Mar 232013
 

I gave a presentation on Understanding how researchers and practitioners use STM information at the Association of Subscription Agents annual conference The 3 Rs: Reach, Readership and Revenues last month. The (over-long!) subtitle was How data analytics and field research are transforming our understanding of researcher and practitioner use of STM information, but more specifically [read more]

Oct 292007
 

MPS Vice President Kurt Mehlhorn said negotiations to extend the deal failed because, according to an MPS evaluation based on factors including usage and comparisons with other publishers, Springer was intent on charging “approximately double the price” the organization regarded as “reasonable.”… Because the subscriptions taken out in 1997 included the electronic archive rights, which according to the contract stay in force beyond the termination of the same, the scientists will, however, continue to enjoy online access to the paid-for, older volumes of the journals.In other words, the “Big Deal” arrangements have been cancelled but the underlying subscriptions continue.

Oct 022007
 

The Hub is a destination site for researchers to share their views and build a dynamic, interactive community.Currently, the PLoS Hub for Clinical Trials features articles originally published in PLoS Clinical Trials, along with clinical trials articles from PLoS ONE.In the future, this new resource will expand to include articles from all the PLoS titles that publish clinical trials…. More details in the PLos FAQ at Questions about the PLoS HubsAt present, the Hub is little more than a filtered view of articles from PLoS Clinical Trials and PLoS ONE (which PLoS Clinical Trial is being merged into).

Sep 262007
 

Macmillan has just announced that Richard Charkin will leave his position as CEO of Macmillan (part of the privately held Holtzbrinck Group) to join Bloomsbury as Executive Director:Richard Charkin moves on after ten years at Macmillan26 September 2007: Macmillan announced today that Richard Charkin will leave his post as CEO after exactly ten years with the company. He will take up a new position as Executive Director of Bloomsbury plc on Monday 1 October 2007.Richard commented, “It is exactly ten years since I accepted the job as Chief Executive of Macmillan and it has been the best ten years of my career.

Sep 162007
 

It will be worth keeping an eye on Elsevier’s newly launched OncologySTAT, which provides advertising-supported free access for registered users to over 100 Elsevier oncology journals (press release).The site will provide a lot of information. OncologySTAT integrates a multitude of authoritative professional cancer information sources, such as peer-reviewed research, news and regulatory updates, a professional drug monograph and interactions database, chemotherapy regimens, and conference coverage into one easy-to-use online destination.

Aug 222007
 

The advice to societies is to work out in advance exactly what it is you want from a publisher before you start the beauty parade: as in many things in life, if you don’t know what you want, you probably won’t get it.But it seems this “journal transfer market” is potentially under fire as a result of the decision by the American Anthropological Association to move their journals from the University of California Press to Wiley-Blackwell…. They’ve got a membership that in some disciplines is increasingly convinced that the way to do that is more openness in publication and more innovation in publication, but these societies have got sort of addicted to these revenue streams from their publication programs over the last few decades, and are trying to figure out if they want to make the transition to a new model and — if so — how do they navigate the transition.“Of course, the publishers (both commercial and not-for-profit) that are generating these addictive revenue streams argue that their model is the one that has delivered the biggest increase in access to literature ever: their retained capital allowed them to make the technology investments that Lynch speaks of, and the (consortia-based) licensing model has broadened access enormously while simultaneously cutting the average cost per journal article use by an order of magnitude or so.

Aug 142007
 

Haworth Press, Inc. to be acquired by Taylor & Francis:The Haworth Press, Inc. published of 194 scholarly/academic journals and approximately 150 books/monographs yearly, announced today that it would be acquired by Taylor & Francis.Haworth launched in 1979, and publishes in the areas of social work, librarianship, mental health, social work, gender studies, and then additional fields of pharmaceutical science, business, and agriculture/food science.

