NPG and Zapnito to build 'online expert research communitites'

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Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and Zapnito have announced a partnership to build online expert communities for global research.

NPG will use Zapnito's platform and expertise to create communities for journals, training, events and conferences. They will bring together interdisciplinary groups of experts to tackle complex problems, as well as supporting scientists in their work and career development.

The partnership kicks off with an expert community aligned to open access journal npj Biofilms and Microbiomes (, published in partnership with Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering.

Joe Bennett, publisher for npj Biofilms and Microbiomes said of the new community: 'As science moves forward, cross-disciplinary discussions become crucial. We see the npj Biofilms and Microbiomes Community as an important enabler of such discussions, allowing researchers to interact in new, productive ways as we seek to understand more about the mechanisms governing the social behaviour of microbial biofilm populations, and their impact on life, human health, and the environment.'

Further expert communities are planned to connect NPG's audience of more than 10 million researchers, educators and policy-makers, as well as the ever-curious public.

'We know great ideas, and great progress, come when you get great minds together in a room,' said Steven Inchcoombe, CEO of Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan. 'Our communities will provide online rooms of experts.

'We're not trying to create broad social networks – there are plenty of those – this is about bringing focused communities together without all the noise. We want to foster and continue the conversations that are already happening, and provide development and collaboration opportunities for researchers around the globe.'