Issue 31 · January 2021

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Any thoughts of a quiet start to the year quickly went out the window. January of 2021 was one for the history books both in the US (where on successive Wednesdays we witnessed the storming of the US Capital, the first double impeachment of a president, and the swearing in of a new president) and the UK (where Brexit took effect) — all amidst the backdrop of global pandemic.

In our corner of the world, we saw the implementation of Plan S, the acquisition of  Hindawi, and the first all-virtual Academic Publishing Europe — amid many other notable events. 

Speaking of events, NISO Plus 2021 is fast approaching and we would be remiss if we did not encourage event participants to drop in on the Open Access and Analytics session on February 25th. There is a star-studded line-up of speakers for this session, including Laura Ricci from C&E. We hope you’ll attend. 



An important albeit rarely invoked maxim is that if someone offers you a 7-times multiple of revenue for your publishing company, you take the deal. (While there is no evidence that Benjamin Franklin, that fount of truisms, invented this little-known maxim, as a publisher himself he would have certainly endorsed it.) And so there is little mystery as to why Ahmed Hindawi has sold his eponymous publishing company to Hoboken’s John Wiley & Sons for $298 million (a deal representing the second-largest acquisition, after Blackwell, in the company’s 214-year history). 
The more salient question is, Why would Wiley pay $298 million for a $40 million journal publisher with no recurring revenues? The sale price looks even more exuberant when one considers the (hopefully!) anomalous one-time impact of pandemic-related papers. As a Gold OA publisher, Hindawi makes more money when it publishes more papers. In 2020, a lot more papers were produced as a result of the pandemic (some papers directly pertaining to COVID-19, and many more papers resulting from researchers and scholars simply having time on their hands to write up work). According to Wiley’s announcement:

For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020, Hindawi is projected to generate approximately $40 million in revenue with year over year growth of 50%. 

If our math is right, this means that in 2019 Hindawi saw revenues of approximately $26.5 million. Revenues then grew in 2020, presumably in large part due to the surge in pandemic-related global paper output. Wiley therefore paid over 11 times 2019 revenues for Hindawi. To put things in perspective, Wiley paid a healthy 4 times revenue for Atypon a few years ago (which is in line with the 2–5 times revenue multiples we typically see for publisher acquisitions). We don’t know what Hindawi’s margins were, but let’s hypothetically say they were 20%, or $8 million in 2020. That would mean Wiley paid 37 times Hindawi’s 2020 EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization) for Hindawi. Put another way, with its current revenues, it would take 37 years for Wiley to recoup its investment. If we use 2019 figures to factor out the COVID paper surge, and still assume 20% margins, then the sale price amounts to 56 times 2019 EBITA (whereas 10 times EBITA is a more typical baseline for publisher acquisitions). 
No matter how one crunches the numbers, there is no doubt that Wiley paid a premium for Hindawi. To understand why, we think the most useful lens to apply to this deal is article market share. Of the largest publishers, it turns out that Wiley publishes the fewest articles — by a lot. According to a 2019 analysis by SPARC (see page 25), Wiley published 166,000 articles in 2017 compared to 300,000 by Springer Nature, and 430,000 by Elsevier. Assuming those numbers have not changed substantially on a relative basis, Wiley is far behind its competitors in terms of market share of articles. 
Way back in the halcyon days of 2017, this didn’t really matter much because Wiley was not focused on selling articles. Wiley was, at that point in time, optimized for the subscription business and the fundamental unit of sale in the subscription business is the journal (often aggregated into bundles of journals). Wiley had (and likely still has) the highest revenue per article ($5,431 as compared with $4,386 for Springer Nature and $4,089 for Elsevier). In a subscription world that is a great position to be in! Why publish more articles when that will just add to your costs and won’t translate into more revenues (unless you start new journals but who, in the current market environment, wants to try to sell subscriptions to a bunch of new journals?).
In the open access business, however, the fundamental unit of sale is not the journal but the article. In 2019, with its announcement of a landmark agreement with Projekt DEAL, Wiley appears to have begun a pivot toward OA, as Judy Verses (Wiley Executive Vice President) noted in a recent interview:

Since our agreement with Projekt DEAL 2 years ago, we continue to expand our open access offerings through transitional agreements at the institutional, consortia, country and regional level. The Hindawi acquisition should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that we believe in the future of open access.

