Society & Partner Zone Issue 16, Regional Highlights

A Closer Look at Springer’s Activities in Latin America

In November 2010, Springer opened an office in Sao Paulo in response to the growing research output from Brazil (in particular) and the rest of South America.

The team provides publishing partners with editorial, licensing and marketing services and includes Harry Blom, Editorial Director Astronomy and Brazilian Market Development; Marcio Gama, local Licensing Manager; Bruno Santos, local Licensing Manger; Heloisa Tiberio, Account Specialist; Leon Bolivar, Marketing Manager, Latin America; Maria Lopes, Vice-President of Sales and Mariana Biojone, Senior Business Development Editor.

We spoke with Mariana Biojone to find out more about their work with Latin American societies and publishing partners.

Which partners are Springer currently publishing with?

Our initial focus has been on establishing relationships with Brazilian societies as Brazil (at present) has the most resources for research.
Our first collaboration began in the 1990s with the publication of the Bulletin of the Brazilian Mathematical Society. In 2009, we started publishing via BioMedCentral (BMC) the journal Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome for the Brazilian Diabetes Society, and in 2010 we began publishing two journals for the Brazilian Computer Society: Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society and the Journal of Internet Services and Applications (JISA). We are also just about to launch the society’s very first open access journal!

In 2011 we announced our partnership with the Brazilian Physical Society to publish the Brazilian Journal of Physics and in 2012, we are particularly pleased to welcome on board the Entomological Society of Brazil. Brazilian entomology is renowned for the high quality of its research and the society’s journal Neotropical Entomology is the best-ranked entomological journal in Latin America! In addition to Neotropical Entomology, we will also be publishing the society’s new book series, Entomology in Focus.

What can societies expect from the Springer Latin American team?

There are few large scale commercial publishers in Latin America so a high proportion of journals are published locally by individual societies or organisations. This means that a small group of people take on all aspects of the publishing process, from attracting submissions to peer-review and production.

Partnering with Springer allows societies to hand over this (often) time-consuming work and to take advantage of our professional set up and processes, particularly for peer review. This in turn leads to higher quality articles, attracting higher quality submissions and ultimately higher Impact Factors.

Visibility, of course, is key for societies in Latin America and since the launch of SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online), there has been a big focus on open access. Brazilian scientists are used to free access because most of their journals are managed by local societies and receive government funding to post articles on a public repository. However, societies have found that this does not (always) help extend their international reach, so they look at both subscription and open access models to address this.

Springer’s links with consortia and global institutions / organisations not only provide greater visibility and opportunities to disseminate research, but also help to generate revenue for the society which can be used to support journal development and innovation. Additionally, Springer offers marketing support to help society’s promote their journals which is something that many struggle to do alone.

Are there any particular “hot” topics of research that you are focussing on?

All new areas of research are key in Latin America right now, such as ecology and biofuels. For journal publishing in particular, we follow research trends by talking with funding agencies to understand where funding is going which helps us identify where good research is being produced. We follow new journal launches (which are typically published by societies and research institutions) and track journals on ISI to identify potential new partners to publish with. We also collaborate with our editors and research colleagues to see if there are opportunities to start new journals in areas where there may be a lack of titles, for example in nano technology.

What’s next for the Latin American team?

We continue to welcome collaboration with learned societies, research institutions and organizations from across Latin America and look forward to forging new, successful partnerships. We are in discussions with 14 other societies and university presses across Brazil and we are exploring new collaborations with societies across Latin America and the Caribbean. These will be our focus for the rest of 2012 and into 2013 and we hope to make announcements during the latter part of the year.

Contact Mariana Biojone