HighWire Press acquires Semantico

Richard Padley, Chairman, Semantico (left) and Dan Filby, CEO, HighWireRichard Padley, Chairman, Semantico (left) and Dan Filby, CEO, HighWire

HighWire Press, leading publishing technology provider and partner of choice, announces another milestone investment

Scholarly publishing company HighWire Press today announced its acquisition of Semantico, a privately held provider of technology and services for the scholarly publishing market. This acquisition will bring HighWire an increased capacity for technological innovation; a strong team that further expands its already broad publishing expertise; and a powerful combination of best-of-breed products that leverage industry best practices.

“Innovation and customer-centricity are at the core of HighWire. The addition of the Semantico solution set and team enhances our ability to deliver an unparalleled mix of functionality in our product suite, serving publishers across the spectrum of the industry,” said Dan Filby, HighWire CEO. “I am very enthusiastic to announce this acquisition which is in direct alignment with both our long-term growth and value creation strategies.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to have our team join HighWire,” added Richard Padley, Semantico Chairman and founder. “The increased scale and capability of the combined organisations will deliver significant value to current and future publishers.”

HighWire’s innovative solutions:

  • JCore – Industry leading best of breed open platform for journals with the highest performance trends in the industry.
  • Folio – Dynamic eBooks platform created specifically for scholarly research.
  • Scolaris – Integrated publishing solution optimised for diverse and specialised content.
  • SAMS Sigma – Cloud-based, industry leading, identity management solution that integrates with access management.
  • BenchPress – The preferred manuscript submission and peer review tracking system for publishers who demand workflow systems that match how they work.
  • Impact and Usage Vizors – Patent pending, analytical visualisation tools that deliver unrivalled insight and support for evidence-based publishing decisions.

Adding to HighWire’s recently opened office in Belfast, the new UK location and team in Brighton will further strengthen the service for HighWire’s global customers and bring additional operational support for HighWire’s growing North America, UK, and EMEA market.

“We view this acquisition as a strategic next step continuing to propel HighWire as the premier solution provider in the digital publishing space,” said Park Durrett, Principal at Accel-KKR.

Added Mike Keller, Vice Provost, Academic Counsel, Stanford University Libraries and HighWire Board member, “HighWire continues to provide enhanced value to their customers and with this acquisition are poised to further their efforts as the premier publishing technology provider in the industry.”

– ENDS –

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About HighWire Press

HighWire Press, Inc. delivers technology solutions to leading publishers that disseminate scholarly research worldwide. With offices in the US and the UK, HighWire provides strategic consulting, professional services and innovative open platform technologies. Product offerings include digital content development and hosting services; BenchPress, a peer-review manuscript submission system; and Vizors, a suite of visual analytics tools for publishing insights.

About Semantico

Semantico was formed in 1999 to develop online publishing solutions for the publishing industry. Its mission is to be the partner of choice in helping clients realise the full potential of internet technologies for delivering digital information services. Semantico works to make clients’ information ever more discoverable, more useful and more valuable.

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Semantico partner with TrendMD content discoverability engine

Semantico have announced a partnership to provide the native integration of TrendMD within their Scolaris digital publishing solution. The partnership will deliver to publishers an enhanced research experience for their end-users and increased content discoverability, but above all, the potential for increased usage.

The market-leading content discoverability tool for scholarly publishing, TrendMD offers targeted recommendations for further reading. Suggestions based on reader interactions across the entire publishing network, as well as collaborative filtering similar to Amazon’s “People also bought”, drive the recommendation engine.

The multiple award-winning Scolaris digital publishing solution delivers an integrated content experience. Developed to handle large, unique and diverse content sets with equal ease, Scolaris will now include TrendMD and other next-generation publishing tools, such as PaperHive, as standard with the option to opt-out.

Adding TrendMD to the Scolaris publishing solution platform will provide will provide immediate and lasting benefit to publishers. Other publishing platforms have experienced a greater than 4% lift in traffic in a single month after TrendMD’s installation. Furthermore, sponsored content on BMJ received a 28% lift in traffic during a test conducted in July 2015.

Semantico Co-founder and Chairman, Richard Padley, said: “Digital publishing offers unparalleled opportunities to learn from other sectors to advance scholarly communication. That is why we have developed Scolaris as a flexible, modular solution with a rolling programme of regular enhancements. Integrating tools such as TrendMD within the platform ensures researchers are receiving the best possible experience, while publishers are rewarded with increased usage.”

TrendMD co-founder and CEO, Paul Kudlow, said: “Our partnership with Semantico brings valuable content to the TrendMD network, improving the reader experience for everyone who engages with our widget. The addition of new content not only increases the variety of recommendations, but also increases the quality of recommendations we can provide.”