In an OA world, one gets paid by the article and so publishing more articles increases revenues. To succeed in OA, the important metric is article market share. Wiley’s challenge therefore is that the company is still optimized for the business it is moving away from and not the business it is moving toward. To optimize for the OA business, Wiley needs to do two fundamental things: increase its market share of articles and decrease its cost structure on a per-article basis (a third thing that Wiley could do is establish marquee brands like Nature or Cell with high article processing charges [APCs], but we’ll leave that strategy to the side for now). Hindawi helps Wiley with both of these things.  
By acquiring Hindawi, Wiley will approximately double the number of OA articles that it publishes, as Wiley’s senior vice-president and chief product officer, Jay Flynn, notes:
With Hindawi onboard, Wiley adds more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific journals to our portfolio, effectively doubling our open access list, and on top of that, we add about 25,000 open access articles to our publishing output. 
In addition to increasing Wiley’s article count, the Hindawi journal portfolio aligns well with areas of research emphasis in China, as Flynn also discusses:

Hindawi’s journals match up very well with areas of strength for Chinese R&D. To underscore this, more than 65 percent of the authors in Hindawi’s journals live and work in China. 

Given that China has surpassed the US as the world’s most prolific producer of research papers, having a strong reputation among Chinese researchers (and an alignment with areas of Chinese research) is valuable. It is an open question as to just how valuable given China has moved to a “representative works” model for research evaluation (that will likely result in fewer published papers) and also a policy that requires a certain proportion of papers to be published in Chinese journals. But nonetheless, the strength in publishing in a country where there are a lot of research papers is clearly a good thing if one is trying to increase one’s article count. 
Flynn mentions not just articles but journals. Journals still very much matter in OA publishing, even though they are not being sold as such. They matter because it is journals that authors submit papers to. And the decision to submit a paper to Journal A as opposed to Journal B is based on the journal’s scope, reputation, and community. And it is hard to establish a new journal. Sure, it is easy to set up a website and do a call for papers, but building a reputation, working to establish the journal in the right indexes, getting an impact factor, building a brand, aligning with (or even establishing) a community — this is the labor of years. An important aspect of Wiley’s calculus was no doubt how long it would take (and how much it would cost) for Wiley to launch new journals to increase its paper submissions by a comparable amount. Wiley must then have assessed how much speed is worth to them. Even if Wiley thought it could spend some amount to add 25,000 papers a year to its portfolio without Hindawi, they might have determined it will take 5 years (or whatever) to do so. Getting there immediately was clearly worth a 7 times multiplier or (another way of looking at this) approximately $12,000 per annual article, or roughly 10 times Hindawi’s probable average APC. (An element of timing is also the present cost of money — Wiley has a strong balance sheet and borrowing costs are lower than they might be in the future.) 
Another component of timing here is related to the large number of transformative agreements that Wiley has entered into over the last 2 years. And while Wiley has said that Hindawi titles will not be added to current transformative agreements for both contractual and technical reasons, adding the portfolio in the future (as contracts are renegotiated and as technical issues are worked out) seems to present an opportunity for Wiley to get significantly more “lift” from the acquisition. While the Hindawi titles are not “transformative” in that they are already fully OA, that does not mean they can’t be incorporated in future agreements. Wiley’s agreement with Projekt DEAL, for example, includes funding for APCs (applied at a discount) for Gold OA titles in Wiley’s portfolio. In this respect, Wiley brings to the table something Hindawi did not previously have: a global sales force to broker deals with institutions and consortia (especially national consortia). This mash-up has the potential to both increase submissions to Hindawi titles and convert (at least some of) Hindawi’s revenues to recurring revenues. 
Ironically, given that Wiley just spent $298 million on the acquisition, Hindawi also helps Wiley with its cost structure. One could imagine someone at Wiley making the case in the meeting where they decided to green light the Hindawi acquisition: “Aside from the $298 million we are spending to buy a company at 37 times EBITA, it will really help rein in costs!” And in the long run, this would not be a bad argument. Hindawi was built from the ground up as a cost-effective OA publisher. They have streamlined workflows, bespoke technologies, established culture, and effective processes that result in being able to make money despite an OA model that employs relatively modest APCs. Adopting some of Hindawi’s operational construct could result in substantial cost savings for Wiley over time. 
It is also worth noting that, while nothing on the scale of Wiley itself, Hindawi also offers publishing services to other organizations. This fits in well with Wiley’s publishing services offerings and provides Wiley with additional technologies (alongside Atypon, for instance) and service options to offer societies and other clients.  
All in all, Hindawi fits well into Wiley’s portfolio and market strategy. Given that Wiley had been working with Hindawi for several years, the only surprising thing about the deal was the price tag. But after a period of remarkable stability, the STM and scholarly publishing market is changing fast. The premium Wiley paid to accelerate their pivot to OA may well prove to be worth it. 

