eLife appoints new Head of Technology to lead open-source tool development

Inside eLife
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eLife has appointed Paul Shannon as its new Head of Technology to oversee the development of tools and software in support of science communication.

eLife aims to make the communication of results more beneficial for the scientific community as a whole, by operating a platform for presenting research that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science. Part of this initiative involves looking at new ways to make this content more accessible and consumable by humans and machines alike.

Shannon brings approximately 13 years’ experience in technology and software development to the organisation, including his most recent role as Vice President of Technology at 7digital, a global B2B music services company.

As eLife’s Head of Technology, Shannon will work closely with eLife’s Head of Product, Giuliano Maciocci, to oversee the delivery of complex software products in support of research communication. Most recently, eLife’s technology team and partners have been responsible for delivering the open-source, open-access publishing platform, eLife Continuum, as well as the Lens reader which makes it much easier to read and understand article text, figures, and data.

This is not the first time that Shannon has been part of an initiative aimed at transforming a particular marketplace. His previous role at 7digital involved exploring new methods of delivering high-quality music to listeners around the world, such as enabling music streaming on wearable devices, in cars, and with the Internet of Things.

“What caught my eye most about eLife is its goal to transform science publishing so that scientists can get their results out into the world more quickly,” Shannon says. “My new role gives me an exciting opportunity to keep up with the latest technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, apply them to eLife in ways that have never been done before, share the tools openly, and deliver something useful for scientists and the public.

“I’m looking forward to making a real difference in this relatively new area, allowing important scientific content to be delivered quickly without any waste of time or money.”

“We’re delighted to welcome Paul to the team,” adds Mark Patterson, eLife’s Executive Director. “His previous experience in the digital world and his enthusiasm around what eLife is doing make him a great person to head up our talented development team. Paul brings some fresh perspective and very interesting ideas to the team at eLife and we have no doubt that he will be able to use his skills to help us achieve our mission.”

Shannon is currently overseeing a number of projects, to be announced in the coming months, which will significantly expand eLife’s contributions to open-source software and changing the way research is presented and used. In 2015, 22% of eLife’s £3.9m annual expenditure was devoted to technology and innovation, including the creation of eLife Continuum.

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For more information, please contact:

Emily Packer, Press Officer, eLife

e.packer@elifesciences.org

01223 855373

About eLife

eLife aims to make the communication of results more beneficial for the scientific community as a whole, by operating a platform for presenting research that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science. While eLife has made its name largely through its consultative approach to peer review and the papers it has published, the organisation seeks to improve all aspects of research communication in support of excellent science – from technology and infrastructure to the ways individuals receive recognition. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust. Learn more at elifesciences.org.