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).