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2016 SAMS Sigma major updates summary

SAMS Sigma upgradesWe are delighted to announce the major upgrade summary for 2016 to our market-leading Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution, SAMS Sigma. Released as part of an ongoing programme of scheduled updates, the enhancements are included as part of the license fee.

Tasha Mellins-Cohen, Director of Product Development, Semantico said: “Flexible licensing through modern identity and access management solutions empower publishers to experiment with new sales models and develop new revenue streams.

“Giving publishers increased control over their own businesses is a key driver in our development of SAMS Sigma.”

Richard Padley, Chairman and Co-founder of Semantico, said: “We have made a strategic commitment to provide a market-leading IAM service for our customers.
“I am very happy to say that we are delivering on this promise.”

Major updates in the last 12 months

Content bundles

To further enable the flexible packaging and reuse of content, publishers now have the ability to create and maintain content bundles outside of licenses. These reusable packages of content can be used when creating new licenses, license templates, or vouchers, and allow publishers to add new content to licenses mid-term – for example, when launching a new book.

License level concurrency limits

To give publishers full control over the number of concurrent users allowable under the terms of a license, SAMS Sigma provides a mechanism to enforce a concurrency limit. A new concurrency limit API has been developed to allow concurrency limits to be tracked and enforced. This enables publishers to sell licenses with greater granularity and avoid abuse.

Publisher API

The new Publisher API is designed give publishers automated access and control of their data in SAMS Sigma. This will enable publishers to seamlessly integrate SAMS Sigma with their existing business processes.

License annotations

To empower publishers to manage their licenses in line with their internal systems, license annotations add the flexibility to add additional metadata to licenses. These can be used for a wide variety of purposes, ranging from marking-up the name of an account manager responsible for the license, to adding an ID to facilitate integration with a CRM.

License gracing

To give publishers greater control over the customer service they provide, a grace period can now be specified when new licenses are created. This new gracing tool is highly flexible, allowing the global default to be overruled at at the level of each individual license and giving publishers opportunity to adapt their gracing rules for different customers.

Organization userpass access

To meet demand for institutional-level access and identity management, a new organization identifier has been added. This allows publishers to set up a username and password that can be used to allow organization-wide access to licensed content.

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Scolaris now fully integrated with PaperHive

PaperHive integration

We are delighted to announce our Scolaris digital publishing solution is now fully integrated with market-leading scholarly publishing tool, PaperHive. This integration will help publishers using Scolaris to develop new revenue streams through increased usage, while giving end-users enhanced usability and an enriched experience.

Publishers with sites on the Scolaris platform can opt to switch on the integrations at any point. PaperHive supports and develops scholarly communication networks by enabling open and private annotations and discussions to be added to research papers.

Semantico’s Chairman and Co-founder, Richard Padley, said: “It’s exciting to see next-generation tools such as PaperHive integrated into the Scolaris user experience.

“Scholarly communication is evolving and supporting collaborative working is essential.”

The first of a program of strategic partnerships, PaperHive is one of the most exciting scholarly publication tools available. The strategic focus of the Scolaris digital publishing platform is to give publishers commercial flexibility and end-users a great experience, and integration of best-of-breed tools within the platform’s modular structure supports both aims.

Tasha Mellins-Cohen, Semantico’s Director of Product Development said: “This tool promises exciting new opportunities for the publishers using Scolaris.

“PaperHive is particularly interesting to me, as it helps us meet the commitments we made earlier in the year as part of the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition.”

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DataVis Material Properties for McGraw-Hill Education launched

DataVis™ Material Properties for McGraw-Hill Education has now been launched.DataVis Material Properties


DataVis™ is a powerful data visualization tool commissioned by McGraw-Hill Education and developed by Semantico that transforms the way students learn about material properties. Integrated into the Access Engineering reference library, also developed by Semantico, the DataVis tool creates dynamic visualisations of subsets of property data from a curated database of 200 materials and 65 properties ­­– including cost. The precision, source and other details for each material property value is available for the user to inspect. This manages the complexity of material properties data. By saving multiple visualisations, students and educators can tell stories with the information, such as their reasons for selecting a certain material, or the common characteristics of a group of materials.

  • The first web-based learning tool of its kind
  • Dynamic data visualization
  • For undergraduate and graduate students, and educators
  • Accessibility and easy discoverability essential to the success of the product


The DataVis™ tool was designed in collaboration with the cross-department development team at McGraw-Hill Education and their editorial board of distinguished academic professionals. To ensure the tool fulfilled its intended purpose of supporting simple information discovery within an extensive dataset, Semantico and the McGraw-Hill Education team undertook a programme of intensive UX workshops to define the product requirements from a user-centric perspective.

