Partially Attended

an irregularly updated blog by Ian Mulvany

blog posts about publishing

thoughts on GetFTR

what does it do? By using a single sign-on system (like SAML, or OAuth) a researcher can have their browser remember who they are. Today most access to subscription content is done via IP authentication. A university pays a publisher to access the content that the publisher hosts, and the university sends over a list of the IP ranges that cover the university buildings. Any researcher on campus just gets access. ... (more)

Rave tech conference 2019

A few weeks ago I was at the aannual Rave publishing technology conference. It’s always an interesting event to attend. My main recollection from last year was the interest in blockchain. This year, as I reflect on how I feel about the meeting, I think I have two main things that have stayed with me. The first was the appeal from Tasha to ask us as a community and an industry to do more to think about removing barriers for early career researchers. ... (more)

key questions about AI in the publishing knowledge industry

At the moment one thing that is front and centre in my thinking about AI and machine learning in publishing and the scholarly ecosystem is how to make the case for ROI for investment in the technology, and more specifically investing in making data actionable. Overall I think there is great promise for challenges like knowledge discovery and machine generated hypotheses, but there is massive potential for these technologies to also just make the quality of our work better, and to increase the value of our work by reducing and removing toil in the workplace. ... (more)

RAVE publishing technology conference 2018

I took some notes on some of the sessions at the conference yesterday. Dave Smith - object oriented publishing. Dave makes a good case here about how we should think about the future of scholarly publishing — in terms of objects that can be reformed based on the needs and competencies of the readers. He points out that while we do have in place good ontologies and domain models, our entire view of publishing and our publishing infrastructures, remain laggy and are a barrier to moving in this direction. ... (more)

OA negotiation manifesto from university of California.

This is a really interesting initiative from the university of California. If the scholarly landscape looked like this then publishers would have to generate revenue entirely from services and derivative open products, rather than from content licensing. Most of the points is the manifesto are fairly unsurprising but two points stood out as interesting to me. Point 10 asks for all metadata to be made available including usage metadata. Are Counter reports sufficient for this, or is anything else needed? ... (more)

Preprints growth rate ten times higher than journal articles - Crossref

Great post looking into stats on preprints in crossref. Headline takeaways, preprint registration into crossref is 10x that of article growth, but it’s hard to read a lot into that as the absolute numbers are so different at the moment 2.4M per month (published articles) vs 10k per month (preprints). There is also some interesting data on preprint citations, preprint citations come in at best at a level of about 10% of the citations to the subsequently published article. ... (more)

After 5 years and $3M, here's everything we've learned from building Ghost

This is a great overview of how a not for profit open source technology company built a working business providing publishing tools. It speaks to how bad the landscape for publishing tools on the web is. Their product was originally created on kickstarter, and I remember when it launched, and being impressed with it back then. They have now pivoted away from trying to server small content individuals and are making money serving needs in the enterprise. ... (more)

scholarly comms product meetup - V2 - announcement

Back in November of last year we ran the first scholarly comms meetup with a focus on product management. There are lots of great meetups out there for people who work in scholarly comms, but we felt that there might be an unscratched need to have a meeting where the focus was not explicitly on community building, or on new technologies, or on public outreach, or on new trends and technologies, but solely on the product management work that is required to develop these kinds of tools. ... (more)

The robots are coming, the promise and perils of AI - questions

I’m at the Charleston conference, my first time, and we had a panel discussion this morning talking about AI. On the panel were: Heather Staines Director of Partnerships, Peter Brantley Director of Online Strategy, UC Davis Elizabeth Caley Chief of Staff, Meta, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Ruth Pickering Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Yewno and myself. It was a pleasure to be on a panel with these amazing people. There was a lot of interest from the audience, and we didn’t get anywhere close to talking through all of the questions that we had discussed as a panel ahead of the session, so I’m going to blog the questions that we had prepared. ... (more)


This week I attended futurepub10, I love these events, I’ve been to a bunch, and the format of short talks, and lots of time to catchup with people is just great. # A new Cartography of Collaboration - Daniel Hook, CEO Digital Science (work with Ian Calvert). Digital science have produced a report on collaboration, and this talk was covering one of chapters from that. I was interested to see what the key takeaways are that you can describe in a five minute talk. ... (more)