Source: Wiley, The Scholarly Kitchen, SPARC, Publishing Perspectives, Projekt DEAL, Hindawi

Professional and Academic Publishing


Ready or not here it comes! Plan S went into effect on January 1 of this year. The details of implementation vary from funder to funder. While hybrid journals are generally frowned upon by cOAlition S, there are some hybrid journals that are OK to submit to because they are part of the Plan S “Transformative Journal” program. And then there are the hybrid journals that are also OK (for researchers at some institutions) to submit to because they are part of transformative deals. And then there is the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS), which journals may or may not accept (discussed in more detail in the December issue of The Brief). To help authors and publishers figure all this out, there is the Plan S Journal Checker Tool, which may or may not be up to date for various journals. 

One family of journals that will accept, on a trial basis, manuscripts via the RRS is that of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The Science family of journals will allow authors supported by cOAlition S funders to release their accepted manuscripts with a CC BY or CC BY-ND license. Authors not supported by cOAlition S funders will not be permitted to do this. The announcement from AAAS states:

This approach reflects AAAS’s concern that facilitating open access by gold routes alone puts undue financial obligation on authors, which could freeze in place or further exacerbate longstanding inequities for authors across race, gender, geographies, disciplines, and institutions.The pilot for cOAlition S-funded researchers ensures these researchers can continue to publish in the Science family journals.

AAAS is essentially saying that they do not wish to flip their journal program to Gold OA (leaving aside Science Advances, which is already Gold GA) — either immediately or via the Plan S Transformative Journal route — because it would create barriers to publication for many authors. Instead, Plan S authors can release their accepted manuscript (at no charge) to comply with Plan S and for everyone else it is business as usual. 

It is notable to contrast the Science family of journals with that of Nature and Cell. Nature and Cell have both recently announced they will become Transformative Journals and provide a Gold OA route to Plan S compliance with high APCs. Critically, for Nature and Cell, these are both portfolio strategies. As we discussed previously in The Brief, as high as the APCs for these portfolios are (approximately $12,000 for Nature and $8,900–$9,900 for Cell), they are almost certainly not high enough to cover the cost of publication in either flagship title (Nature or Cell). The rest of the portfolio is therefore subsidizing the flagship, whereas the flagship attracts papers to the rest of the portfolio. 

Science, by contrast, has a much smaller portfolio than either Nature or Cell. In addition to the multispecialty Science and Science Advances, the rest of the journals include Science Signaling, Science Immunology, Science Translational Medicine, and Science Robotics. In aggregate, these journals do not publish enough papers to subsidize the flagship. Because the portfolio is limited, the gravitational pull of the flagship is also not as useful as with Nature or Cell as the secondary options for publication are not as numerous. We take AAAS at its word with regard to its rationale for its Plan S strategy (and its rationale is compelling — Gold OA is not viable for a great many researchers, especially at the APC price point that would be necessary to sustain Science). However, it is doubtful that the Science portfolio could adopt the Gold OA strategies of Nature and Cell if it wanted to. 

The next few years will provide a fascinating case study. The Nature and Cell portfolios are moving in one direction and Science in another. Nature and Cell are pivoting to OA — not all at once but over time. The challenge for Nature and Cell will be to slowly deflate their subscription businesses while they inflate their OA businesses. If subscription revenues decline too precipitously, before OA revenues have grown sufficiently, they will risk a period of diminished profitability. Science has a different challenge. It must continue to make the case for its subscription business, even as a portion of its content is freely available, albeit in manuscript format. Clarivate estimates that 31% of published papers published in Science itself (they do not provide figures for the other journals in the portfolio) are supported by Plan S funders (Clarivate uses 2017 data but we assume it is at least directionally representative for subsequent years). 

