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Publishing, Open Access journal

Workflow automation for better journal publication

Posted on : October 19th 2021

Author : Sithara Chandran

Publishers today are being driven to publish quickly, in more formats, and at lower prices to compete in a fast-paced, competitive market, all while maintaining a smooth collaboration between teams. Manuscripts, for example, requires the management of groups of editors, designers, illustrators, and layout artists to achieve the best possible result. In addition to passing many layers of scrutiny, research material necessitates collaboration among authors, editors, reviewers, and producers for the journal to be published on time.

The publishing industry, plagued by legacy print processes, has been compelled to respond by using automation technologies to update its workflows and production processes. According to an Apex CoVantage survey, about half the publishers have successfully integrated some form of automation technology for their editorial operations -64 percent for print production processes and 71 percent for electronic product creation.

If you’re still not convinced that automation is the way forward, consider the below factors:

  1. Faster time-to-market: Most publishers claim that the biggest challenge they encounter is speed to market or how to get journals or books out faster. Automation is beneficial in this aspect since employing workflow automation technologies such as AI, SaaS-based platforms, pre-built workflows, etc., improves rates of first-proof acceptance for both journals and books and saves time.

  2. Save costs: Even if utilized as a pay-as-you-go tool, automation is more cost-effective than the conventional layout process once the initial up-front expenditures of setting up or modifying your workflow are covered.

  3. Efficient peer-review process: : Scientific publishing is heavily reliant on the peer review system, which is crucial to preserving the quality of the manuscript. However, the system is plagued with significant flaws such as time delays, unqualified reviewers, and the callous attitude of some reviewers. Editorial departments, too, encounter difficulties during the process as they are required to provide high-quality reviews in short time frames and on restricted resources, preventing a seamless author/reviewer experience.
    Publishing Service companies now provide peer review support solutions powered by technology, including rules-based checks, AI-based recommendations, and RPA to ensure maximum efficiency. They also work with authors to identify suitable reviewers for the manuscript based on database research and stringent selection criteria. Automation improves transparency and visibility throughout the process.

  4. Metadata: While journal publishers understand the value of article-level metadata, producing machine-readable metadata can be challenging. Journal teams often lack the technical skills and time to create rich machine-readable metadata. Automation simplifies metadata production and allows for its smooth movement between the peer review system, production service, and the OA journal hosting platform, saving editorial teams the time they spend re-entering the same information in multiple places.

  5. Single-source publishing: Confusion may arise due to several versions of the same article and input from different persons at various stages. Working on a single manuscript across the journal publication lifecycle and author/reviewer paths are made possible by automation. This facilitates collaboration between journal publishers and authors, reviewers, or editors to integrate suggestions and finalize the paper.
  6. Multi-product publishing: In today’s technologically advanced world, academic publishers offer content compatible with all types of platforms, including desktop and mobile devices, such as smartphones, kindles, iPads, etc. An automated workflow allows content to be processed in a single XML format and then converted for use on multiple web platforms in formats such as ePub, HTML, PDF, and more.
  7. XML-first workflows: According to a recent survey, 63% of publishers who have implemented an XML-first workflow consider it the most significant move for their production process. This is because it initiates the validation process early on, resolving issues as soon as possible. It also improves the content for electronic products and makes it easier for the designers by simplifying and automating page-layout tasks.
    Automation simplifies the journal publication experience, making it simpler to coordinate and update a manuscript, accept revisions, and publish faster in multiple formats for diverse platforms.
    Straive is the market-leading solutions provider to the research content industry, covering leading players in the industry, including commercial publishers, university presses, open-access publishers, and societies supporting journals, books, MRWs, and database products/ platforms.
    If you want to take the plunge but are unsure how to go about it, we can help. Get in touch with us today.

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