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... the editorial blog by Marydee Ojala, Editor of ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals. ONLINE Insider intends to extend the reach of the print publication, presenting a more timely commentary on the products, people, and events that shape today's online world. It explores new technologies as they impact the working lives of information professionals, explains resources for specific topic areas, and expounds on information management tools and techniques.

Springer & BioMed Central

Marydee Ojala @ 4:41 am

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.


  1. Hi Marydee,

    You raise important issues here. In particular, can a purely open access publisher succeed on its own, esp. if author fees are only source of revenue? I think open access content is here to stay, but that other sources of revenue are needed to keep publishers of that content in business.

    Good post; I linked to it in my daily headlines on http://www.healthcontentadvisors.com.

    Comment by Janice McCallum — October 13, 2008 @ 9:40 am

  2. In addition to being “….interesting to see how Springer manages its new acquisition” it will be equally interesting to understand and gauge long-term market response to any evolution in the business model(s).

    Ian Palmer @ Reprints Desk
    http://www.reprintsdesk.com | http://www.docdelchallenge.com

    Comment by Ian Palmer, Head of Marketing at Reprints Desk — November 17, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

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