Clarivate Analytics acquires Kopernio

Clarivate Analytics acquires KopernioClarivate Analytics, owner of the database Web of Science and services as publons, acquired Kopernio. Kopernio facilitates the search for Open Access documents. For pay-walled articles to which you have no access, Kopernio is looking for an alternative Open Access version. Unlike unpaywall, a similiar tool, using Kopernio requires registration. Research Information comments the acquisition as follows: „This deal will address a well-documented issue in the discovery and access of scientific and academic research, which stems from the circuitous, time-consuming and manual routes that researchers take to access the journal articles they need, even when their institutions and organisations have legitimate subscription access. This has resulted in the growth of social sharing networks and a hotly discussed dark web of crowdsourced journal articles.“

Indeed, integrating Kopernio into the Web of Science adds considerable value to this database – direct online access to unsubscribed publications. The Web of Science could now also become a tool for funding agencies to check the Open Access compliance of funded projects. In any case, Clarivate Analytics is expanding its portfolio of innovative services and cooperations. Something the former owner of the Web of Science, Thomson Scientific, failed to do.

By the way: Kopernio was founded by Jan Reichelt and Ben Kaube, Reichelt was a co-founder of Mendeley (an online reference management) and Kaube was co-founder of Newsflo (a tracking service for media mentions) – both acquired by Clarivate’s big rival Elsevier in 2013 (Mendeley) respectively 2015 (Newsflo).

Graphic available in Public Domain from

What is the relationship between Springer Nature & Frontiers?

Frontiers Research Foundation Logo
Frontiers Research Foundation Logo, taken from:

In preparation for a presentation at the Open Access Days in Dresden, I collect information on the shares of commercial publishers in the APC-based Open Access business.

When I deal with this topic, I always stumble upon the publisher Frontiers:

  • Back in 2013 Nature reported „Nature Publishing Group buys into open-access publisher“ and noted: „the company [Nature Publishing Group] said it was taking a majority investment“.
  • Wikipedia tells us: „The investment spurred collaboration with Nature Publishing Group, such as the integration of Loop profiles into Nature journals on, as well as collaboration with other Holtzbrinck companies such as the Frontiers for Young Minds blog on Scientific American. Though Holtzbrinck still has a minority share in Frontiers, the two companies operate independently, and in 2014, the two groups „made the decision … to make a clean separation and never to mention again that [Nature Publishing Group] has some kind of involvement in Frontiers.“ Nevertheless, Wikipedia identifies the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group as the Frontiers Group’s parent company. Springer Nature in turn is the product of the merger of Springer Science+Business Media and Holtzbrinck Publishing Group’s Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, and Macmillan Education.
  • As Leonid Schneider points out in 2015: „The current administrative board of Frontiers lists as signatory Michael Brockhaus, Head of Group Strategy at the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.“ Meanwhile Mister Brockhaus left the board.

To be honest, the relationship between Frontiers and Springer Nature is somewhat unclear to me: Is Springer Nature holding shares in Frontiers (if so, to what extent?), is it only a strategic alliance, does Springer Nature only use Frontier’s services for a fee?

I would be very grateful for information and feedback by the readers of my blog!

Update: Leonid Schneider drew my attention to Richard Poynder’s interview with Kamila Markram, CEO and Co-Founder of Frontiers, in 2016.

Elsevier acquires bepress


Elsevier’s shopping tour continues. Readers of my blog know that in April I published a provisional and incomplete list of services that are owned by Elsevier. Since then Elsevier launched the Preprint-Server BioRN, based on the infrastructure of the Social Science Research Network SSRN (purchased last year).  Yesterday the Dutch publishers announced the acquisition of bepress. Elsevier’s press release depicts bepress as follows: “ Founded by three University of California, Berkeley professors in 1999, bepress allows institutions to collect, organize, preserve and disseminate their intellectual output, including preprints, working papers, journals or specific articles, dissertations, theses, conference proceedings and a wide variety of other data.“ In fact bepress also was used as a hosting software for Open Access repositories.

Elsevier launches new Repository BioRN

ElsevierReaders of my blog know that some weeks ago I last asked the community for information on services that are owned by Elsevier. I needed the information to prepare a talk on data collection on science and event logging in science. I will soon publish my talk, together with a resume. As suggested in my talk, Elsevier uses the technology of the  Preprint-Server Social Science Research Network SSRN (purchased last year) to offer similar servers for other disciplines. Two days ago, Elsevier announced the launch of BioRN – „a new network dedicated to biology“. Here is a quote from the press release: „Biology Research can be pre-existing and working papers on BioRN, share ideas and other early stage research, and collaborate.

Clarivate Analytics acquires publons

publons photo
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

Elsevier’s shopping spree (including the newest acquisition PLUM Analytics) is countered by Clarivate Analytics‘ purchase of publons.

Both companies are already competing because they keep the two most important citation and impact databases in their portfolios with Scopus (owned by Elsevier) and the Web of Science (previously owned by Thomson Scientific but since 2017 by Clarivate Analytics). The only competitor in this field is Google Scholar. For all those who do not know publons, there is some information in Telepolis [in German language]. In short: Publons wants to reward reviewers, if only symbolically, by receiving diligence points (or credits) for reviews. Per se this is not a bad idea, because reviewing submissions to scientific journals is mostly neither symbolically nor financially rewarded.

Among other features publons also has an interface to the Altmetrics service Impactstory (incidentally, a competitor to PLUM Analytics), so the credits a scientist gained for reviews via publons are displayed in his impactstory profile.


Elsevier kauft Social Science Research Network

ElsevierLaut einer Pressemitteilung des Social Science Research Network (SSRN) wurde der Dienst von Elsevier aufgekauft: Während Springer anscheinend (s. die Fusion mit Nature) eher auf die Ausweitung des konventionellen Verlagsgeschäfts setzt, orientiert sich der Springer-Konkurrent Elsevier (neben der auch bei Springer anzutreffenden Beteiligung an Open-Access-Konsortien) eher an Innovationen und Communities. Darauf deutet, zumindest für mich, der Kauf von SSRN und Mendeley hin. Interessant scheint auch, dass mit SSRN ein ehedem nicht-kommerzielles Open-Access-Angebot zu einem kommerziellen Verlag zieht, so ähnlich wie bei der Zeitschriftengruppe Living Reviews, die vor knapp einem Jahr von der Max Planck Digital Library zu Springer überging.

Mendeley vor Aufkauf durch Elsevier?

ElsevierAuf berichtet Ingrid Lunden der Wissenschaftsverlag sei am Aufkauf des Literaturverwaltungstools Mendeley interessiert, angeblich stünde der Abschluss des Deals unmittelbar bevor: „TechCrunch understands from sources close to the companies that the deal is underway and should close this quarter, possibly by the end of February — all things being equal — and will be in the region of $100 million“ heißt es im Beitrag „Elsevier In Advanced Talks To Buy Mendeley For Around $100M To Beef Up In Social, Open Education Data„. Überzeugte Nutzer hoffen wohl, dass sich im Falle eines Aufkaufs durch Elsevier Mendeleys Geschäftsmodell nicht ändern möge…