Given that Science (the flagship journal) publishes a high proportion of non-research content (news and commentary), its strategy seems reasonable. If the majority (approximately 70%) of research papers — as well as news and commentary — are not subject to Plan S OA mandates, there remains a strong incentive to maintain subscriptions. This strategy is not without risks, however. If more funders join Plan S (HHMI, for example, joined the coalition after Clarivate’s analysis, which may therefore be understating the proportion of Plan S related papers published in Science) or if other major funders (e.g., National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, China) adopt Gold OA or zero-embargo policies, the Science portfolio could begin to see subscription erosion. At that point, Science would need to pivot to OA — but will then be up against competitors with both a head start and structural advantages as a result of larger portfolios.

Source: cOAlition S, AAAS, Clarivate


Some people have way too much time on their hands. The Journal of Nanoparticle Research (Springer Nature) reports that it was the victim of a scam perpetrated by an “organized rogue editor network.” According to an account by the journal editors, they received a proposal for a theme issue from a group of “eminent scientists” in the field. They accepted the proposal and appointed the researchers as guest editors. But then it turned out that the eminent scientists were not eminent scientists at all but scammers who had gone to elaborate lengths to spoof the identities of the eminent scientists. Here is the account from the journal editors: 

Some months later, we started to see a large amount of manuscripts that were submitted and a part of them accepted in this special issue. At first, we were quite happy that the special issue had attracted many submissions and interest from the community. However, when we started to look at the submissions, we rapidly noted that most of the manuscripts were of a low quality and/or did not fit with the topic of the special issue. Of course, we acted immediately, but it was already too late because 19 manuscripts among the 80 submissions had been already accepted and/or published.

One question is why would anyone go to such lengths to do this? The scammers not only had to spoof university email credentials, they had to research which eminent scientists to impersonate and then they had to write a proposal (reportedly, a good one!). After that, they had to load manuscripts (real, albeit shoddy manuscripts) to the journal submission system — manuscripts that either they had to solicit or write themselves. Then they had to pretend to peer review them. In other words, they pretty much had to do all the work of actually assembling a theme issue, even if the papers in the theme issue were not very good. And what do the scammers get for their labors? A few published papers that are (we assume) subsequently retracted? Surely the amount of time and energy that went into this scam could have been more fruitfully redeployed to other more remunerative frauds? 

Another question is, wait what? How was it even possible for papers to be published by the scammers? People who don’t work in journal publishing often think that there is just a button that someone pushes and voila — a paper is published. But that is not how it actually works. Usually if a guest editor is involved, the papers from an issue are routed back to the journal editors for final approval. That obviously did not happen here. A managing editor often is involved in tracking the issue — which also did not happen here. And finally, even if the guest editor were given the power to issue a “final accept” decision, the paper then usually goes into the publisher’s production workflow. There, it undergoes additional checks and typically, after copyediting and cleanup, the papers are sent back to authors to review and the managing editor is notified (usually copied on the email). And then after that, papers come back with author edits that need approval and only after that a paper is scheduled for finalization and publication. But in the case of the Journal of Nanoparticle Research either no one was paying attention throughout this entire process or else they really do have a “publish” button. 

The editors report that they have “now implemented more strict processes for avoiding this happening again.” This is well and good but they don’t need “strict processes”; they just need the normal processes that every journal we have ever worked with already employs. The real story here is not the scammers but that it was even possible to perpetuate the scam in the first place.

