Open Access Advocate Jan Velterop Exits Springer to Join KnewCo

Springer has announced that Jan Velterop, Director of Open Access at that publisher, will leave Springer to become the CEO of KnewCo Inc. Knewco's mission is to: "deploy its advanced semantic technology to accelerate key elements of the scientific process, and specifically semantic enrichment of web-published content, to support on-line knowledge discovery."

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Springer launched its Springer Open Choice service in July 2004 as a pioneering project which provides an additional publication option to the traditional subscription model. Authors can choose to make their articles freely available worldwide on the Internet, for a fee of 3,000 US dollars. Open Choice is Springer's response to the sometimes energetic debate on the open access publishing model.

Velterop is one of the most prominent figures of the open access community. He joined Springer in August 2005 from BioMedCentral, an established open access biomedical research publisher, where he was Publishing Director. . . .

"When I joined Springer to promote Open Choice, I did so knowing that it would not be enough to simply promote this service to authors in the scientific community. I realized that a large part of my role would be to convince publishers that open access was not a threat to established publishing companies, but rather an opportunity. I am happy to say that the reaction from authors and institutions was positive and that my colleagues have come to accept that Open Choice can be a valid alternative to the subscription model, especially in some disciplines," said Velterop. . . .

Springer will continue to develop Open Choice and remains committed to growing the share of articles published using open access. Wim van der Stelt, Executive Vice President of Business Development will be responsible for Springer Open Choice going forward.