In 2018, Sheridan PubFactory collaborated with Manchester University Press (MUP) on a hosting platform that would bring all of their books and journals online. The project not only dealt with both books and journals, but it also involved hosting both subscription and Open Access (OA) content.
Over the last 20 years, the PubFactory team has amassed expertise in hosting many different types of content on a single, fully integrated web platform. A few months into MUP’s transition to the PubFactory platform, MUP was informed of a new university mandate that required their OA and subscription content be placed on separate and distinctly branded platforms. Compliance with Manchester University’s content presentation mandate completely altered the trajectory of the project, as there was a need to rapidly build two sites instead of the one that had originally been planned.
The change to the platform project required agility and even more intense collaboration between the MUP publishing teams and the Sheridan PubFactory platform team.
Fortunately, MUP’s OA policy compliance curveball was something the PubFactory platform could easily accommodate through use of its SiteGen module. SiteGen provides publishers with the ability to clone an existing site and then customize the cloned site(s) as necessary. SiteGen is one of the foundational modules of the PubFactory platform.
SiteGen enabled MUP to quickly and cost-effectively comply with the University’s OA mandate by cloning MUP’s primary subscription site to create a separate OA site. Following the site cloning, the PubFactory team determined how the two sites would integrate, as well as the necessary differentiation between the OA site and the subscription site. The team designed the user journey across both sites in order to maximize discoverability and provide seamless access.
Both MUP and the PubFactory platform team focused on distinguishing the branding between the two sites while also protecting the user experience. This was accomplished by creating a level of integration through thoughtful configuration of site features and capabilities, e.g. integrated search across OA and subscription content.
Today, MUP’s PubFactory platform enables users to search all content on MUP’s main subscription site, Manchester Hive, but when a user clicks on OA content search results, they are then taken to MUP’s OA site, Manchester OpenHive. Within the Manchester OpenHive site, search and browse functions restrict users to OA content only, unless they explicitly request to see all possible content.
In the end, MUP received a powerful single platform that is home to two distinctly different sites. Both sites host MUP’s books and journals publications while delivering a clean and clear separation between OA and subscription content without losing the ability to search across all content.
The agility of SiteGen enables us to be highly responsive to a changing industry and in particular to evolving Open Access policies.Simon Ross
Chief Executive Officer Manchester University Press