Monday, August 26, 2013

Alexander Grossmann on the state of Open Access: Where are we, what still needs to be done?

Alexander Grossmann
One of a series exploring the current state of Open Access (OA), the Q&A below is with Alexander Grossmann. Earlier this year Grossmann took up a post as Professor of Publishing Management at the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences. To do so he gave up a job as Vice President at the scholarly publisher De Gruyter, returning to research after ten years in the publishing industry. In that time he also served as Managing Director at Springer-Verlag GmbH in Vienna and as Director of physics publishing at Wiley. 

Prior to his stint in publishing, Grossmann held posts as a researcher and lecturer at the Jülich Research Centre, the Max Planck Institute in Munich, and the University of Tübingen.

Few if any OA advocates will know Grossmann, but publishers surely will. Jacek Ciesielski, Vice President Open Access at De Gruyter and CEO Versita, emailed me this comment: “I have known Alexander for some ten years now and we have had a number of different business relationships during his times at Wiley, Springer and De Gruyter.”

Ciesielski added, “You enjoy working in an industry when you enjoy working with its people. Alexander makes me truly enjoy being an academic publisher. He is one of the nicest and kindest people I have met in the industry. He is also someone with a profound understanding of the research community, and of scholarly publishing; and he is always receptive and open to new ideas and trends.”

And it is clearly his openness to new ideas and trends, combined with frustration at the way legacy publishers are responding to OA, which has persuaded Grossmann to combine his new academic post with a different kind of publishing role, as President of a privately owned OA venture called ScienceOpen. Co-founded with Tibor Tscheke, the new venture, says Grossmann, will feed into and help his future research.

ScienceOpen is a “research and publishing network” designed to allow researchers to share scientific information, both formally by publishing articles, and informally by reviewing their colleagues’ work, providing endorsements and comments, and updating their own papers.

Essentially, it will offer a publishing service that will also enable post-publication peer review, and which will be embedded in a social networking environment. A beta site will go live next month, and submissions will start to be accepted in November. Once the service is properly up and running researchers will be charged around $800 to publish a full article (Although there will be no publication fees this year).

Saturday, August 03, 2013

IEEE’s Anthony Durniak on the state of Open Access: Where are we, what still needs to be done?

Anthony Durniak
The tenth in a series exploring the current state of Open Access (OA) the Q&A below is with IEEE’s Anthony Durniak. Durniak leads the professional staff that operate IEEE’s publishing and online information services. He is also responsible for IEEE Spectrum, the organisation’s flagship monthly magazine of technology trends and insight, and The Proceedings of the IEEE, the organisation’s leading scholarly journal.

Incorporated in 1896, and headquartered in New York City, IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is a non-profit corporation and professional association. It has more than 425,000 members in more than 160 countries, about 51.4% of whom reside in the United States. Membership consists of engineers, scientists, and allied professionals whose technical interests are rooted in electrical and computer sciences, engineering, and related disciplines.

IEEE publishes around 160 journals, magazines and conference proceedings from the more than 1,300 conferences and workshops it holds each year. As such, it publishes nearly a third of the world’s technical literature in electrical engineering, computer science, and electronics.

IEEE is, therefore, a scholarly publisher, although not a commercial publisher but a learned society. However, it does work in co-operation with commercial publisher John Wiley and Sons, Inc. to produce technical books, monographs, guides, and textbooks.

Today all IEEE content since 1913 is available in digital format and the IEEE Xplore digital subscription library contains more than 3.5 million articles produced from all of IEEE’s periodicals and annual conferences. It also includes technical standards, e-books from the IEEE Press-Wiley joint imprint, and publications from other technical societies.