2018 in review: Working towards an open scholarly world

The Roman numeral III stands for giant star in the Yerkes spectral classification scheme. Three is the atomic number of lithium. Three are the laws proposed by Sir Isaac Newton. Three is the number of means that heat transfers and three is the number of dimensions that humans can perceive. For us at Hindawi, 2018 marks three years since we made the decision to relocate our HQ to London. Several important developments, internal and external, pushed us to make this move – a move that signified the beginning of a new era for the company.

Today, we can say with certainty that it was a decision that set us moving in the right direction. During this time, our London-based team kept growing and in 2018 we welcomed 20 new members to our Fitzroy Square offices. We spent time reflecting on our past and setting new goals for the future ahead. We teamed up with like-minded organizations who share the same vision for how the publishing experience can be improved for researchers and kept working towards driving greater openness in research.

From the very start of this year, we were on the lookout for a Chief Publishing Officer to help us form a new pathway for the future of the company that still aligns with our core values of openness, transparency, and accessibility but also drives us to provide the research community with more refined services.  

Sarah Greaves was the perfect match for us. Her friends describe her as feisty, efficient, and a glamorous super mum. She is an avid tap dancer and writes for the Norwich City FC club programme. Her biggest career achievement was the launch of Nature Awards for Women in Science. Throughout her career, Sarah has focused on creating innovative new products and services aimed at solving key researcher pain points whilst ensuring the academic scientist remains at the heart of any publishing decision. At Hindawi, her goal is to make us known for excellent author service, robust peer review, respected titles that represent the community and content which can be found, understood, and shared by any interested researcher.

We are firm believers in making science not only accessible but also easy to understand by anyone, anywhere in the world. Click To Tweet

We are firm believers in making science not only accessible but also easy to understand by anyone, anywhere in the world. This is why in 2018, we supported the Pint of Science festival of events in the UK, France, Ireland, and Germany. Spanned across 6 continents and 21 countries with nearly 100,000 attendees, this award-winning festival brings together our favorite scientists to our local pubs, where some of the greatest ideas were born; among friends, sharing a drink and imagining a world where one more question was answered and one more solution was found. Pint of Science moves research out of the lab and into the public domain and thus was an obvious partnership for us.

Going forward, we aim to build on this work and put even more focus on science communication and public engagement initiatives. We plan to collaborate with other organisations in an effort to play our part in bridging the gap between science and society so that research can be valued by everyone regardless of educational background and level of expertise.

An earnest commitment to openness can only be built on open scholarly infrastructure. Click To Tweet

Consistent with our mission to drive greater openness in research, in September of this year we released a new peer review system that has been built using an open-source framework. The new platform was developed as part of our collaboration with the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (Coko) and was the first step towards a network of open publishing infrastructure that we, Coko, and other like-minded organizations like eLife and University of California Press are developing and plan to share with the research community. An earnest commitment to openness can only be built on open scholarly infrastructure. As Hindawi’s Chief Digital Officer Andrew Smeall mentioned, “we wanted to give back to the community something that we hope will be adapted and reused by other publishers.” Our goal is to move beyond the technology silos we are currently in and work with the scholarly communications community to build tools and platforms that lay the groundwork for a shift toward a more open, more flexible and hence more efficient system.  

‘Open’ is slowly but surely becoming the norm. Click To Tweet

‘Open’ is slowly but surely becoming the norm. And openness in research comes in many shapes and forms; from facilitating the publication of research papers that are free to access to investing in open-source solutions that will benefit the community as a whole. We are proud to be one of the few publishers worldwide to have embraced openness in research as a way to serve the scholarly community. And we are happy to help others along the way.

In 2018, we expanded our open-access publishing partnership with Wiley. Richard Bennett, Chief Commercial Officer, pointed out that “this partnership is a great example of how Open Access is a powerful enabler of the Open Science landscape, supporting a more open and exciting global landscape of sharing and connecting to maximise the impact of research for future generations.” By assisting other publishers to move to a more open publishing program, we are fully engaging in the global transition to an open scholarly world. Because we do believe that science works best when research is open.

To our editors, reviewers, and authors an enormous thank you for the continuous support. To all our partners and everyone in the academic and scholarly communications communities, we hope 2019 brings enhanced collaboration among all stakeholders for what needs to be a common goal – opening up research in every possible way.

From everyone at Hindawi, we wish you a lovely holiday season and a Happy New Year.

Fani Kelesidou is Marketing Communications Manager at Hindawi. 

The text in this blog post is by Fani Kelesidou and is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Illustration by Hindawi and is also CC-BY.