C&E Partner Network

James Butcher

Editorial and Publishing Strategy

Organization: Journalology


James spent the first 20 years of his career working for two of the biggest brands in scientific, technical, and medical (STM) publishing: The Lancet and Nature. He now works with Clarke and Esposito, advising clients on editorial and publishing strategy and providing insight into how European funder mandates and other regulations are affecting their organizations and the global STM marketplace.

James joined the firm from Springer Nature, where he was Vice President of the Nature journals. He managed a team of 500 editors, journalists and publishers who produce Nature, the Nature research journals, the Nature Reviews journals, and Nature Communications. James was responsible for the Nature journals’ editorial and commercial strategy. He also contributed heavily to the group’s open access strategy, which included the publishing development of Scientific Reports and Nature Communications, as well as overseeing the OA transition on Nature and the Nature research journals.

James led the new-launch program at Nature from 2014 to 2022, launching 26 Nature journals during that period, which expanded the group into new subject areas across the natural, clinical, and social sciences. James and his team used the journals’ convening power to launch journals that address some of global society’s most intractable problems, including titles such as Nature Human BehaviourNature Energy, and Nature Food.

Following his completion of a PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Bristol, James joined The Lancet as a Senior Editor in 2000 and launched The Lancet Neurology as Editor in 2002. After a brief period at PLOS Medicine, he re-joined The Lancet as Executive Editor, where he was a member of the peer-review and leader-writing teams.