Jul 112007
 

Topic PagesMechanisms of immune tolerance to allergensSerine ProteasesIt takes a bit of imagination to envisage how useful these pages could be when presented with such a bare-bones attempt.Perhaps it’s unfair, but I couldn’t help comparing these Topic Pages with the Nature Publishing Group’s Reports, which also offer an aggregation of information on particular topics (albeit aimed at a broader audience, with a mix of news and science), e.g.: Nature Reports Stem CellsNature Reports Climate ChangeIt seems unlike Elsevier to show publicly such an unfinished product – compare for example the extensive global testing and refinement programme that preceded the Scopus launch. In fairness, Elsevier clearly intend to develop the products before the official launch and to offer considerably expanded functionality, including (it sounds like) social features:At the official Topic Page launch later this year, the functionality of the Topic Pages will allow scientists and researchers to alter the content and provide feedback, allowing each topic to be shaped by the suggestions made by the research community.

Jul 112007
 

All large publishers have such schemes, primarily as a response to the introduction of policies by research funders (such as the National Institutes of Health in the US and the Wellcome Trust in the UK) requiring authors to deposit a version of their accepted articles in a public archive.Springer had gone rather farther than most, however, with the appointment in 2005 of Jan Velterop as Director of Open Access, who had made public statements about Springer’s commitment to real open access, e.g. with the use of a licence based on the Creative Commons licence.Murray-Rust thought about publishing an article under Open Choice and decided to look at some existing examples to see what he got for his money…. Velterop went on to blame the copyright line and Rightslink buttons on inflexibilities in the Springer production system and flaws in their Rightslink implementation, which is hardly great PR for the publisher — the “cock-up rather than conspiracy” defence.He also pointed out that Springer had made some articles Open Choice without author payments to help measure usage (there presumably not being enough take-up by authors to produce any valid statistics on differential usage?), and that Springer had made some articles retrospectively Open Choice by agreements with various Dutch institutions.

Jul 102007
 

Tony Hammond of NPG has now blogged an account of his recent talk on OTMI at the BioNLP 2007 conference (Biological, translational, and clinical language processing):I was fortunate enough to talk early in the morning while people were still lively (talk is here) and there were several questions afterwards both in the Q&A and later during the breaks and the poster session at end of the workshop…. That is, most of the features are parametrized and it is up to individual publishers to determine e.g. whether a snippet is a paragraph or a phrase, whether snippets are randomized or not, etc.Of course OTMI is far from being the only game in town as regards text-mining or semantic enrichment of STM literature.

Jul 062007
 

Both Google and Google Scholar are slowly incorporating an increasing amount of this content, and these data will be appearing in search results for Google and Google Scholar.This will make Google Scholar significantly more useful as a research tool.In his comment on the move, Peter Suber said:This is notable for a wide range of reasons…. In contrast to the various European newspaper publisher-related lawsuits, Elsevier has clearly felt that…their ability to execute business strategy is unimpeded by encouraging greater content exposure….But this misses the point that the only part of the content that Google will reveal via its search engine is the part that is already publicly available – in most cases, the article’s abstract and bibliographic record, while the full article content will remain behind the same access controls as before.

Jul 052007
 

Saur Verlag GmbH, which since 2005 has also included the programme of Max Niemeyer Verlag. Through this acquisition Walter de Gruyter will become the market leader in the subject areas classical studies, philosophy, German studies, linguistics and English and Romance studies, as well as in library sciences and general library reference works.

Jun 192007
 

Timo Hannay’s announcement is here and the press release here.The site is very nicely implemented, with all the Web2.0 features we have come to expect from Nature Publishing Group, including tagging (documents and people), voting for articles, and open discussion on articles, etc. Perhaps not surprising, by far the largest single subject category is Bioinformatics, with 20 documents…. Nature hopes the stature of the partners will allay fears about Nature’s plans for possible future control of the content.The site differs from some of the earlier preprint sites (like arXiv in physics) in that it accepts powerpoint presentations as well as journal article preprints, e.g. this interesting presentation: Open Notebook Science Using Blogs and Wikis.

Jun 152007
 

The UK Serials Group has now published the final report on the feasibility study into developing and implementing journal Usage Factors (UFs).The summary says that “based on these results it appears that it would not only be feasible to develop a meaningful journal Usage Factor, but that there is broad support for its implementation.”

