Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Spotlight on Kopernio - shortlisted for the 2018 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

On 13 September we will be announcing the winner of the 2018 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing, sponsored by MPS Limited, at the ALPSP Annual Conference.  In this series of posts leading up to the Awards ceremony we meet our six finalists and get to know a bit more about them.

logo kopernio

In this blog, we speak to Ben Kaube, co-founder and Managing Director of Kopernio




Tell us a bit about your company. 


Kopernio is the brainchild of Jan Reichelt and myself, the co-founders of Mendeley and Newsflo, respectively. The idea for Kopernio came to me whilst I was writing up my PhD. I was working at home and in cafes and was growing frustrated at having to repeatedly log into various platforms over and over again in order to access papers.

On one hand, I could easily play any song I wanted in Spotify, but found myself with 40 browser tabs open to access all the papers I needed. It occurred to me that this was a wider problem – in fact some 10 million researchers worldwide endeavor to access 2.5 billion journal articles each year. It was then that we started thinking about how much more convenient it would be if there was a tool to access papers with a single click, wherever you are.

Kopernio does just this. It alleviates the hassle researchers currently have “hunting” for journal-article PDFs across the web. Kopernio eliminates the frustrating clicking, link chasing, and waiting on redirects and re-authentication delays that researchers currently face, and allows academics to spend more time focusing on their research. 


What is the project or product you submitted for the awards? 


Kopernio gives researchers one-click, legal access to journal articles anywhere and anytime. Kopernio’s aim is to create the definitive publisher-neutral platform for accessing research for scientific researchers, publishers and institutions worldwide. Through Kopernio, publishers are able to deliver their content, both subscription and OA, direct to researchers wherever they happen to be. Our vision is to dramatically improve and facilitate access to scientific knowledge.


Tell us more about how it works and the team behind it. 


Despite the millions invested by libraries in content and discovery solutions, journal articles are often not conveniently available to researchers at the point of need. As such, researchers are often forced to follow circuitous and time-consuming routes to access journal articles, and often don’t end up with the publisher’s version of record. This problem is compounded by the fact that typical researchers use 20 or more different online platforms each month as part of their literature discovery and access workflows.

Not only do these barriers waste time and cause frustration, they are stifling the pace of scientific innovation. If 10 million researchers spend an hour per year (a very conservative estimate!) trying to navigate clunky paywalls and university login pages just to read a few articles, it equates to 10 million hours (or 416,667 days) per year of wasted time that could be better used in actually conducting research.

Rather than trying to funnel users into “yet another destination site,” Kopernio enhances established workflows and travels with the researcher as they search and discover journal articles across 20,000 online platforms including discovery platforms, repositories and even scholarly collaboration networks.


Kopernio co-founder and new Managing Director for Clarivate’s Web of Science, Jan Reichelt discusses how Kopernio helps solve a major pain-point for 10 million researchers globally.

Kopernio integrates with existing institutional authentication systems to surface subscription content at the point of need for the researcher. This is done in a consistent and convenient user experience across many different platforms, and both on- and off-campus.
In April 2018 Kopernio was acquired by Clarivate Analytics, a data and analytics company with a desire to collaborate and solve problems across the research ecosystem.


Why do you think it demonstrates publishing innovation? 


Kopernio automatically detects institutional subscriptions a user already possesses and facilitates one-click access to these, giving convenient access to the publisher’s version of record across 20,000 platforms.


Kopernio co-founder and new Managing Director for Clarivate’s Web of Science Jan Reichelt on Kopernio’s benefit for publishers.

This is useful for researchers, who benefit from having professionally typeset, citable articles which are sure to contain all corrections from peer review (which is important for reproducibility). Publishers see increased utilisation of content (both OA and subscription) and can identify and meet new demand for their content. Both libraries and publishers can better understand journal usage and how the content needs of researchers can best be served. 


What are your plans for the future? 

Kopernio complements Clarivate's existing digital product portfolio, which is used by millions of researchers. The scale, reach and unique data at the heart of Web of Science, combined with the Kopernio researcher-facing platform, will allow us to build novel tools which we hope will delight researchers and support them as they work on some of society’s most important problems.

The future will see the investment and scaling of Kopernio and the integration with other Clarivate products and services. This will enable us continue building tools which we hope will delight researchers, and develop the business by building out commercial offerings for publishers and academic institutions.


Ben Kaube is a co-founder and the Managing Director of Kopernio, acquired by Clarivate Analytics in 2018. He obtained his PhD in computational physics from Imperial College London in 2017 and previously founded research 


Website: https://kopernio.com
Twitter: @kopernio @clarivate 

The ALPSP Annual Conference and Awards 2018 will be held at the Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor, UK from 12-14 September. #alpsp18

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