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UK New Nature Index data indicates surge in collaboration as businesses outsource discovery to academia - 07 Dec 2017

New data from the Nature Index show that as corporations have scaled back their own in-house research, there has been a surge in collaboration with academic and government research bodies, as they look to share the burden of scientific discovery. These findings are featured in the recently published Nature Index 2017 Science Inc. supplement, which investigates corporate institutions' changing role in science, how the academic research landscape is evolving as a result, and the costs and benefits of these shifting arrangements to high-quality research.

Previous research has shown that the long-term decline in corporate scientific output - evident across every industrial sector, from electronics to telecommunications to pharmaceutical industry - has coincided with a reducing investment in research. Between 1980 and 2006, the share of corporate investment in basic and applied research in the United States, as a proportion of total research and development funding, shrank from 26% to 22%. According to researchers at Duke University, in 1980 the average US corporation published 29 papers a year in the Web of Science database, but by 2006 this had fallen to 12 papers.

However, while overall corporate research output has declined, data from the Nature Index show that the number of partnerships between businesses and academic or government institutions in the index has more than doubled over the past five years, from 12,672 connections in 2012 to 25,962 in 2016. Over the same period, close to 90% of the papers that corporations authored in journals included in the Nature Index were in collaboration with researchers in academic or government labs.

According to the supplement, this shift towards corporate-academic collaboration could help broaden the reach of scientific research, as well as improve academic productivity. An analysis of the high-quality papers tracked by the index showed that academic publications were more likely to attract public attention if they included a corporate co-author, as measured by their Altmetric Attention Score, which tracks discussion around published papers including news articles, policy documents and blog and social media posts.

At the same time, as corporate-academic collaborations are on the rise, academic institutions themselves are becoming increasingly focused on applied research. American universities are filing patents at an increasing rate, from 2,266 in 1996 to 5,990 in 2014. The number of university-spawned start-ups nearly doubled from around 400 in 2001 to nearly 760 in 2013. Compared to a decade ago, more patents also cite more science and engineering literature, but only a small fraction of the cited articles are authored by corporations.

Data from the Nature Index over the five year period between 2012 and 2016 also show which countries are the leading sources of corporate high-quality research, as well as the countries where businesses are contributing the most in terms of countries' overall output.

US corporations represent almost half (49.25%) of all global corporate research tracked by the Nature Index. Japan is second, with a 10.65% share, followed by the UK (6.07%), China (5.03%) and Germany (4.99%).

Switzerland, with its leading pharmaceutical companies, has the highest corporate share of total country output at 3.73%. Japan again is second at 3.34%, followed by South Korea at 3.18%. In the United States this figure is 2.76%, and the UK 1.83%.

The top performing corporate institutions for high-quality science for the five-year period from 2012 to 2016 are listed in the supplement's tables. IBM Corporation, the American technology giant, is first globally, followed by Swiss pharmaceutical companies F Hoffmann-La Roche AG (second) and Novartis International AG (third). South Korea's Samsung Group is fourth, followed by Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co., Inc. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), the highest entry from Japan, respectively. Two British pharmaceutical companies, GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) (eight) and AstraZenica plc (ninth), and Amgen Inc. from the US, complete the top ten.

The supplement also shows the most productive corporate-academic collaborations, ordered by their bilateral collaboration score between 2012 and 2016. Novartis' partnerships with the University of Basel and Harvard University are first and third respectively. The partnership between South Korea's Samsung and Sungkyunkwan University is second, and BGI in China and the University of Copenhagen is fourth.

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Netherland German universities may lose access to Elsevier journals with still no sign of a deal to allow continued access - 07 Dec 2017

About 200 universities in Germany will reportedly lose their subscriptions to Elsevier journals. According to Nature News reports, negotiations have failed to end a long-term contract dispute. Academics in the country lost access to Elsevier content briefly earlier this year, but it was later restored while contract talks resumed.

Advocates of open-access publishing worldwide say that victory for the German universities would be a major blow to conventional models of scientific publishing based on subscription fees. Germany's firm stand in the battle to reduce subscription prices and promote immediate open access could herald profound changes to the global landscape of scholarly publishing, they say.

Negotiators with 'Project DEAL', a consortium of university libraries and research institutes, have been in talks with Elsevier for more than two years. They want a deal that would give most scientists in Germany full online access to 2,500 or so Elsevier journals, at about half the price that individual libraries have paid in the past. Open access is proving to be the sticking point in the talks. Under the deal sought, all corresponding authors affiliated with German institutions would be allowed to make their papers free to read and share by anyone in the world at no extra cost.

