“As a leader in academic publishing, what most excites you right now?
I do think that making virtually all aspects of science open – its outcomes (i.e., articles and books), its data, its code, its techniques, etc. – has huge potential to improve trust in science and to accelerate its impact. Targeting this at finding solutions to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has to be the most important and exciting opportunity we all face. This will require imagination and an ability to better combine people and technology than ever before….
What do you anticipate the major challenges will be for Springer Nature, and indeed the publishing industry, over the next five years?
I think the greatest challenge is for us to find a way to make the transition to Open Science, including open access (OA), sustainable and equitable for all. Beyond this core challenge, we need to make sure that the determined and adaptable criminals and state actors that want to use our networks, our products, and our content to make illicit gains or gain access to the personal and institutional data of our customers are not able to succeed. These damage our customers and our reputations, and we must work together to prevent this.
What does open access / public access mean for your business?
We strongly believe in the benefits to the whole research process of immediate OA to the article version of record (VoR) which means Gold OA. Other forms, such as Public Access (PA), offer benefits mainly outside of the research system, but so far we haven’t found a way of making them financially sustainable. Of course, OA is a precursor to Open Science, which I think is the greatest prize, but OA by itself still enables many benefits such as getting more research out to more researchers faster, into the hands of policy makers and businesses, and the wider public….”