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Mixed Reception to Latest Elsevier Acquisition

August 7, 2018

The publishing giant Elsevier has announced plans to acquire Aries Systems, a company that offers publishing workflow tools for scholarly journals to manage manuscript submissions, peer review and production.

Writing for "The Scholarly Kitchen," a blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Kent Anderson, CEO of publishing and data analytics company RedLink, described a “varied” reaction to the news, with some observers decrying a lack of "independent" options for manuscript management.

Aries Systems’ Editorial Manager platform is widely used by scholarly journal publishers, including competitors of Elsevier such as Springer Nature and PLOS.

Angela Cochran, associate publisher and journals director at the American Society of Civil Engineers, also wrote for "The Scholarly Kitchen" about the acquisition. Cochran said she had confidence that Aries understood the importance of safeguarding her society's editorial data, but she noted there is “significant concern that we can be priced out of services or see a measurable loss of service.”

In a news release, Elsevier stated it is “committed to providing the same strong and consistent service for both publishers and researchers as Aries provides today.”

Aries Systems is the latest in a series of scholarly workflow companies to be acquired by Elsevier in the last five years, including Mendeley, the Social Science Research Network and Bepress.

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Lindsay McKenzie

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