In September, a Finnish university consortium that sought a nationwide contract with Elsevier reached a preliminary understanding with the company after lengthy negotiations and a temporary strike by peer reviewers. Details of the agreement are yet to be disclosed, but sources say that it will include both reduced journal prices and permission for some articles by Finnish authors to be made freely available at no charge.

Gerard Meijer, a Dutch physicist now at the Max Planck Society's Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, was involved in negotiating open-access deals with Elsevier in the Netherlands in 2015. One deal allows scientists at 14 Dutch universities to make 30% of papers in selected journals open access without extra costs.

According to Hannfried von Hindenburg, a spokesman for Elsevier, some 19% of research articles published in 2016 that included a German author were published in an Elsevier journal. Germany is also negotiating an open-access deal with Springer Nature, Nature's publisher. In order to buy more time, both sides agreed in October to a one-year extension of all existing contracts that are due to end December 31, 2017.

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US SAGE Publishing expands investment in CCC’s RightsLink for Open Access platform - 07 Dec 2017

Academic publisher SAGE Publishing has substantially expanded their investment in the RightsLink® for Open Access platform from Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), a global licensing and content solutions organisation.

RightsLink for Open Access is a metadata-driven e-commerce platform that helps publishers provide a best-in-class experience for their authors throughout the publication process by streamlining author fee transactions for open access charges, page charges, colour charges, and more, right within the workflow.

SAGE initially partnered with RightsLink in March 2015 to implement an efficient, flexible, and scalable solution for managing article publication charges (APCs), while addressing institutional requirements and complying with funder mandates.

Reflecting the growth and evolution of its open access publishing program, SAGE has now expanded their RightsLink participation to include 60 additional open access journals and is working towards adding their full portfolio of publications offering hybrid OA options.

SAGE is also the first early adopter of RightsLink's new OA Agreement Manager (forthcoming in February), which automates authors' OA funding requests using agreement-based business rules and enables publishers, institutions, and funders to manage and report on transactions. As a close partner, SAGE's feedback was instrumental to the development of this new functionality, which is designed to remove friction from paying, managing, and reporting on APCs by connecting stakeholders through automated, data-driven tools.

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US Allen Press upgrades scholarly services with Arbortext Publishing Engine Enterprise - 07 Dec 2017

Allen Press, Inc. has upgraded its scholarly journal typesetting platform to Arbortext Publishing Engine Enterprise. The Arbortext Publishing Engine is a cloud-based system that provides the ability to intelligently pull XML and unstructured data from content management systems profile content for targeted audiences and variable deliverable types and automatically generate publications.

In addition to the Arbortext Publishing Engine platform, Allen Press improved its workstation-class computers by installing the latest generation hardware and high-resolution video systems.

The Arbortext Publishing Engine utilises state-of-the-art composition technology and comes with a number of new features. These include the ability to embed PDFs into a typesetting file, drag and drop graphic linking, improved figure placement and advanced reporting which can analyze potential errors and provide Allen Press customers with a higher quality product. In addition, this upgrade will ensure Allen Press offers the most recent and reliable product available.

The Arbortext Publishing Engine is expected to launch in January 2018.

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UK EuroStemCell and Regenerative Medicine launch digital platform to promote public’s understanding of regenerative medicine in the society - 07 Dec 2017

EuroStemCell, in partnership with the Future Science Group MEDLINE-indexed journal Regenerative Medicine, have launched a digital platform which provides free-to-access summaries of hot-topic articles from leading international academics published in the journal's recent two-part Special Focus Issue entitled, 'Regenerative Medicine in Society: Interdisciplinary Perspectives'.

The fields of stem cell and regenerative medicine research offer great promise for the production of novel therapeutic techniques in order to enhance patient outcomes. Nevertheless, developments in regenerative medicine have sparked public controversy and there are still numerous social, ethical, regulatory, legal and economic issues that must be addressed. The Special Focus Issue provides an expansive collection of research and perspectives on these important topics.

The double issue was published in collaboration with the European Commission-funded EuroStemCell project through Guest Editors Jan Barfoot and Clare Blackburn (both MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK), as well as Achim Rosemann (University of Warwick, UK).

The recently launched digital platform accompanies the publication of the two-part Special Focus Issue and presents lay summaries of each article that are freely available to all, which provide key insights into a number of inter-disciplinary research projects from across the globe.

The ultimate aim of the digital gateway is to bridge the gap between researchers and individuals outside of academia. The concise and engaging summaries are targeted to a broader audience to allow maximum involvement.

The EuroStemCell digital gateway with all lay summaries can be accessed online at: https://www.eurostemcell.org/regenerative-medicine-society.

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