Who Owns Digital Science (Makers of Overleaf)?

…and the answer is: Holtzbrinck.

Holtzbrinck also holds a majority share in SpringerNature, as Roger Schonfeld detailed for The Scholarly Kitchen in October 2017 together with an analysis of a possible scholarly publishing “duoply”:

Any kind of acquisition of Digital Science would leave Springer Nature and Elsevier with many of the pieces of a research workflow business in combination with publishing operations and platforms. There are a number of differences between the two workflow businesses and publishing operations, but the fundamentals would be that the two largest scientific publishers, and the two largest open access publishers, would also be the two largest scientific workflow providers. This would reinforce the emerging marketplace dynamics as one leading towards duopoly.

Watch this space.

Additional Reading

Schonfeld, Roger (2017). Who Owns Digital Science? The Scholarly Kitchen. https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2017/10/23/ownership-digital-science/


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California Joins Germany, Finland, & Others in Championing Journal Subscription System Change

The University of California system has issued a strong statement championing further development of open access publishing infrastructures, in the spirit of Germany’s Projekt DEAL and Finland’s “No Deal No Review“:

It has become increasingly clear that the problem of rising journal costs in the context of a widespread movement toward open access can only be addressed by tackling the subscription system itself.

Read more:

Championing Change in Journal Negotiations

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Evaluating RG Score in relation to the Leiden Manifesto

Orduna-Malea, E., Martín-Martín, A., Thelwall, M., &  López-Cózar, E.D. (2017) analyze ResearchGate (RG) Scores using a set of seventy-three Nobel Prize winners, also analyzing the RG Score in relation to the Leiden Manifesto for research metrics principles (Table 7). The authors caution against using RG Scores as indicators of academic reputation:

Within RG it is possible to distinguish between (passive) academics that interact little in the site and active platform users, who can get high RG Scores through engaging with others inside the site (questions, answers, social networks with influential researchers). Thus, RG Scores should not be mistaken for academic reputation indicators.

Additional Reading

Hicks, D., Wouters, P., Waltman, L., de Rijcke, S., & Rafols, I. (2015). The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics. Nature, 520(7548), 429–431. https://doi.org/10.1038/520429a

Orduna-Malea, E., Martín-Martín, A., Thelwall, M., &  López-Cózar, E.D. (2017). Do ResearchGate Scores create ghost academic reputations? Scientometrics, 112: 443. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-017-2396-9

Posted in Academic Reputation, Research Showcasing | Leave a comment

Academic Social Media: ResearchGate Financials

In one of my writing workshops this semester, my students asked me to provide an overview of the academic social media landscape. One of the surprising things for students to consider in such discussions is the fact that social media outlets (including very “solid” looking enterprises such as LinkedIn and ResearchGate) are actually subject to the whims of the marketplace, and their future is by no means as secure as the tools may appear.

Thus this morning, scanning my work Twitter (which I find functions quite well for staying aware of global scholarly publishing trends), I was not surprised to find a discussion by the American scholarly publishing community regarding ResearchGate and its current financial status. A brief analysis of this is provided by german startups at:


To make a long story short, ResearchGate is losing money and its path towards “profitability” is unclear.

What does this mean for students? I feel it’s important to continue stressing that such tools – while very useful – may disappear or have certain functionalities “gated” in the future. That it’s still important to keep one’s own personal archive.

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The Movie You’ve Been Waiting For…

Coming September 2018 to NYC – October 9 to Rotterdam (Erasmus University, Netherlands) – is Paywall: The Business of Scholarship. Featuring interviews by academics and publishers alike.


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Springer Nature IPO Withdrawn

Why Was Springer Nature’s IPO Withdrawn?

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Towards an Access and Discovery “Supercontinent”?

Roger Schonfeld paints the current picture of access and discovery in a must-read article for everyone interested the so-called researcher experience:

Will a supercontinent emerge for discovery and access? Time will tell. Meanwhile, users have long become impatient of the wait.

Additional Reading

Green, Toby (2018). Let’s Hear It for Readers. Fiesole Retreat: Serving Learning & Scholarship.

Schonfeld, Roger C. (2018). The Supercontinent of Scholarly Publishing? The Scholarly Kitchen.

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Springer Nature Announces IPO

From Reuters:

Springer Nature, the publisher of science magazines Nature and Scientific American, is planning to raise 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion) by selling new shares in an initial public offering (IPO).


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Clarivate Acquires Discovery Startup Kopernio

Kopernio, a startup aiming to make acquiring PDFs more seamless, has been acquired by Clarivate (owner of Web of Science, Publons, and more):

Kopernio underscores one truism remarkably clearly: You cannot serve as a starting point for discovery, as Web of Science proposes to do, if you cannot provide seamless access to content resources. Trust, authority, starting point, and seamlessness begin to blend together in ways that all discovery providers should take note.

Additional commentary: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/04/10/clarivate-acquires-kopernio/

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Tighter Rules for Nature: Non-Financial Conflicts Declaration

Nature and all Nature Research journals now require authors to declare any non-financial conflicts of interest:

Competing interests (both financial and non-financial) are defined as a secondary interest that could directly undermine, or be perceived to undermine, the objectivity, integrity and value of a publication through a potential influence on the judgments and actions of authors with regard to objective data presentation, analysis and interpretation. Non-financial competing interests can include a range of personal and/or professional relationships with organizations and individuals, including membership of governmental, non-governmental, advocacy or lobbying organizations, or serving as an expert witness.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01420-8

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