The accurate representation of precision data was a critical element of the tools success. To this end, extensive discovery work was undertaken to ensure that significant digits and scientific notation were represented correctly. Overall, the discovery phase included in-depth technical requirements, UX and design development, as well as usability testing with students and SMEs. The implementation followed an agile methodology, with iterative development and each element integrated into the Access Engineering platform. McGraw-Hill Education were able to access the tool during development and there was stakeholder collaboration throughout the project.

The finished tool displays data in dot-plot or scatter-plot visualizations. Users can select either a single or multiple properties to explore, with the option of filtering results to set minimum and maximum parameters. Tabular results support the data visualization and provide further information, such as the overall chemical composition of the material.

  • Easy to use, catering for the novice and super-user
  • Discover basic material properties comparison information, or dive into detail
  • Explore up to five properties simultaneously across classifications
  • Visualize easily the differences and similarities of properties in multiple classifications
  • Understand material properties in the context of design goals
  • Include materials cost in decision-making
  • Create, save and share visualizations


DataVis™ Material Properties was launched on schedule in June 2016 at the respected American Society of Engineering Education 2016 conference (ASEE16). Well-received, the tool has become an essential component of the Access Engineering reference library, and central to Access Engineering’s acquisition strategy.

Demo DataVis™

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Semantico’s Jon White to chair ‘Buy or build?’ plenary at ALPSP 2016

ALPSP 2016 conference
Sales and Marketing Director, Jon White, will be chairing a plenary on navigating the buy or build decision that many publishers and societies face at this year’s ALPSP conference at 16:00 on Thursday 15 September. With the full title ‘What is the core expertise of a publisher today? The buy or build dilemma’, the session will discuss this evergreen –and thorny– issue from all angles.

There are no right answers and both approaches are valid. What is critical is a thorough project evaluation before deciding how to invest. This session will identify and explore the factors to consider before a decision is made. With panel members Tino Hannay from SchoolDash, Emerald Publishing, Alison Jones from Practical Inspiration Publishing, Dietmar Schantin from the Institute for Media Strategies and Lynn Miller from consultants TBI Communications, there is sure to be a range of viewpoints.

The ALPSP 2016 conference is from the 14-16 September, Park Inn, Heathrow, UK.

We will be tweeting during the event, see you at #alpsp16

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Strategic appointments in Semantico Sales team

Jon White

Semantico have announced new hires in their sales team to further progress their commitment to strategic customer relationship development.

New Sales Director Jon White brings to Semantico a wealth of experience in the digital content sector. His previous roles include middle and senior management positions at Penguin, Macmillan and Publishing Technology Plc. More recently, he ran his own consulting business, where he led business and sales growth for a number of successful EdTech start-ups.

Also joining the sales team as a Senior Account Manager is Ruth Wells. With previous roles at HighWire and Ingenta, as well as a number of academic publishers, including Taylor & Francis and SAGE, Ruth has an excellent understanding of publishers’ business needs.

Jon and Ruth bring a new focus to Semantico’s service offering, with experience as both publishers and suppliers, and they will help shape our service to deliver the best possible experience to all of Semantico’s partners.

David McNally, Semantico CEO, said: “I am delighted to welcome such experienced professionals as Jon and Ruth to the Semantico team.
“With these strategic appointments we strengthen our ability to deliver solutions that meet customer’s current and emerging needs.”

To further strengthen the team, an additional Account Manager has been appointed and will be announced in the next few weeks.   

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The Royal Marsden Manual Case Study

The Royal Marsden Manual

The Royal Marsden Manual is often referred to among UK healthcare professionals as the “Bible of Nursing”. Now in its 9th Edition, it is a flagship work for publishers Wiley in their Healthcare division. We were commissioned to produce a new, user-friendly online edition to accompany the revised print edition.


The initial challenges were to overhaul the user experience around entry and content management. The previous online edition had become outdated, was unresponsive on mobile devices and had a cluttered user interface that did not support intuitive use. Although it did have an existing content management system that allowed institutional users to upload customised procedures, notations and images, the online edition was unwieldy and did not enable easy content management and discovery.

The Royal Marsden Manual

From the outset, Semantico worked in partnership with Wiley to research and identify what the end-user needed for the online edition to support existing workflows and point-of-care use. One element was responsive design, as anecdotal evidence suggested that tablet and mobile usage on the ward, or in the community, was becoming increasingly common. However, what emerged as probably the most important design point was that the resource had to be easy to use, as the IT-literacy of users varied widely.

