Vitek Tracz

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Vitek Tracz
Born (1940-05-31) 31 May 1940 (age 78)[1]
OccupationChairman of Science Navigation Group
Known forFounding Current Opinion journals, Current Biology, BioMedNet, BioMed Central, Faculty of 1000, Current Drugs, Telmap
Spouse(s)Dalia Tracz

Vitek Tracz (born 31 May 1940) is a London-based entrepreneur who has been involved in science publishing, pharmaceutical information and mobile phone-based navigation.

Early life[edit]

Tracz was born in 1940 in Poland. He studied Mathematics in Warsaw and Jerusalem, before studying cinema at the Slade School of Fine Art. He collaborated with Israeli writer Hanoch Levin on the 1978 feature film Fantasia Al Noseh Romanti.

Business career[edit]

In academic publishing, Tracz is known as the founder of the Current Opinion journals (which, along with the research journal Current Biology and the early scientific community websites BioMedNet and Chemweb, were acquired by Elsevier in 1997), and open access publisher BioMed Central (acquired by Springer Science+Business Media in 2008).[2]

In 2004, Tracz was invited to give oral evidence to the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee as part of its inquiry into scientific publishing and open access.

Tracz's Science Navigation Group (SNG) previously published The Scientist (a popular science magazine with all print and web content freely available online), and currently publishes Faculty of 1000 (a subscription-only current awareness service highlighting recent biological and medical research), Global DataPoint, Telmap and People's Archive. Other companies that have been part of SNG in the past include Current Medicine Group, which publish medical books, journals, websites and the Images.MD medical image database (both acquired by Springer in 2005), Current Drugs (acquired by Thomson Reuters), and Current Biology and the Current Opinion journals (acquired by Elsevier).

Other businesses founded by Tracz include Current Drugs (acquired by Thomson Corporation in 2002),[3] and Telmap, a mobile phone navigation company (acquired by Intel in 2012). Tracz remains chairman of Science Navigation Group,[4] which acts as an incubator for his new businesses. Tracz's businesses have been largely self-funded, without external investment.[5] Tracz's current business is now focused on activities under the Faculty of 1000/F1000 brand. Faculty of 1000 began as a literature evaluation service, but more recently has allowed the publication of original scientific posters (F1000 Posters) and research articles (F1000 Research).[6] F1000 has generated some controversy[citation needed] with its use of an innovative and rapid form of peer review.[7] Web of Stories consists of a collection of multi-hour video interviews with leading scientists and other major cultural figures, looking back at their career and work. Each video is divided into short segments which are connected together to create a "web of stories", showing differing perspectives on major themes such as the Manhattan Project.

Tracz has a reputation as an innovator in a tradition-bound industry,[8] being described by Richard Smith (former editor of the BMJ) as 'the Picasso of science publishing'.[9]


Tracz is an art collector, with a focus on Expressionism.[10]


  1. ^ Rabesandratana, Tania (4 October 2013). "The Seer of Science Publishing". Science Magazine. UK. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Springer Acquires BioMed Central Group". Springer Science+Business Media.
  3. ^ "Thomson Reuters company history". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  4. ^ Tracz, Vitek. "About Vitek Tracz". F1000. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  5. ^ Poynder, Richard. "Interview with Vitek Tracz: Essential for Science". Information Today. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  6. ^ Macilwaine, Colin (20 January 2011). "'Facebook of Science' Seeks to Reshape Peer Review". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  7. ^ Hunter, Jane (30 August 2012). "Post-publication peer review: opening up scientific conversation". Front Comput Neurosci. 6: 63. doi:10.3389/fncom.2012.00063. PMC 3431010. PMID 22969719.
  8. ^ Rayner, Daryl. "ATG Interviews Vitek Tracz". Against The Grain. The Charleston Conference. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  9. ^ Smith, Richard. "Accelerating towards the future of publishing science". BMJ. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  10. ^ Gleadell, Colin (21 December 2010). "Victorians no match for moderns". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 January 2014.

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