Jun 032007
 

From the Guardian’s Saturday story:Anti-arms trade campaigners and writers at Reed Elsevier’s scientific journals last night welcomed the publisher’s decision to stop organising defence shows.Reed said yesterday it would sever its ties with arms fairs, bowing to pressure which included complaints from customers, shareholders and academics writing for its titles…. At the time neither of us had heard the news, and my contact said that they were under pressure from within the society membership not to place the contract with Elsevier because of this defence industry link.

May 292007
 

From the press release:Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical (STM) information, has announced that more than 900 leading research libraries and corporations from all over the world are participating in the trial of eBooks on ScienceDirect…. Following the launch, approximately 50 newly published titles will be added to the eBooks list on ScienceDirect each month, offering researchers unparalleled integration and linking between the latest online book and journal information.

May 252007
 

Ovid Partners with Global STM Publisher Springer Science+Business Media to Expand E-Book OfferingsFrom the press release:More than 800 Titles Spanning Core Medical Specialties Will Be Available on Books@Ovid for Purchase or SubscriptionOvid will offer more than 800 medical and health sciences titles to medical organizations globally, including hospitals and hospital consortia, medical schools, and medical departments or entities within a higher education institution, government organization, or corporation…. Key titles coming to Books@Ovid include AJCC Cancer Staging Atlas, Medical Informatics, and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, widely considered must-have, “core” resources in their respective disciplines.

Nov 292006
 

Extract from the FT.com alert:Houghton Mifflin is close to announcing a deal to be sold to Ireland’s Riverdeep in a deal worth nearly $5bn that will offer a lucrative exit to the private equity backers of the US publishing group.According to people familiar with the matter, Bain Capital, Thomas H Lee Partners and Blackstone are expected to make about 3.5 times their money from the deal after three years of ownership.The transaction is structured as a reverse takeover, with Riverdeep, a Dublin-based company, creating a new company to acquire Houghton Mifflin, based in Boston, for a cash consideration of $3.3bn.The new company will also acquire Riverdeep, which itself was taken private in 2003, using paper at $6 a share…. The new company will be based in Ireland to take advantage of 12.5 per cent corporate tax rates and the favourable treatment of royalties earned on Ireland-registered intellectual property sold to subsidiaries in the US and elsewhere.

Nov 172006
 

From the FT.com news alert (Friday Nov 17 2006):US group buys Blackwell PublishingBy Pan Kwan Yuk and Mark OdellJohn Wiley & Sons, the US-listed publishing house, on Friday agreed to buy Blackwell Publishing, the Oxford-based academic publisher, for £572m in cash and debt.The deal may put an end to the long-running feud between the 10 Blackwell family members who control one of Britain’s biggest and best-known privately-held businesses.Blackwell, which traces its history back to a 12-square foot bookshop opened in 1879 in Oxford, has two businesses: publishing and retailing…. Marrying them together makes perfect sense both commercially and for the benefit of the global academic and professional community.“Wiley, which publishes scientific, technical and medical journals, encyclopaedias and online products, said it had already received irrevocable commitments from the principal Blackwell shareholders.The transaction is expected to be completed by early 2007.JP Morgan Cazenove advised Blackwell.

Nov 162006
 

Underlying operating margins are improving with good revenue growth and further cost efficiency.The market marked Elsevier’s share price down ~4% in response to the Harcourt news:“Shares in Reed Elsevier, the publishing group, fell on Thursday after it warned that revenues would be ”broadly flat“ at its US-based Harcourt Education subsidiary…. The one billionth article download has also been counted by industry-standard measurements as Elsevier is fully COUNTER compliant”Elsevier to expand eBooks programmeIWR reported a couple of days ago that “Elsevier plans to launch 4,000 scientific and technical books online next year, a major expansion to the resources already available on STM database ScienceDirect .”The expanded programme will include ebook titles published since 1995, with approximately 50 titles added to the ebooks list on ScienceDirect each month.