UX and Design

With this brief, the project’s UX and Design team, Owen Priestly and Andrea Fallas, produced an ambitious platform and information architecture design. To meet the contrasting challenges of creating a clean interface while accommodating an extensive and variable information architecture, the UX and Design team settled on an approach of progressive information disclosure. This resolved the brief by presenting the user with only the most relevant information and content within a given context. This approach had the added benefit of resulting in a clean and intuitive navigation model on mobile and tablet devices.

The Royal Marsden Manual

The user-centric design was enabled by the strong collaborative relationship between the Wiley implementation team, including Technical Project manager, Martin Williamson, Digital Project Manager, Charlie Hamlyn, and Medical, Nursing and Health Education Publisher, Magenta Styles, and Semantico Technical Business Analyst, Chris Priest, as they worked together to enrich existing content with additional identifiers to support the design.


At the build-phase, Semantico’s Technical Team, led by Jason Anderson, built a sophisticated custom content management system, including comments, custom procedures, chapter instructions and global instructions (institution-wide general information), complete with version control and archiving. Institutions can, for example, update entire clinical procedures according to changing circumstances, or comment on a single step. Custom procedures can be inputted directly, uploaded as external links, or multiple files including PDF and JPEG. This allows custom files to be shared and presented in the most user-friendly way. Further functionality was included to enable the contents of uploaded PDFs to be automatically searched, and load times were minimised.

The Royal Marsden Manual

End result

The end result is an exceptionally user-friendly and intuitive live information resource that is used daily by health professionals on the ward or in the community to develop standards of patient care. Since the launch of the 9th Edition mobile usage of the resource has tripled and tablet use also increased. The resource is now a best practise benchmark for resource development and a standard-bearer for Wiley and Semantico’s combined digital publishing expertise.


“I wanted to reach out to thank you so much for creating such a fantastic product for us – I am absolutely delighted with it. The site looks professional, stylish, and authoritative – and is so much more intuitive than the previous edition.” Magenta Styles, Medical, Nursing and Health Education Publisher, Wiley

“This will mean that universally we will be using the best available procedures, which will improve patient outcomes and reduce condition severity.” Ian Rennie, Knowledge, Library, & Information Manager, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

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Ground breaking revision to online edition of flagship textbook Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology launched

Rooks Textbook of DermatologyThe 9th Edition of the essential Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology has been released by Wiley with a revised online edition offering a package of enhanced features built by Semantico. With a redesigned platform to boost search, navigation, discovery and usability, the fully-responsive online edition adds considerable value to the work and is an invaluable reference for students and practitioners alike.

The project combines the best of Wiley’s expertise in publishing major reference works and Semantico’s expertise in creating user-friendly online platforms for complex and sophisticated content collections. Built on Semantico’s award-winning Scolaris platform and utilising the SAMS Identity and Access Management solutions, the work has been well-received by users.

Richard Padley, Co-founder and Chairman of Semantico said: “I am very proud of Semantico’s part in producing a seminal online edition of the Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology. The project highlights the very best of Semantico’s market-leading user experience design.”

Martin Williamson, Technical Project Manager at Wiley, said: “This is the second major reference work developed with Semantico on their new Scolaris platform, along with The Royal Marsden Manual Online.

“Semantico are a great partner to work with for these projects, they have a clear understanding of the complexities in organizing the content from a printed reference work to an online experience.

“The platform provides flexibility to upload content when you need to and easy to use editable content pages.”

Of the last edition of Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology, the British Medical Journal said: “Essential, indispensable. Unarguably the best textbook of dermatology in the world.”

About Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology 9th Edition

Universally respected, Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology is the most comprehensive, definitive and best-illustrated reference work for dermatologists of all levels worldwide and has been at the forefront of international dermatology publishing since first appearing in 1968.

The 9th Edition has been radically re-engineered to match the modern day challenges faced by dermatologists. Once again it has been published as a combined digital and print resource, but with a new online platform enabling easier and faster navigation.

A common structure to describe and discuss each disorder has been adopted throughout, whilst maintaining the depth of information for which Rook is renowned. A high priority has been placed on the ease of extracting key information quickly: diagnostic algorithms and management ladders help the reader choose appropriate treatment strategies, supported online by sophisticated search functions such as faceting, synonym-search and auto-suggest. More images than ever – over 5000 in total – aid diagnosis by displaying variations in disease manifestations according to body location, skin type and severity, with high-res versions and zooming options available online. The section on aesthetic dermatology has been greatly expanded with more coverage of procedures in this rapidly developing field.

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