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De Gruyter buys Versita

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De Gruyter has bought Versita in a move that it says makes it the third largest international open-access publisher.

‘Now is a good time to move more into this space,’ Sven Fund, managing director of De Gruyter, explained to Research Information. ‘For the past nine months or so open access has really been getting serious and commercial publishers are getting much more interested in it. Funding bodies and former green open access proponents are realising the need to change to gold open access.’

He continued: ‘We believe we need critical mass for open access and that’s what we’re trying to achieve with this acquisition. The Versita portfolio serves a very diverse range of disciplines. It traditionally had a regional focus on Eastern Europe but has moved to Western Europe too. Clearly a benefit to them is that we’re able to give a more global readership and author base.’

Versita’s founder Jacek Ciesielski is pleased with the deal. ‘De Gruyter has impressive 260-year history, and today publishes over 800 books a year, and over 230 journals and electronic media,’ he said. Ciesielski will continue to manage Versita, and also becomes vice president, open access at de Gruyter.

The acquisition will add around 40 people and 230-250 journal titles to De Gruyter. In addition, Versita has around 25 journals that are published by Springer under contract until 2014.

Integration of the Versita content with the De Gruyter platform is expected to happen at the end of the first quarter of this year. Fund anticipates that integration should be straightforward as the Versita platform is built using industry standards. ‘We’ve looked at their data structure and so far don’t see anything very difficult,’ he commented.

  • For more about this acquisition and other thoughts from Sven Fund see the interview in the FebMar12 issue of Research Information