NPG invests in Swiss OA publisher

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Nature Publishing Group (NPG) has announced a majority investment in the Swiss open-access (OA) publisher Frontiers.

According to the companies, NPG and Frontiers will work together to empower researchers to change the way science is communicated, through OA publication and open science tools.

Frontiers was founded by scientists from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2007. Since then it is said to have more than doubled articles published year on year and it now has OA journals in 14 fields of science and medicine. In 2012 Frontiers published over 5,000 OA articles. NPG currently offers OA options on 63 journals and published over 2,000 OA articles last year.

Frontiers will continue to be led by CEO and neuroscientist Kamila Markram and to operate with its own platform, brands, and policies. However, working with NPG should enable the journal series “Frontiers in” to expand significantly in 2013-2014.

In addition, the deal will bring bilateral links between the two publisher sites, making OA articles from the two companies visible on both. The companies will also work together on innovations in open science tools, networking, and publication processes.

'Combining NPG’s established publishing expertise with Frontiers’ innovative solutions for researchers opens up a wealth of opportunities for transforming the landscape of science communication. Frontiers is not only aiming to innovate in open access, but also to provide a more transparent and constructive peer review process, and offer an ecosystem of tools for scientists to build their academic standing,' commented Kamila Markram, CEO of Frontiers.

'Frontiers is innovating in many ways that are of interest to us and to the scientific community,” added Philip Campbell editor-in-chief of Nature. 'Referees and handling editors are named on published papers, which is very unusual in the life sciences community. Nature has experimented with open peer review in the past, and we continue to be interested in researchers’ attitudes. Frontiers also encourages non-peer reviewed open access commentary, empowering the academic community to openly discuss some of the grand challenges of science with a wide audience.'