PLOS are looking for a new CEO

So I hear that PLOS are looking for a new CEO. They are making the process fairly open, so if you are interested you can read more here. I got to thinking about some of the challenges and opportunities facing PLOS over the weekend. Over the years I’ve gotten to know a lot of PLOS folk, and I think it’s an amazing organisation. It has proved the viability of open access, and their business model is being copied by a lot of other publishers. ... (more)

Reverse DOI lookups with Crossref

Today I had a need to think about how to do a reverse lookup of a formatted citation to find a DOI. @CrossrefOrg helped out and pointed me to the reverse api endpoint. It workes like this: Created a json payload file “citation.json” formatted as follows: [ " Curtis, J. R., Wenrich, M. D., Carline, J. D., Shannon, S. E., Ambrozy, D. M., & Ramsey, P. G. (2001). Understanding physicians’ skills at providing end-of-life care: Perspectives of patients, families, and health care workers. ... (more)

What we mean when we talk about preprints

Cameron Neylon, Damian Pattinson, Geoffrey Bilder, and Jennifer Lin have just posted a cracker of a preprint onto biorxiv. On the origin of nonequivalent states: how we can talk about preprints Increasingly, preprints are at the center of conversations across the research ecosystem. But disagreements remain about the role they play. Do they “count” for research assessment? Is it ok to post preprints in more than one place? In this paper, we argue that these discussions often conflate two separate issues, the history of the manuscript and the status granted it by different communities. ... (more)

Goodbye eLife!

# Goodbye eLife! So after nearly four and a half years I am moving on from eLife. I’ve had an amazing time, worked with some amazing people, and we have gotten a few really nice things done. First off, we are hiring a replacement for my role, this is an amazing opportunity to effect real change in scholarly publishing. eLife has just announced follow on funding of £25M to sustain us through to 2022. ... (more)

A(peeling) Peer Review, a proposal.

eLife’s peer review process is really good. One of the key attributes of this is that reviewers are not blind to one another, and they have to consult with one another. This largely removes the third reviewer problem. We also publish the decision letters and the author responses to the decision letter. Reviewers have the option of revealing themselves to authors. As with most review systms our reviewers know who the authors are. ... (more)

FuturePub Jan 2015 - Lens Next

On 2015-01-27 I gave one of the short talks at the FuturePub event. My slidedeck is here. I wanted to give a quick update on where the Lens viewer for research articles is heading. Lens is a great platform for experimentation, and we have been iterating on some ideas towards the end of 2014 that have now made it into the 2.0 release. The main update is that Lens can now be configured to accept information from a 3rd party source and display that information in the right hand resources pane. ... (more)

thoughts on the ERC data workshop

On Thursday and Friday of last week I attended a European Research Council workshop on managing research data. It was well attended with about 130 participants brining views from across the academic disciplines. I’ve blogged my raw notes from day one and day two. In this post I reflect on the points I noticed that were raised over the two days. People have been talking about the increasing importance of research information for many years now, and a hope was raised in the opening comments that we might be able to provide solutions to the problems posed by the issues of research data, by the end of the workshop. ... (more)

ERC data management workshop, day 1

initial thoughts about the workshop. Opening remarks. Setting the scene. Sabrina Leonelli - the epistemology of data-intesive science. [Dr Hans Pfeiffenberger - Open Science – opportunities, challenges … @datasciencefeed.](#dr-hans-pfeiffenberger-open-science-opportunities-challenges-datasciencefeedhttpstwittercomdatasciencefeed) Bernd Pulverer - finding and accessing the data behind figures. Dr Roar Skålin - Norwegian researchers want to share, but are afraid of jeopardising their career. Summary of points from the scene setting. Afternoon breakout session - Life Sciences. ... (more)

