This week feels like the busiest I’ve had in about a decade. I’ve been literally racing from thing to thing usually while holding a screaming toddler and/or infant. In the next few weeks there will be lots of traveling - the Eichsfeld in Thüringen, Berlin, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, back to the Eichsfeld, back to London - and I’m racing to close things out before I go. More on all that in the first ever week notes.

Despite all of that though, I made sure not to miss #futurepub (short for “the future of academic publishing”) - the event organized by the guys from writeLaTeX and held at the British Library.

There was much to like about this event. First of all it was held in a #geomob style format of a few speakers, each with just 10-15 minutes to go through a few slides. All of the speakers were good, I especially enjoyed Dr Bibiana Campos-Seijo high-level overview of the changes in scientific publishing in the last year and the trends for the future.

John Hammersley of WriteLaTeX announced the launch of Overleaf, their new tool to centralize the publishing process. As I blogged last year, I’m an unfortunate observer of the pain of academic publishing via my wife’s work. It is fairly astounding how excruciating some of the ways of working that are endemic to academia are. It’s as if there is a master plan to find smart, highly motivated people, spend many years training them, and then have them spend their time on trivia and admin - endlessly emailing around documents and changing fonts. It is such a waste of potential it makes you want to scream. Good luck to Overleaf specifically, and to all the forward thinking attendees at tonight’s event generally, who want to change that, thus freeing up the scientists to actually do science.

I hope #futurepub can find the same success in its niche as #geomob has, and help the fledgling academia2.0 scene in London flourish. Afterwards, during the mingling and discussion that is the real meat of these events, I spotted a peerj t-shirt in the crowd and had a nice chat with an engineer from Mendeley, so it seem’s we’re on the way.

I look forward to the next one.