Source: Journal of Nanoparticle Research

The Newsletter Business


We have been studying the newsletter business of late, as it appears to be on the verge of a big breakout. We created The Brief in part because of this emerging trend, but we are increasingly interested in how professional and academic publishers can take advantage of this format. We are not alone in studying newsletters; by our count The New York Times has published at least 3 articles on newsletters in recent months (which you can find herehere, and here); and The New Yorker has published a more or less comprehensive overview of the phenomenon, under the ridiculously melodramatic headline “Is Substack the Media Future We Want?” With the number of journalists in the US having been halved in the past 20 years, it is no wonder that established media organs would be looking around for new venues. Professor Heather Cox Richardson is reportedly earning $1 million a year from her newsletter, so why not give it a try? The management of Twitter agrees, and has just announced the acquisition of Revue, a competitor to market leader Substack. Twitter aims to encourage its users with big followings to try their hand at the pay-to-play business, with Twitter, naturally, extracting a fee for the service. 
Putting aside for the time being the very important (and difficult) question of what kind of editorial program a newsletter will require, business opportunities for newsletters fall into three categories. First, there is the ad-supported newsletter. You have attracted eyeballs, so why not try to make something of them? The problem here is that most newsletters have relatively modest circulations, so the advertising revenue will be small and not likely to provide a living for even the most intrepid writer. The opportunity for ad-supported newsletters is in providing the platform for a multitude of writers and to sell advertising across the entire collection. If this sounds like a variant of Medium, it is not an accident.
The second model is to sell content for its own sake. This is a great idea, but like playing for major league baseball, not everybody gets to do it. There is so much to read, so many sources of information: why would someone be willing to pay you unless you are truly special? On the other hand, if you are truly special, the rules don’t apply (see Richardson). There may be opportunities for highly specialized newsletters connected to STM materials, provided that the value they provide is more than commensurate with what will assuredly be a high price (consider, perhaps, analysis of breaking news on scientific research targeted to Wall Street). 
Finally, we come to the most likely model for newsletters: content marketing. Content marketing is the creation of content in order to further another agenda. It is not necessarily pernicious, though it can be, as when, for example, we read about climate change in the publications of the American Petroleum Institute. Content marketing, however, can also be usefully informative, and much of it is. Take a look at the consumer information on the website of the Mayo Clinic and see if you agree.
Of course, these three models are not mutually exclusive. You could have a free, promotional newsletter that directs readers to a paid premium plan (Richardson’s model), and there is nothing to stop you from selling advertising, or trying to, wherever eyeballs can be found. The best way to think of newsletters is as one component or node of a network model of publishing. If your organization publishes journals and books and runs a conference, maybe it’s time to add newsletters to your media mix. 

Source: The New York TimesThe New YorkerThe Wall Street JournalMayo Clinic Health LetterThe Scholarly Kitchenanoparticle Research


Speaking of newsletters, Scott Alexander is back. Alexander (a pseudonym) is a practicing psychologist and the writer behind the influential Slate Star Codex blog. Slate Star Codex became a kind of water cooler for the “rationalist” community, which The New Yorker describes as “a group of loosely affiliated writers and respondents who first coalesced, in the mid-two-thousands, on sites dedicated to the prospect that, with training and effort, our natural cognitive biases can be overcome.”
Last year, a New York Times journalist started writing a story on Alexander. In the course of their communication, it became clear that the journalist intended to dox Alexander (reveal his real identity). Alexander responded by taking down his blog and revealing the plans of The New York Times. A backlash against The New York Times ensued that included not just cancellations but numerous prominent Silicon Valley individuals vowing not to give interviews to the Times again. 
Anyway, the Times never published the piece, an archive of Slate Star Codex has been put back online, and Scott Alexander has resurfaced with a new Substack newsletter called Astral Codex Ten (an anagram for Scott Alexander) — and in the first installment he has preemptively doxed himself (his real name is Scott Siskind).

Source: The New YorkerAstral Codex Ten



The book business weathered the first year of the pandemic well. Sales to consumers were up more than 8% in trade publishing, as measured for the year by NPD BookScan. (Publisher receipts were up by 10%, as measured by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) through 11 months, but decreased returns accounted for some of this gain.) This is quadruple the growth rate of the preceding decade. And this performance came despite the divot in the spring caused in part by Amazon’s triaged prioritization of health-related items. 
Some genres, particularly juvenile books — both didactic and otherwise — saw increases double the industry rates. Ebooks flourished — although with fewer commuters and incursions from podcasting, audiobook uptake slowed. In a first since the 1990s, a new online retailer,, succeeded in generating a robust direct-to-consumer conduit for books, while also benefiting independent bookstores.
The outlook for pandemic year two is complicated by the halting reopening of retail shops; competition from other media and potentially, incredibly, live events; challenged household and institutional budgets; and of course general epidemiological and economic uncertainty. School textbooks, monographs, and mass market paperbacks will continue to be under pressure. One bellwether may be travel guides — a rebound here from 2020’s standstill would be a good sign for the book trade, and really for all of us.

Source: Publishers Lunch, The Idea Logical Company, The Future of Publishing


PLOS has hit the ground running with its Community Action Publishing (CAP) program in 2021 (see Item 1 in the October issue of The Brief). The open access publisher has announced a 3-year CAP agreement with the Big Ten Academic Alliance, which includes some of the largest research universities in the US. PLOS additionally announced a deal with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, spanning 81 academic institutions in Canada.

