Wiley acquires the Collaborative Writing Tool Authorea

On August 17, it was announced that the collaborative writing tool Authorea had been acquired by Atypon that is in turn a part of Wiley Publishing. The posting in the Authorea blog informs that “Atypon has been actively building an open science ecosystem to streamline researchers’ workflows in reference management, knowledge discovery and content creation”. In fact, the acquisition of Authorea and the focus of Atypon indicate that Wiley (after Springer Nature and especially Elsevier had succeeded in doing so some time ago) now also wants to change from a pure publisher to a service provider for scientists. Nevertheless, in my opinion, Wiley’s portfolio still lacks the Research Intelligence Service components that Elsevier, Spinger Nature, Digital Science/ Holtzbrinck and Clarivate Analytics are increasingly offering. Authorea is an online collaborative writing, in fact some sort of Google Docs with useful features for scientific writing as reference management, citation formatting or automatic layouting. The current Wikipedia article on Authorea still describes it as “part of the open science movement and supports open access publishing for academic research and free access to research data.” Indeed Authorea is part of a long list of open or at least free services that although committed to promoting Open Access, are then bought up by commercial players. On this list you will find among other products the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), publons, bepress, Kopernio, Mendeley and GitHub. The question is which will be the next purchase of an Open Science service by a commercial actor. Maybe, as Leonid Schneider once imagined, F1000research? Or impactstory?

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