Wiley has moved further into Open Access (OA) with the $298m (£219m) acquisition of London-based scientific research publisher Hindawi.
The firm said the deal “significantly increases Wiley’s position as a global leader in research by adding quality, scale and growth to the company’s open access publishing programme”.
Hindawi, privately held and with headquarters in London, has a portfolio of more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific, technical and medical journals plus a “highly efficient” publishing platform. For the fiscal year ending 31st December 2020, it is projected to have generated around $40m in revenue with year-on-year growth of 50%.
Wiley said the acquisition would unlock new growth by tapping deeper into the OA market and delivering innovative publishing services to researchers, societies and institutions, while also helping the company's growth in China.
Brian Napack, president and c.e.o. of Wiley, said: “The acquisition of Hindawi enables Wiley to move farther and faster toward our goal of meeting the world’s urgent and escalating need for new knowledge. Hindawi is a true pioneer in the industry, empowering researchers with a fully digital, user-friendly publishing process that gets their life-changing, peer-reviewed discoveries out into the world faster and more efficiently.”
The deal will also double Wiley's gold OA journal portfolio — a model where validated articles are made immediately available for reading and re-use following the payment of a publication fee.
Wiley and Hindawi had already collaborated for several years in an OA publishing partnership. Under that arrangement, Wiley titles previously published as subscription journals have been converted to fully Open Access gold level versions.
Hindawi c.e.o Paul Peters, who will continue to lead Hindawi as part of Wiley’s Research business, said: “Similar to Wiley, we are driven by a mission to advance openness in research, working with researchers, publishers, institutions, and organisations to build a vibrant ecosystem that helps this global community thrive. With Wiley’s commitment to Hindawi and Open Access, we are excited to accelerate scientific discovery, collaboration, and innovation to maximise the impact of research for future generations.”
However, Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, told Times Higher Education she was concerned, claiming previous deals of this kind had not led to lower costs for universities and researchers.
She said: “This kind of consolidation just further cements commercial control of scientific communication.”