2015 - All Press Releases

Building expert communities: Nature Publishing Group and Zapnito partner

London | 30 July 2015

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and Zapnito today announced a collaborative partnership to build online expert communities for global research. NPG will use Zapnito's platform and expertise to create communities for journals, training, events and conferences. They will bring together interdisciplinary groups of experts to tackle complex problems, as well as supporting scientists in their work and career development.

The partnership kicks off with an expert community aligned to open access journal npj Biofilms and Microbiomes (npjbiofilmscommunity.nature.com), published in partnership with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE). Joe Bennett, Publisher for npj Biofilms and Microbiomes said of the new community: "As science moves forward, cross-disciplinary discussions become crucial. We see the npj Biofilms and Microbiomes Community as an important enabler of such discussions, allowing researchers to interact in new, productive ways as we seek to understand more about the mechanisms governing the social behaviour of microbial biofilm populations, and their impact on life, human health, and the environment."

Further expert communities are planned to connect NPG's audience of over 10 million researchers, educators and policy-makers, as well as the ever-curious public.

"We know great ideas, and great progress, come when you get great minds together in a room," said Steven Inchcoombe, CEO of Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan. "Our communities will provide online 'rooms of experts'. We're not trying to create broad social networks - there are plenty of those - this is about bringing focused communities together without all the noise. We want to foster and continue the conversations that are already happening, and provide development and collaboration opportunities for researchers around the globe."

Inchcoombe describes NPG's partnership with Zapnito as an "experimental collaboration, through which we continue to learn what our expert communities need and value, and evolve how we deliver that. This is another step in our move from a content-centred approach to research communication, to one that puts the researcher at the very centre of our approach and our services."

Founded in early 2013, Zapnito enables organisations to create focussed knowledge communities. "We are very excited about this partnership with NPG. Bringing to life important knowledge communities in science and the humanities is in line with the company’s innovative philosophy. As a pioneer, NPG recognises the need to reclaim and build expert communities in a new era of knowledge sharing. This will enable NPG’s audiences to learn from their experts in a more powerful and efficient way," said Charles Thiede, Co-Founder and CEO of Zapnito.

"We're no strangers to 'online communities' at NPG, having experimented with Nature Network and other services in the early days of social media. More recently we have worked with Frontiers to enable our authors to easily join Loop, which we continue to support," continued Inchcoombe.

"We learnt from Nature Network and other early experiments that the best way to build these exciting new services is to work with a best-in-class partner. Zapnito ticks all the boxes for us: we bring the experts, they bring the fit-for-purpose digital 'room' in which those experts can collaborate and learn from each other. Charles worked with us at Nature Publishing Group, so I knew from the outset Zapnito understood our approach, as well as the real-world communities it is our privilege to talk to and work with every day at NPG."

About Zapnito

Zapnito started as an idea based on the observation that there are an abundance of experts hidden away behind corporate and organisational barriers. These experts have a huge volume of knowledge that is not as easily sharable or discoverable as it should be.

Zapnito allows organisations that have experts at the heart of their business models to bring these experts together quickly and effectively, to share knowledge and solve problems, and to inspire new products and services. There is no other platform that enables them to reclaim their customers, mine collective intelligence and drive brand awareness in the same way.

With in-built video and content creation capabilities, community features and collaboration tools, Zapnito saves customers both development time and money, and enables them to generate new revenue streams through online courses, subscriptions and sponsorship, with the emphasis on their brand and their experts at all times.


About Nature Publishing Group (NPG)

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a publisher of high impact scientific information in print and online. NPG publishes journals, online databases and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences.

Focusing on the needs of scientists, Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading weekly, international scientific journal. NPG publishes a range of Nature research journals and Nature Reviews journals, and a range of prestigious academic and partner journals including society-owned publications. Online, nature.com provides over 8 million visitors per month with access to NPG publications and services, including news and comment from Nature, and the leading scientific jobs board Naturejobs.

Scientific American is at the heart of NPG's consumer media division, meeting the needs of the general public. Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media. Together with scientificamerican.com and 14 local language editions around the world it reaches over 5 million consumers and scientists. Other titles include Scientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany.

Throughout all its businesses NPG is dedicated to serving the scientific community and the wider scientifically interested general public. Part of Macmillan Science and Education (newly part of joint venture Springer Nature), NPG is a global company with principal offices in London, New York and Tokyo, and offices in cities worldwide including Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Cairo, Dubai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Melbourne, Osaka, Seoul, Barcelona, Madrid, Basingstoke, Heidelberg, Munich and Paris. For more information, please go to www.nature.com.


Grace Baynes
Head of Communications
Nature Publishing Group/Palgrave Macmillan
T: +44 (0)20 7014 4063