Academic Publishing: Springer Nature Acquires Slimmer AI’s Science Division

In News by Porter Anderson

The Dutch Slimmer AI’s science division moves to Springer Nature in a partnership intended to support editors and research writers.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Burcu Demir

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

The Netherlands’ Slimmer’s Science Division
Those who were with us at Frankfurter Buchmesse  will want to know that Slimmer AI is not Shimmr.ai from Nadim Sadek, who was a featured speaker in one of our Publishing Perspectives Forum sessions.

The Battle of the AI Vendors is fully engaged now, and one bit of news from the front lines released on Wednesday (October 25) by Springer Nature is that it has acquired the science division of the Netherlands’ Slimmer AI, signing an agreement in which that part of the Dutch company will join Springer Nature.

They are not strangers to each other. Springer Nature and Slimmer have worked together since 2015, we’re told.

Using Slimmer AI’s software, the partnership has created AI tools to speed up and improve the publishing process, reportedly by:

  • Identifying appropriate editors to guide a manuscript through the submission process
  • Increasing reviewer acceptance rates by recommending people to peer-review a manuscript
  • Looking for signs of plagiarism and other issues that might compromise the scientific record

Matthias Wissel

In a prepared statement, Matthias Wissel, Springer Nature’s chief information officer, is quoted, saying, “With a third of our colleagues already working in technology roles, technology is central to our ability to serve our communities and has played a vital role in the success of Springer Nature.

“It has helped us make our content more accessible, more open, and visible, easier to find, use and cite and deliver on our mission to publish high-quality trusted research quickly to help society find solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.

“After years of successful collaboration, I’m excited to see how we can scale and accelerate the further improvements we believe AI can help us deliver throughout the research process for our authors and customers.”

Heather Devereaux

And Heather Devereaux, managing director of Slimmer AI Science, says, “It has been an honor to co-build transformative AI products together with Springer Nature over the past few years, and we’ve shared many successes and learnings.

 “The synergies between our cultures and values, such as the responsible and ethical use of technology, a commitment to continuous improvement, and putting user need at the heart of product development, make this integration a natural fit and the perfect continuation of our journey.”

This latest acquisition,  Springer Nature’s media messaging says, follows that of protocols.io, a platform for developing and sharing reproducible methods, and the launch of Curie, Springer Nature’s scientific writing assistant, which the company describes as “AI-powered.”


More from Publishing Perspectives on open artificial intelligence is here, more on scholarly and academic publishing is here, and more on Springer Nature is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.