Springer announced last week that it bought the open access publisher BioMed Central. There’s an announcement about the acquisition on the Springer site, but nothing at BioMed Central’s. The latest communication from BioMed Central, dated October 10th, is a news release about an article on wound-healing, featured in the newly launched journal Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair. Makes me wonder if the know they’re now part of Springer. Publisher Matthew Cockerill apparently announced the sale internally in an email to BioMed Central employees. Internal email, but leaving the public announcement solely to Springer? A bit odd.
Also interesting that a major — and traditional — publisher bought an open access publisher. Some wll see this as validating the open access business model, while others will see it as selling out open access. It’s certainly true that scientific publishing has recognized the inevitability of some form of open access publishing and it will be interesting to see how Springer manages its new acquisition.
I’m pleased that Accoona at least told us when it became defunct. There are some other search engines that haven’t been so forthcoming. They’re the "living dead" of search engines. The business search engine Knuru has been undergoing "maintenance" for months. It looks like it should be a live site, but it isn’t. It has several partners, including Ask and Moreover, so perhaps something is up with the agreements, but to put that maintenance excuse up for such a long time is deceptive.
I was going to include Podscope, the audio search engine, in this rant, but it suddenly started working again. For several weeks, it looked like a live search engine, but no term, not even a single word, such as ‘business,’ or ‘work,’ or ‘today’ yielded any hits. But this morning I found it was back — without, however, any explanation for the extended downtime. The copyright statement at the bottom of the page says 2005 and the latest blog post is from July 2006.
Then there’s Kartoo‘s kvisu, which seems to have disappeared from the open web. A demo at Karoo’s site indicates it’s now enterprise only. I liked the kvisu interface much better than Kartoo’s original one, so I wish it would come back from the dead.
I was checking out some web sites for a presentation at Internet Librarian International and found this message at the Accoona site:
"Dear Accoona search users,
Due to an overwhelmingly competitive search market, Accoona.com and Accoona.cn will no longer be active.
We thank you for your previous support.
Guess I won’t be mentioning them in London at the conference. Just goes to show how good technology doesn’t always translate into reliable and sustainable businesses.