Source: PLOS

The Book Business


The book business weathered the first year of the pandemic well. Sales to consumers were up more than 8% in trade publishing, as measured for the year by NPD BookScan. (Publisher receipts were up by 10%, as measured by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) through 11 months, but decreased returns accounted for some of this gain.) This is quadruple the growth rate of the preceding decade. And this performance came despite the divot in the spring caused in part by Amazon’s triaged prioritization of health-related items. 
Some genres, particularly juvenile books — both didactic and otherwise — saw increases double the industry rates. Ebooks flourished — although with fewer commuters and incursions from podcasting, audiobook uptake slowed. In a first since the 1990s, a new online retailer,, succeeded in generating a robust direct-to-consumer conduit for books, while also benefiting independent bookstores.
The outlook for pandemic year two is complicated by the halting reopening of retail shops; competition from other media and potentially, incredibly, live events; challenged household and institutional budgets; and of course general epidemiological and economic uncertainty. School textbooks, monographs, and mass market paperbacks will continue to be under pressure. One bellwether may be travel guides — a rebound here from 2020’s standstill would be a good sign for the book trade, and really for all of us.

Source: Publishers Lunch, The Idea Logical Company, The Future of Publishing



Rich Dodenhoff has announced his retirement as Journals Director at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), following 23 years of service at the organization. 
Gerry Grenier retires after 21 years at IEEE, most recently at Senior Director, Publishing Technology. 
Penelope Lewis has been appointed Chief Publishing Officer at the American Institute of Physics Publishing.
Jayne Marks has retired from a long and distinguished career, most recently as Vice President, Global Publishing at Wolters Kluwer Health.
Miriam Maus has been appointed Publishing Director at IOP Publishing. 
Brian Napack, President and CEO of Wiley, has been re-elected Chairman of the American Association of Publishers. Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group, has been elected Vice Chairman and Jeremy North, Managing Director for Books at Taylor & Francis, will continue as Treasurer.
Adrian Stanley, Lisa Cuevas Shaw, and Michael Shepard join JMIR Publicationsas Chief Innovation and Development Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Technology Officer, respectively.

Briefly Noted


One of President Biden’s first acts was to select geneticist Eric Lander to head the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and to elevate the position, for the first time in history, to a cabinet-level post. 
“More than 140 doctoral programs across dozens of schools are saying they won’t admit new students for fall.” 
George Orwell’s books are now in the public domain in the UK, but there are still copyright restrictions elsewhere.
Outstanding essay about Edith Wharton’s great novel The Age of Innocence: “Wharton invited the hoi polloi right into the living rooms of Manhattan’s upper crust, for an insider’s exposé.”
From Fortran to, 10 computer coding breakthroughs that transformed science
Brandeis has acquired all rights to the publications of the University Press of New England.
Publishers Weekly has announced it will launch a new American publishing trade fair. Named the U.S. Book Show, the debut event will run virtually May 26–28.” It fills the hole left by the shutting down of BEA by its owner the RELX Group (which also owns Elsevier). Interestingly, Elsevier used to own Publishers Weekly many years ago.
Simon & Schuster has cancelled Senator Josh Hawley’s forthcoming book. Hawley vows to sue. The book has been picked up by Regnery — which is distributed by S&S.
This will brighten your day: archive hashtag parties.
CERN and Elsevier conclude a read-and-publish deal.
You may be able to use AI to teach your dog to sit. (As C&E has a new staff puppy, in addition to six more experienced dogs, we welcome this development). 
White supremacists have piled into Amazon’s self-publishing service.
Book club subscription service Literati raises a fresh $40 million from investors led by Felicis Ventures and including Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, who hosts a book club on the platform. 
Cell Press invites (but does not require) authors to include statements about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Authors may “declare in their submitted manuscripts whether they had considered diversity, equity, and inclusion in the study.”
Google will now pay French publishers for the right to link to their content. This is a first and could change Google’s practices around the world, beginning in the EU.
The American Library Association appoints 13 leaders to the ALA Business Advisory Group.
It has not been a good month for Sci-Hub. Twitter has banned Sci-Hub from its platform (so long @sci_hub). At the same time, a lawsuit brought in India by Elsevier, Wiley, and the American Chemical Society threatens to block Sci-Hub at the ISP level in the world’s most populous democracy.

When you’re buying books, you’re optimistically thinking you’re buying the time to read them. — Arthur Schopenhauer