ERC data management workshop, day 2

Life sciences breakout - key points. Physical sciences breakout - key points. Humanities breakout - key points. Open discussion on morning presentations. Breakout session on incentives. [Paul Ayris - Implementing the Future: the LERU roadmap for research data.](#paul-ayris-implementing-the-future-the-leruhttpleruorg-roadmap-for-research-data) Sünje Dallmeier‐Tiessen - Incentives for Open Science Attribution, Recognition, Collaboration. Veerle Van den Eynden and Libby Bishop - Incentives for sharing research data, evidence from an EU study. Open discussion after breakout session. ... (more)

FuturePub - future of publishing event, hosted by NESTA and WriteLaTeX

This is the second #futurepub event that I’ve been to. I also attended the last one The event was hosted by Nesta. Nesta have just launched the “new longitude” prize - which looks pretty interesting. There were six rapid fire talks, and I found the presentation format to be excellent. As with the previous event, this one was organised by the WriteLaTeX guys, and I’d just like to extend a big thanks to them for again putting on a great little event. ... (more)

How to create threads between publications and clinical trial registraion numbers

Yesterday I attended an interesting meeting to discuss how to improve the connection between clinical trial registration ids and publications. My raw notes from the meeting follow. This is being discussed as publication threads, but the idea discussed here stands apart from the kind of publication threads that the endcode project worked on. attendees ATTENDEES - organisations: eLife f1000 PLOS BMC Springer lancet BMJ crossref attendees - people Geoffrey Bilder, CrossRef, Director of Strategic Initiatives Rachael Lammey, CrossRef, Product Manager CrossMark Daniel Shanahan, BioMed Central, Associate Publisher Tim Stevenson, BioMed Central, Product Manager Deborah Kahn, BioMed Central, EVP Publishing Caroline Black, BioMed Central, Senior Publisher Katherine Barton, BMJ, Operations Manager Josie Breen, BMJ, Head of Editorial Production Isaac Jones, BMJ, Production Manager Ian Mulvany, eLife, Head of Technology Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, F1000, Outreach Director Karen Rowlett, F1000Research, Managing Editor Helene Faure, ISRCTN Database Manager Hannah Jones, The Lancet, Managing Editor Dan Lewsley, The Lancet, Head of Production Joseph Brown, PLoS, Senior Editorial Manager Volker Boeing, Springer, Director, Process and Content Management Mirjam Kessler, Springer, Bibliographic Metadata Manager ... (more)

WriteLateX/Overleaf launch event at the British Library

Last Thursday I attended the launch event for OverLeaf. The event was composed of a set of very short talks, followed by a good chance to chat to people. It was a pretty nice evening. Dr Bibiana Campos Seijo - MRSC - magazines publisher and editor of chemistry world. Science is changing, publising is changing, a lot of this is being driven by technology. There is information overlaod. Publishers need to try to provide solutions to these issues. ... (more)

advice on publishing research online

I have posted this post as a comment on the thread over at software carpentry in answer to the question What do we teach about writing/publishing papers in a webby world? I ended up writing a bit more than I expected, so here are the main peices of advice: tl;dr: - use a reference management tool - try to find the fastest venue to publish in - try to publish in an OA journal ... (more)

STM innovations seminar, London, 2013

Today I’m at the STM innovations seminar. The twitter tag for today is #ukinno. The program is online. I’m going to take a light approach to blogging today, I’ll probably hang out mostly on Twitter. ## 9.35 The Research Data Revolution, Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean for Research Data Management, Johns Hopkins University  Data has become a major topic of interest from all sectors of society with headlines such as “Data is the new oil” to assertions from McKinsey that data is the fourth factor of production. ... (more)

STM brainstorming session - 2013

Just attended the STM brainstroming session. I’ll update these notes in due course, and fix spelling issues, but I wanted to get the post live first. Notes I’ll just mention the things that I found interesting. ## Round1 Science Gists get a mention, yay!! Google scholar library gets a mention. Visualising data as maps is mentioned, mentions that there are no standards Howard mentions much richer tagging in the article, and upfront semantic tagging. ... (more)

PLOS ALM 13 day 2

Connecting ALM and Literature As I took part in the first session I don’t have many notes from it. I’ve posted the slides from my talk, and I’ll write up some more on those in due course. For me the standout talk of the session, if not the entire meeting, was from Jevin West who talked about using networked ranked data to provide recommendations. The algorithms his group are working on are being tested on [SSRN][ssrn], and will be rolled out to PLOS. ... (more)

