BioOne 20 Year Anniversary

BioOne Celebrates 20 YearsFull Score and Counting

In 1999, there was “BioX,” a not-for-profit concept with big aspirations: to provide a cost-effective path for a bioscience publisher to create a digital online presence in a financially sustainable way. A short 20—one score— years later, BioOne has weathered the tech bust of 2000, recession of 2008, and the endless parade of technological, social, and economic changes that are transforming the scholarly enterprise.

Now a proven concept, BioOne has a bright future. We continue to demonstrate that there is a need for a not-for-profit model that benefits societies, independent publishers, researchers, and libraries, and not one at the expense of the other.

We celebrate the creative energy, persistence, and support invested by the entire scientific community in the success of BioOne. Since BioOne launched its first collection of two score (40) journals in 2001, the organization has:

  • Returned over $45 million in royalties to its publishers
  • Grown to include 209 titles
  • Kept the annual cost to libraries at 90% less than the commercial average in biology
  • Reached more than 4,000 libraries and their patrons worldwide
  • Provided 26 titles open access through a sustainable fee-for-service program

From the beginning, BioOne has provided solid technology and service for publishers, researchers, and libraries, demonstrating our flexibility in response to the changing landscape. This year, BioOne celebrates its milestone by launching a new platform in true partnership with SPIE, a fellow nonprofit organization that shares our ethos for serving the scientific community.

Through 20 years of cultivation and careful husbandry, BioOne proudly serves a comprehensive collection of highly respected bioscience research that is increasingly relevant to the issues of climate change felt around the world. The organization is in an excellent position to evolve as its own environment changes, for we predict that there will be a need for a strong scholarly-aligned community three score years hence.

We cordially invite you to join the celebration by sharing your thoughts below about your own experience with BioOne. These will likewise become part of our collective history.

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Discussion about “BioOne 20 Year Anniversary”
  • Susi Skomal says:

    Proud to be part of the BioOne team, working to deliver on mission to publishers, libraries, and the research ecosystem.

  • Susan Skomal says:

    BioOne’s progenitors created a momentum that will propel us forward for yet another 20 years. I’m proud to be part of the BioOne team, working to set greater goals for the benefit of publishers, libraries, and the research ecosystem.

  • Todd Carpenter says:

    As employee #2, it has been so gratifying to see how the model has succeeded and continues to provide a vehicle for independent society publishers. BioOne has been both innovative and sustainable, cost-effective and far-reaching. The partnership had a long and lasting impact on the scholarly communications landscape. I often reflect appreciatively the many connections, the many colleagues, and the many experiences that have positively shaped my career resulting of my time at BioOne. Congratulations to Susi, Heather, all the current and former staff, and the many Board members who have contributed to this milestone!

  • Joseph Travis says:

    BioOne represents the triumph of an idea founded on, well, idealism. When the idea was developed, the world of scholarly publishing was entering what would become a dizzying period of change. It wasn’t clear then what that world would eventually look like. BioOne, in fact, helped define that world and determine what it would look like. That world is still changing and BioOne, thanks to its fabulous team, continues to help define how that world changes and make sure that it changes for the better for publishers, libraries, scientific societies, and scientists. What a great story this is!

  • James F. Williams II says:

    Happy 20th anniversary to BioOne and an equally significant celebration to GWLA and its landmark decision to launch the proof-of-concept non-profit BioOne publishing project in the biosciences. It is so exciting to see BioOne not only thriving but also pointing the way forward as an example of collaborative publishing based on resource-sharing, risk-taking, mutual investment, and innovative strategic planning. Onward!!

  • Adrian Alexander says:

    As the first Executive Director of GWLA, I had the honor and privilege of being part of that very first conversation in Lawrence, Kansas, between academic librarians and scholarly publishers who both wanted to create a cost-effective, sustainable model for electronic publishing. With a lot of hard work, determination, collaboration and patience, we succeed beyond my wildest dreams. Happy 20th, BioOne!

  • Richard K. Johnson, Founding Executive Director, SPARC says:

    When Allen Press first approached SPARC (which itself had only recently launched) with the idea of helping small biology societies make the leap to electronic publishing, it seemed clear they had identified a pressing need. Moreover, they had an existing production capacity and the means to begin a conversation with many societies. But what was lacking at that early stage were means to fund start-up of a dedicated e-publishing venture, to ensure its sustainability, and to guarantee that over the long term the effort stayed true to the values of the scientific and academic communities.

    Through intensive and ongoing effort, SPARC and the other founding organizations developed and implemented a plan that — with strong financial support from libraries — led to BioOne’s successful launch. What is most remarkable though is not so much that BioOne has proved to be sustainable, but that it has always stayed true to its founding mission of serving science and libraries. Congratulations to the staff of BioOne on a job well done. Keep up the good work.

  • Town Peterson says:

    This is a time in which high-cost commercial publishers own a too-large portion of the journals in which scholarly communications are published, and have been siphoning off major resources from the academic world. As the academic community begins to rebel against this high-cost system, the question arises repeatedly as to what business models can possibly facilitate scholarly communications without financial losses. BioOne has provided a strong, clear model for scholarly communications, in a lower-cost, high-visibility, professional publishing context … Bravo BioOne!

  • Donna Loews says:

    I have been proud to represent an organization that has stayed true to its mission of balancing the needs of both non-profit publishers, as well as, the library and ultimately researcher communities. With an innovative idea to help smaller non-profits enter the electronic publishing landscape to launching campus-based publishing initiative, Elementa, BioOne has always been at the ideological forefront of scholarly publishing and I look forward to their next pioneering endeavor. Kudos to the BioOne team, past, present, and future!

  • Kent Holsinger says:

    I’ve been proud to be part of BioOne almost since it started. I can still remember the call I got from Al Covich inviting me to succeed him as Chair. The early days were very tenuous. It wasn’t at all clear that we’d survive. The investments by our original partners and the willingness of libraries to buy a product they believed in that didn’t exist was inspiring. From a time where it wasn’t clear that we could get into the black to a time where we now return significant revenue to our publishers, it’s been an exciting ride. I am delighted that through it all we have remained true to our purpose – providing sustainable on-line access to high-quality publications in organismal and environmental life sciences at an affordable cost to libraries.

  • Art Reilly, BioOne Board Member says:

    As a relative new member of the BioOne team, I have benefited from the already existing, outstanding staff, Board and culture of BioOne. I have been impressed that while continuing to delivering a very high-quality product to serve the community, BioOne has recognized the need to take risks, and pioneer new economic models and services.

    The opportunity to contribute to the BioOne effort attracted me after my tenure on the National Science Board (NSB) ended. I had served on an NSB Task Force that developed a Data Policy that was developed to serve as a model for US government agencies.
    One of the Task Force recommendations was that collaborative efforts be established within each scientific discipline to develop sustainable economic models to meet the unique needs of their community.

    Having been established 20 years ago well before the NSB Task Force, BioOne had long been an exemplary partnership, and a leader in economically serving researchers, scientific societies and the libraries. During my term on the BioOne Board, I have been proud to contribute to plowing new ground by continuing to explore new media, features and services effectively utilizing expanding technologies that can better address the needs of the dynamic scientific enterprise while still attending to those of individual researcher and reader.

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