Dr John Hammersley, Overleaf co-founder, has recently been named by The Bookseller as one of their 2015 Rising Stars. The list, produced in association with the Frankfurt Book Fair and sponsored by Inspired Selection, aims to recognise the publishing industry’s “movers and shakers”.

In the words of The Bookseller these are people who “excel at their main jobs, but they add extra strings to their bows, strive to constantly improve their skill sets and embark on ambitious projects, often on their own”.

John Hammersley‘Hammersley is undoubtedly the only person in the wider UK scientific publishing space who co-designed the world’s first driverless taxi system. It was through working on that project — the taxi pods are now in use at Heathrow Terminal 5 — with his business partner John Lees-Miller that Overleaf was born. The two academics — Hammersley has a PhD from Durham in theoretical and mathematical physics — became frustrated with the difficulties of collaborating online, and decided to fix the problem.     

Overleaf is an online collaborative writing and publishing tool that makes the process of writing, editing and publishing scientific documents quicker and easier. Overleaf could broadly be described as a souped-up Google Docs for researchers, but developed for the more demanding needs of scientific researchers, institutions and publishers. In under two years, the platform has already garnered 200,000 users worldwide, linked up with scores of publishers and has been backed by Digital Science.  

The year ahead: “We have exciting product developments in the pipeline, and we’re also going to make a stronger push with institutions and focus on integration with libraries”.’