Macmillan Publishers launch Digital Science

‘New kind of scientific information enterprise' will provide tools for scientists

Macmillan Publishers has announced the launch of Digital Science, which it describes as "a new kind of scientific information enterprise". The new division will focus on providing software tools and services to scientists, managers, and funders with the aim of using technology to make research more productive.

Digital Science will build on the editorial and technological capabilities of its sister company, Nature Publishing Group (NPG), but will focus on technology-based solutions for research rather than scientific content.  

The Digital Science team is lead by Timo Hannay, former publishing director of

According to Hannay, "Research is becoming more and more digitally enabled and hence more productive, but the gap between the potential opportunity and the current state of the art is still wide. For example, we still have better tools for managing our personal music and photo collections than we have for managing, tracking and mining professional scientific information. " 

The new business combines in-house product design and software development capabilities with external expertise from a range of partners, including academic research groups, start-up businesses and established companies.

Commercial partners include text-mining company SureChem, web-based laboratory management system provider BioData and Symplectic, provider of administrative tools which save time for researchers - for example, by automatically tracking published contributions of academics. 

Macmillan say that they are keen to incorporate future technological offerings from Digital Science into nature,com which has more than 6 million regular scientific users.