The Brief

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Lion Tamer?

Issue 27 • September 30, 2020

The Springer Nature and ResearchGate pilot project on making proprietary content openly accessible is a success. Open access (OA) publications are disappearing from the Internet. Making changes to peer review process, maximizing revenues through the SME market, and academics tweeting about preprints.

Seeking a Vaccine for Fake News

Issue 26 • August 2020

Bill Gates interview with Steven Levy, says most COVID-19 tests in the US “are completely garbage” and social media is a “poisoned chalice.” But he’s optimistic, placing his bets on massive innovation. A new library consortium in Texas, free access to scientific literature during the pandemic, and more.

End of an Era

Issue 25 • July 2020

HighWire Press, once the most prominent start-up in scholarly communications is sold to MPS for a stunningly low sale price. cOAlition S pens letter to publishers, providing several paths to compliant OA. The European Research Council is pulling out of Plan S. And more.


Issue 24 • June 2020

COVI-19 research scandals, accommodating budgets and reducing publishers’ fees, and openness of scholarly communications. Dealmaking in scholarly publishing. UCL and Springer Nature make a deal, MIT and Elsevier end negotiations, and OSU and Taylor & Francis enter into read and publish agreement.

Back to Business

Issue 23 • May 2020

Business outlook post-pandemic. Overflow of research, the speed of preprints, and the decline of women’s scholarly production. cOAlition S transparency rules.

The Whirlwind

Issue 22 • April 2020

Will things go back to normal? Budget cuts and furloughs, labs and fieldwork at a standstill, and accelerated change in higher education. COVID-19 research explodes, and most Springer Nature journals will join Plan S.

Black Swan

Issue 21 • March 2020

Coronavirus affects scholarly publishing, causing cancellations and postponements of publishing events. A new word enters the lexicon, WFH (Work from Home). Chinese government announces policy shift in research assessment – a “representative works” model.


Issue 20 • February 2020

The coronavirus – a public health story, a science story, a political story, and a human-interest story. Preprint servers’ role in communicating the latest research. Making federally funded research freely accessible is put on hold. RELX releases its annual report.

APE 2020: Plan S Revisited

Issue 19 • January 2020

APE 2020 highlights – geopolitical tensions, open access models, and open research data. Sci-Hub under investigation. Personal privacy and student tracking apps. Springer Nature IPO. And more.

Executive Order?

Issue 18 • December 2019

Rumored update to the Holdren Memo. Springer Nature tries again with IPO. Plan S compliance through “transformative journals.” Five publishers announce new service to simplify access to full-text articles. Demographic meltdown in college enrollments. And more.