PLOS ALM 13, day1

## Cameron Neylon - Introduction & Welcome Interesting - this is the first PLOS ALM meeting that is a “normal” scheduled presentation. Time is going to be tight. Pete Binfield ALM: Looking back, moving forward A large chunk of OA does not select for impact - this is why ALMs are key for this space. PLOS didn’t invent ALMs - Frontiers were doing it a little ahead of PLOS’s launch. Web of science didn’t tell PLOS until 2010 that PLOS one was being tracked for an impact factor. ... (more)

EC consultation on Open Data - a report.

This is a report on todays consultation on open data that was help by the EC. The notes are long, so I have put my conclusions and general comments at the start. General comments There was not much disagreement throughout the day. There were repeated calls for the need to incentivise researchers to engage in data sharing, but not too many concrete proposals on how to do this. It does seem from my perspective that libraries could do an amazing job here, but that will depend on to which extent these libraries have deep technical expertise. ... (more)

EC consultation on Open Data - my presentation.

The following is the written representation that I made to the EC hearing on Open Data on behalf of Co-Action publishers, Copernicus Publications, eLife, F1000 Research, FigShare, Frontiers, Open Books Publishers, PeerJ, the Public Library of Science, Ubiquity Press and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (QScience). I had a five minute slot to present, and the key recommendations at the end of this written response formed the basis of that presentation. I added one slide at the end with a personal view on some of the challenges of getting researchers to share data. ... (more)

Some thoughts on the Taylor and Francis Survey.

I took a look at the T&F survey with interest. I’m also very aware of the concerns and confusions that exist around licensing. I’m also aware of the “one size doesn’t fit all” argument. I’ll address the T&F survey first, and then I’ll briefly discuss CC-BY pros and cons, purely from the point of view of my own understanding of these issues - I might be very wrong on this. ... (more)

ENCODE - an example of open publication and data integration.

On Monday the 14th of January we met at the PLOS offices in Cambridge to hear a talk from Euan Birney on lessons learned from publishing data rich publications though the encode project. This was the first time that Euan was far less worried about the print, and far more worried about how well the online version was going to work. Dimensions of the project 5 TeraBases 1715 times the size of the Human Genome 3k experiments 410 authors on the main paper 6 high profile papers ~35 companion papers The output should not be thought of as papers, but as the raw data. ... (more)

SpotOn day 2.

Yesterday was awesome, let’s see how today goes. I was watching from afar, as my wife attended, and now I’m here for the afternoon sessions. sessions: Ben Goldacre publishing data, what’s in it for researchers? now on to the sessions! [Incentivising Open Access][ioa]. (top) Nice panel, you can see the list of the panel on the site homepage, I’ll again, mostly focus on the trend of the discussion. ... (more)

SpotOn day 1.

I’ll keep a partial, live-idsh blog going during the day. I’ve been going to these things, I think, since about 2008. I really like these meetings. I’m going to probably keep these notes pretty lightweight. sessions: Ben Goldacre Kamila Session on whether science journalism will be replaced Altmetric track now on to the sessions! Ben Goldacre - opening keynote, on data. . (top) Ben is talking about the issues that arise when you place a lot of data in one place. ... (more)

Last minute changes to our solo12journals line up.

* {margin:0; padding:0} body {font:11px/1.5 Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; background:#FFF} #text {margin:50px auto; width:500px} .hotspot {color:#900; padding-bottom:1px; border-bottom:1px dotted #900; cursor:pointer} #tt {position:absolute; display:block; background:url(images/tt_left.gif) top left no-repeat} #tttop {display:block; height:5px; margin-left:5px; background:url(images/tt_top.gif) top right no-repeat; overflow:hidden} #ttcont {display:block; padding:2px 12px 3px 7px; margin-left:5px; background:#666; color:#FFF} #ttbot {display:block; height:5px; margin-left:5px; background:url(images/tt_bottom.gif) top right no-repeat; overflow:hidden} I'm really excited about the session that we will be running at SpotOn London in just two days time! ... (more)

Data literature integration workshop.

