Archive by category | Publishing

Where next for UK PubMed Central?

What do UK researchers want from UKPMC, their free archive of full-text journal articles? That was the subject of a meeting today at the Wellcome Trust in London. Launched a year ago, UKPMC has become established as a part of the national research infrastructure but as with all online projects the scope for enhancement is ever present.  Read more

Some papers are more equal than others

Some papers are more equal than others

There’s a Commentary in this week’s Nature about detecting plagiarism in scientific papers (free access this week) by using eTBLAST, a strange but seemingly effective hybrid of alignment search and heuristics originally designed to help search PubMed. Basically you give it a paragraph of text and it finds papers that contain similar words and phrases.  Read more

STIX Fonts Go Beta

October 31, 2007 will forever be remembered as an important day in publishing history. After more than ten years in research and development, the STIX fonts (Scientific and Technical Information Exchange) have finally launched and are freely available in beta! This new web font set properly renders mathematical symbols on any browser alleviating the need for publishers to assemble symbols from a variety of fonts. It includes over 8,000 glyphs.By making the fonts freely available, the STIX project hopes to encourage the development of widespread applications that make use of these fonts. The TeX version of the fonts should be available soon after the production version is released.  Read more

Howtoons: Tools of Mass Construction!

Howtoons: Tools of Mass Construction!

Scifooers Nick Dragotta and Saul Griffith published their awesomely brilliant Howtoons book yesterday (US only I think). It’s a comic style book aimed at kids with intructions on how to do kitchen science and make brilliant things such as a zoetrope or soda bottle submarine. Theirs was my favourite talk at Scifoo, and not just because I got to seriously geek out with an artist who actually draws ol’ webhead himself. This is a must for anyone who: 1) has children between the ages of 7 and 15 2) Is a child between the ages of 7 and 15 3)  … Read more

PRISM: Publishers’ and Researchers’ Intensifying Sense of Mistrust

For anyone who’s interested here is Nature Publishing Group’s (NPG’s) take on PRISM: Although Nature America is a member of the AAP, we are not involved in PRISM and we have not been consulted about it. NPG has supported self-archiving in various ways (from submitting manuscripts to PubMed Central on behalf of our authors to establishing Nature Precedings), and our policies are already compliant with the proposed NIH mandate.  Read more

Amazon: A New Kind of Publisher

While most of the attention and ire of the publishing industry seems to be trained on Google these days, the most clueful colleagues I speak with appear unanimous in the view that the biggest threat to their livelihoods is actually Amazon. I think they’re right, as this recent announcement shows. It may just prove to be the publishing news of the decade.  Read more

Word 2007 and the STM Publisher Ecosystem

As the CTO of Nature Publishing Group, I have become involved in a very lively conversation with Microsoft staff about why Word 2007 is not being actively endorsed by STM publishers. It has recently come to Microsoft’s attention (see blogs Murray Sargent and Brian Jones) that Nature ( ), Science (, and many other scholarly publishers do not accept files authored in Word 2007. Both Science and NPG have been in correspondence with Microsoft staff on this important issue. The staff there have been very willing to engage in this conversation. As Inera is one of NPG’s main suppliers of Word macros (eXtyles) and a general expert on Word, I asked Bruce Rosenblum of Inera to enter the discussion. The following was sent to Microsoft on 12 June 2007 by Bruce Rosenblum to explain why this situation exists.  Read more