January 20, 2022

Nature Publishing Group Buys Into Open Access Publisher

From Nature News Blog:

One of the fastest-growing open access publishers, Frontiers, has been snapped up by Nature Publishing Group.

Frontiers was co-founded in 2007 by its current CEO Kamila Markram, who is a neuroscientist studying autism at the Swiss Federal Institute of Lausanne. (The company itself, a private firm, is headquartered at a technology park in Lausanne.)


Last year, Frontiers published 5,000 articles in 14 journals, to become the world’s fifth-largest open-access publisher. (NPG itself only published just over 2,000 open-access articles in 2012.) But Frontiers’ unique selling point is its concept as a community-driven networking platform, says Markram.


Because every one of the 80,000 or so scientists on the platform registers their details, authors can see not just how many people cite and download their articles, but also age groups and other demographic splits of readers. “It is highly addictive,” says Markram.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Changing Nature (via The Economist)

This is not NPG’s first foray into the new-fangled world of “science 2.0”. It launched its first fully open-access journal, where end users pay nothing to read papers, in 2006. Now it has 16. Of the 12,900 scientific papers published by NPG journals in 2012, 2,300 were made available free. Steven Inchcoombe, NPG’s boss, says that his company’s open-access business is turning a profit. NPG’s parent company, Macmillan Publishers, also owns Digital Science, which offers, among other things, web-based alternatives to traditional measures of impact like the citation index.

See Also: Nature Publishing Group and Frontiers form alliance to further open science (NPG News Release)

Working with NPG, the journal series “Frontiers in” will significantly expand in 2013-2014. Currently, sixty-three journals published by NPG offer open access options or are open access and NPG published over 2000 open access articles in 2012. Bilateral links between nature.com and frontiersin.org will ensure that open access papers are visible on both sites.

Frontiers and NPG will also be working together on innovations in open science tools, networking, and publication processes.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.