Literature Data integration workshop 2012-10-10 There are many people attending today. I’m not sure whether the attendee list will be released. I’ve taken notes, but rather rapidly. I may have ended up mis appropriating comments, missed comments, or inserted comments that didn’t happen, so take the below with the appropriate health warnings. I still need to check on the links, and pull together a link list at the bottom, but I wanted to get the write up out while it was still in front of me. ... (more)

The cost of production

Last week an interesting discussion on the cost of copy editing popped up over on Stephen Curry’s blog. In addition the comment thread at the recent Science editorial seems to make this post somewhat timely. I used to manage the copy editing of a good portion of physical science related content from Springer from 2002 – 2005. I’m also currently in the process of setting up a new online-only journal. ... (more)

Some Thoughts on Peer Review and Altmetrics

The upcoming altmetrics meeting, and a submitted abstract by Kelli Barr prompted me to note down some of my own thoughts on peer review and altmetrics. I would love to make it over to the meeting, but with just a few days now before my first child is born, it ain’t gonna happen. I’ve not read Kelly’s paper, but after reading the abstract my take home message from it would be something along the lines of “don’t replace peer review with altmetrics because you will just replace one bias with another, and at least with peer review the bias is contained within the academic community” ... (more)

Augmented Peer Review

Last year I was asked to contribute to a special issue on the evolution of peer review. I got quite excited about doing this, but then realised that I really didn’t have the time to write a paper. I’m not a practicing academic, I build products, and while at Mendeley I really had far too much on my plate to find the time to write up a paper. However the topic does interest me, and I am a strong believer that web scale technologies can help with the scientific communication process though a large number of avenues. ... (more)

SOPA and PIPA stink, but the RWA is more dangerous to science.

There are three bills up for consideration in the US Government which if passed will have a significant negative impact on academic research. These are the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the Protect IP Act (PIPA), and the Research Works Act (RWA). SOPA and PIPA will have a negative impact by putting censorship controls into the hands of the entertainment industry, and permitting legal process to affect the underlying architecture of the web. ... (more)

Nature, Whiskey and me

In my earlier post on Megajournals I hinted that I felt that there could be a future in which this business model provided sufficient funds to allow a publishing house like NPG to make it’s flagship journal Nature an open access journal. This topic came up late one evening at coasp and I ended up making a bet with Matias Piipari. I bet that within 10 years Nature would become a fully open access journal. ... (more)

Hindawi have an awesome reviewing system.

Hindawi publishers is a really interesting outfit. They are an open access only publisher based in Egypt. They combing a fantastic use of technology with the ability to afford a large amount of human curation over the data that they use to streamline their publication and reviewing systems. One of their publishing vehicles is called the International Scholarly Research Network and at the recent coasp conference Paul Peters gave an overview of how their peer review system works, I think it’s genius. ... (more)


The idea of megajournals had not really formalised in my head before, but at the COASP meeting the talk was all about “Megajournals”. [PLoSOne][plosone] is the archetype for this kind of journal, and it had not really struck me before as a huge revolution in the publishing industry, but after listening to a couple of days worth of talks on the topic I’m convincible. Megajournals are so called because they are structured to be able to publish many more articles than has been the normal practice with traditional journals. ... (more)

The rude health of Open Access Publishing.

TL;DR OA publishing is maturing with a scalable business model that all the big publishers are jumping all over. Money will be made (but less than before), and more content will be more open. The poor lamentable nay-sayers who carp on unheard in the darkness will be forgotten, and their Cassandra-like predictions will fade to be recalled as little more than the mutterings of fools (OK, that last bit is probably opinion). ... (more)

Turning the Physics ArXiV into an Open Peer Review System.

Axel Boldt posted an interesting short paper discussing how to turn the physics ArXiV into an open peer review system. It’s a short read, about three pages, but if you are familiar with the problems around peer review then you can just jump to part three of the paper which is a little under a page. The solution proposed is to create a new role of editor on the ArXiV, and allow anyone to propose their paper for review. ... (more)