the publishing community in an easily digestible way. Surprised by the focus on Twitter.
David Worlock has a thoughtful piece, Open Science and Open Minds about OAI 12 where David makes the comment “Beyond these knowledgeable Geneva conference attendees are the worried ranks of working researchers who have a suspicion that not everyone is following the same basic rules”.
Does everyone follow the same basic rules? Reading through Tim Vines's piece on duplicate submissions made me think about how many of publishing’s ‘rules’ are really only there for the benefit of publishers. I totally get why duplicate submission is frowned upon by publishers but from an author's perspective why not submit to multiple places especially if one of those places is a top-tier journal and you’re just trying your luck? If you’re familiar with STM models have a look at ScholarSift for Law reviews and the problems they are trying to solve in a world where duplicate submission is the norm.
Would it be possible to apply academic publishing tech to the NFT craze and build some kind of Crossref and archiving service for NFTs? “The NFT token you bought either points to a URL on the internet, or an IPFS hash. In most circumstances it references an IPFS gateway on the internet run by the startup you bought the NFT from. Oh, and that URL is not the media. That URL is a JSON metadata file”. More on this Twitter thread.
AI and automation
Enago is running a survey that aims to explore the role and impact of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and tools on the future of academic publishing.
A couple of events that caught my attention
22 Sept: Launching 'Review Assistant', An AI-powered Tool for Peer Reviewers (Enago) - This was yesterday, hopefully, there’s a video because this is a really interesting workflow tool for writing peer review reports with lots of AI-assisted helpers.
13 Oct: I’m part of a panel talking about Reimagining Publishing: Content Production Simplified'?
2-3 November: NEC Software Solutions [Rave Technologies] have their Annual Publishing Conference
8-19 November: Open Publishing Fest has launched.
Research Square is looking for a Senior Product Manager to lead on manuscript assessment and preparation tools for researchers.
Overton is looking for a Senior Data Scientist
OUP is looking for a Head of Product Applications
JISC is recruiting a Product Manager for the micro-publishing platform Octopus
ScholarSift is a startup developing technology to make legal scholarship better, are looking for a React developer
ORCID is seeking an experienced QA Automation Engineer.
BMJ is looking for a Senior Operations Engineer / Senior DevOps Engineer
APA need a Product Manager
Sage is looking for a Product Manager to join their Product Innovation team
As many of us make our way back into offices after 18 months away I think more than a few of us might be feeling this way.