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UKSG meeting cancelled amid further reaction to health crisis

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The scholarly communications industry continues to react to the health crisis, in terms of practical measures to protect business and staff – as well as in making available research related to Covid-19.

Within the last hour this morning (16 March) UKSG has cancelled its 2020 event, with widespread concern being reported on social media regarding the ongoing viability of the organisation and its ability to find future activity.

A statement read: 'UKSG regrets the inconvenience caused to all our membership community, be they delegates, speakers or sponsors.  

'We will now begin to work through the process for refunding conference fees, so would be grateful if delegates and sponsors would look out for further instructions from us, rather than contacting individual members of staff at this time.  This is obviously going to take some time to sort through, and we are grateful for your patience in the meantime.'

While many organisations have implemented policies to isolate staff who have recently travelled, and deploying remote-working policies to slow the rate of infection among personnel, they are very much looking to maintain production schedules.

A spokesperson for Clarivate Analytics said in a statement: 'We have rebalanced content production across global locations to maintain production schedules. And we are closely monitoring local situations and adjusting quickly to emerging changes.

'As part of our business continuity planning, we will continue to operate at full capacity, maintaining all expected levels of service and support so that you continue to enjoy a great experience via all of our products and services.'

Clarivate also pointed out that is is making efforts to help with the fight against the virus: 'We take our global citizenship role very seriously and our response includes the launch of a global resource site as well as a Chinese language site to help medical researchers and healthcare professionals access the world’s leading research and late-breaking news around the coronaviruses. We also contributed to the Wuhan University Fighting COVID-19 Fund in support of local hospitals.' 

Springer Nature has also pledged its support for calls to make Covid19 research publicly available.

Nick Campbell, vice president, funder relations, said: 'Springer Nature continues to look for ways to help fight the COVID-19 virus. We have made available, for free, all relevant research we have published and continue to publish, are strongly urging our authors submitting articles related to this emergency to share underlying datasets relating to the outbreak as rapidly and widely as possible, and are a signatory on the consensus statement: Sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

'We also have a role to play providing good, fact-based journalistic and opinion content on this fast-moving public health issues in Nature (for researchers and research leaders) and Scientific American (for the broader public).'

Springer Nature is also implementing home-working policies for many of its staff worldwide.

Meanwhile, Emerald Publishing has announced that it has launched a publishing fund of £20,000 to cover the article publishing charges (APCs) for any research that relates to societal impacts as a result of the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and similar health emergencies.

Researchers can visit https://www.emeraldpublishing.com/coronavirus/ to find details on how to publish their related research and gain access to any information as it becomes live.

Vicky Williams, CEO at Emerald Publishing said: 'Emerald believes passionately in academia, policy makers and industry working together to drive positive change. I believe that we can make a genuine difference in the world, and as a community, if we work together and do what we can to share learnings. That’s why we’ve created this fund to get as much research in this field open and freely available, as rapidly as we can.'

 

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