STM newsletter - August 2017

Alastair Horne
Opinion - Academic Wednesday, 02 August 2017

Alastair Horne, in association with the London Book Fair, on an anti-copyright infringement programme from Kudos, a busy month at Digital Science, and other news from the STM world

Kudos announces new SCN pilot
A new pilot programme from Kudos aims to help publishers prevent copyright infringement and reclaim the usage lost through the sharing of articles on scholarly collaboration networks. It is hoped that the programme will enable stakeholders such as funders, authors and institutions to gain a clearer understanding of the level of interest in an author's work. The project will run until the end of this year, and sees Kudos partnering with Digital Science company ReadCube, whose enhanced read-only PDF technology will form part of the solution offered. A limited number of places on the pilot remain available, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis; publishers already signed up include the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and the MIT Press.

It's been a good month for both companies. Kudos has been named as one of information industry research company Outsell's "Eight To Watch" for a third consecutive year, while ReadCube has announced a new collaboration with scholarly publishing platform Sheridan PubFactory to provide its publishers, authors, and subscribers with access to its read-only PDF and reference management technology.

Overleaf acquires ShareLaTex
ReadCube's Digital Science stablemates have also been busy. Overleaf has acquired former competitor ShareLaTex, and will be developing a combined service that will integrate the latter's LaTex editor into the Overleaf ecosystem. Both parties' services will continue to be maintained while this service is developed, and users are being consulted for feedback and input. Overleaf has also announced a new partnership with the American Society for Microbiology, making its authoring templates available to ASM authors.

Meanwhile, Digital Science's newest investment, Peerwith, has announced the make-up of its supervisory board. Chair Peter Hendriks, formerly of Springer and currently ceo of Malmberg, will be joined by Steve Scott, DS's director of portfolio management, and Matthew Cockerill, founder of BioMed Central. Another DS company, Altmetric, has announced that the Australian federal government agency Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Publishing has integrated Altmetric data into its journal publishing platform.

Wiley announces three new deals
Wiley has announced three new partnerships. A deal with the National Medical Library in India will offer free access for the next three years to the Cochrane Library's 7,000 published reviews in healthcare interventions to students, practitioners, researchers, and patients across the country. A partnership with the Society for Leukocyte Biology will see Wiley assume publishing responsibilities for the society's flagship publication, the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. And the Botanical Society of America has chosen Wiley as publishing partner for its journals the American Journal of Botany and Applications in Plant Sciences.

Mellon Foundation awards peer review research grant to Birkbeck
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $99,000 grant to Birkbeck, University of London, to investigate the workings of the peer review process and develop better ways of using expert opinion to assess and improve the literature available. The project will be led by Martin Eve, professor of literature, technology and publishing at Birkbeck, and will analyse the peer review database at PLOS ONE using a range of close-reading, distant-reading, and stylometric approaches.

In other news
Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene was named as the most inspiring science book of all time in a poll commissioned by the Royal Society to celebrate the 30th year of the Royal Society Book Prize; Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything was second, and Darwin's On the Origin of Species came third. And Paperhive has announced a collaboration with Ingenta that will enable the latter's publishers and platform customers to offer their readers annotations, group discussions, and sharing capabilities.


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