At Frankfurt, Vitek Tracz Predicts Next Moves for Open Access

Vitez TraczA “Picasso” says Richard Smith, and a “seer of science publishing,” declares Science. “One of the most important publishers of the last decade,” according to Michael Eisen, Public Library of Science (PLOS) co-founder. A serial entrepreneur, an art collector, a mathematician and a filmmaker.

Vitez Tracz is all these things, and much, much more. Earlier today, he spoke at CCC’s annual Town Hall gathering at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Reflecting on more than three decades as an innovative scientific publisher, Tracz told CCC’s Chris Kenneally that publishers should prepare for “cataclysmic change” where it comes to Open Access business models.

Born in Poland in 1940 and educated in Warsaw, Tracz emigrated with his family to Israel when he was 21, before continuing on his life’s remarkable journey to London, where he attended film school at the London Polytechnic and the Slade School of Art, and later, studied art history.

Today, Vitek Tracz is chairman of the Science Navigation Group. In 1998, he founded BioMed Central, which Springer acquired in 2008. As an independent house that published its first article in 2000, BMC grew spectacularly to become the largest open access provider in the world with over 180 peer-reviewed journals in the biological and medical sciences.

Over more than 35 years, Vitek Tracz has developed a number of innovative publishing projects: the Current Opinion series of journals in many areas of biology and clinical medicine that Elsevier acquired in 1997; as well as web-based projects including BioMedNet and the Investigational Drugs Database IDdb. His latest project is Faculty of 1000, an open science publishing platform for life scientists that offers immediate publication and transparent peer review, avoiding editorial bias and ensuring the inclusion of all source data. Since its launch in January 2013, F1000Research has published around 1,500 articles across the life sciences, written by 6,000 authors.

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