Springer Nature works with tech industry to find innovative solutions for researchers

Springer Nature seeks to advance discovery by not working in isolation but by seeking out best in class partnerships.

It has therefore partnered with leading global technology forum The Next Web (TNW) Conference to explore how technology can help improve the sharing, discoverability and use of research data.

With more than half the world’s research data still not openly available, and open data and good data management important to making research more productive, this is a pressing issue the academic community needs resolving.

Springer Nature’s latest Launchpad Meetup, held today at TNW Conference in Amsterdam, saw tech talent from across Europe present ideas on how researchers can be helped to extract more value from their experimental research data, through faster, easier routes of discovery and visualisation, organisation or sharing of data. Hearing these pitches were senior company executives, including Springer Nature CEO Daniel Ropers.

Startups whose pitches are successful at today’s event will have the opportunity to collaborate with Springer Nature on pilot projects and the co-creation of new products. Springer Nature is currently working on pilots with startups that took part in the 2017 Launchpad Meetups.

Grace Baynes, VP Data and New Product Development for Open Research at Springer Nature, said: “More than half of the world’s research data are still not openly available or Findable, Accessible, Interoperable or Reusable (FAIR). We know that open data and good data management make research more productive, enabling researchers to focus on gaining insights, with the potential to make further discoveries from existing datasets. By helping researchers get more from research data, we can unlock innovation for the good of society and the economy, advancing discovery.”

Martijn Roelandse, Head of Publishing Innovation at Springer Nature, said: “Typically, data is still shared as supplementary information in a journal article or via peer-to-peer, which prevent it from being openly available or discoverable. We have to make it easier for data to be usefully open to all. Sharing data in a meaningful, usable way requires more complex tools.

“Across everything that we do as a global publisher, collaboration with the best start-up talent can bring new thinking and innovations that can ultimately benefit researchers. The interest we’ve had in the challenges we’ve run so far has been hugely encouraging, and we hope to continue to work with The Next Web on more activities like this in future”, Mr Roelandse added.

Springer Nature has a track record of working with the tech sector to find solutions to problems facing the research community. Activity includes:

  • Two previous Launchpad Meetups: In May 2017 focused on improving matchmaking between Springer Nature content and researchers, students and professionals; and in September 2017 on creating better tools and innovations to assist authors and editors throughout the publishing process.
  • The Springer Nature Hack Day Series, which facilitates collaboration between developers and researchers to build new tools and services that can advance the discovery of research data. Hack Days have taken place in June 2017, November 2017 and April 2018.
  • Springer Nature SciGraph, the Linked Open Data platform which aggregates data sources from Springer Nature and key partners from the across the research landscape, including from funders, research projects, conferences, affiliations and publications.
  • A one-year pilot with PaperHive which offers students collaborative reading using in-document discussions and rich-media annotations on selected books and textbooks.
  • A standardised set research data policies that can be easily adopted by journals and books.

In addition, community and general repositories are recommended as standard to researchers, rather than data being kept in a proprietary publisher ecosystem. Springer Nature’s list of more than 80 recommended repositories is publicly available under a CCBY license and regularly updated.