by Mike Groth
Since the beginning of a very disruptive 2020, scholarly publishers have had to contend with uncertainty in institutional markets, sudden demands for rapid dissemination of critical research, and an ongoing existential crisis due to Open Access (OA) mandates. Fortunately, industry partners have been there to support content providers of all sizes and types with enhanced workflows, integrated services, and advanced solutions that met the moment.
A review of the last year of exciting developments here at KGL PubFactory demonstrates how publishers of academic books and journals can evolve and even thrive with the right technology support—better serving their authors, users, and society at large even during challenging times.
Tearing down siloes
Many publishers, notably academic societies and university presses, are no longer confined to separate channels for journal articles and book chapters—or even for gray literature and static website pages. A number of recent PubFactory projects and site launches demonstrate the move toward multi-content delivery. The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) went live just after the new year with its flagship journal (ajtmh.org), to feature published articles alongside informational pages, news, and blog content. During 2021, Bristol University Press, which currently uses disparate providers to host its book and journal content, will launch a new portal unifying all of its publications. At the same time, the UK-based social sciences publisher will maintain unique branding for its Policy Press imprint using SiteGen, PubFactory’s product and site launch module.
We have worked with Sheridan for decades and are eager to optimize our workflow with KGL while providing the enhanced service to our authors and subscribers that the PubFactory platform makes possible.— Cathi Siegel, Managing Editor at The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Some information providers have gone a step further to bring together entirely different products and services under a common technology solution. Early last year, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) unveiled its new nephSAP self-assessment program (nephsap.org), fully reimagining one of its most valuable member assets. The success of nephSAP will be followed by the migration this year of ASN’s Kidney News site to the same platform, delivering the Society’s professional news magazine using the platform’s PubGen flexible content module to create different editorial types and subject groupings. Specialist health and fitness publisher Human Kinetics is launching its new journals site alongside a video eLibrary platform on PubFactory. Also making use of SiteGen, hundreds of Human Kinetics video supplements, courses, and stand-alone products will be more widely available as a result of the consolidation.
One requirement that publishers increasingly need to accommodate is varying business models, particularly OA. Akadémiai Kiadó, the Hungarian science publisher, launched a new site on PubFactory (akjournals.com) in early 2020 for its entire program of 88 journals with an eye toward pursuing growth in OA and Open Science initiatives. Taking advantage of a modernized digital presence, topical navigation, and adaptable access model building, the publisher can now pursue its mission to allow affiliated national researchers to publish via OA without direct costs.
Our new PubFactory-hosted platform modernizes our digital presence and is an essential part of our ongoing open initiatives.— Balázs Réffy, CEO, Akadémiai Kiadó
Making Better Decisions
Of paramount importance to the publishing business today are robust site and usage analytics, to drive decision making with reliable data. In 2020, PubFactory partnered with Scholarly iQ to launch the dedicated reporting and business intelligence platform, IntelWorks. Beyond ensuring COUNTER compliance, the service also enables deep usage data analysis. This type of expanded partnership network is essential for broadening the scope of the platform and extending support for client publishers. Another such integration newly available this year is SendGrid’s email API, in the form of PubFactory’s IntelAlert Suite. The IntelAlert Suite offers campaign analytics like open, click, and bounce rates, in addition to an email template design library for premium alerting. Now content alerts can enjoy the same return-on-investment metrics as marketing emails.
Scholarly iQ services give publishers the confidence that they can address their reporting needs with credible, definitive answers.— José Fossi, VP of Client Services for KGL PubFactory
Of course, the biggest development in the platform’s value proposition during 2020 was the merger with Cenveo Publisher Services to form KnowledgeWorks Global Ltd. (KGL). Along with Sheridan Journal Services, PubFactory became part of a global, holistic content solutions provider with expert services spanning project management, AI-powered language analysis and copyediting, XML composition and proofing, digital and print production—all connecting seamlessly with online delivery. Securing KGL’s onshore and offshore resources in educational product development and eLearning solutions further adds to the portfolio of content services available under one roof as scholarly publishers evolve their offerings.
A number of customers took advantage of this one-stop vendor model to harness efficiencies, speed up publication, and contain costs. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) recently moved its clinical and professional ebooks to PubFactory (publications.ashp.org), building on its longstanding composition, editorial, and print relationship with Sheridan and now KGL to produce and deliver its complete program. The American Meteorological Society (AMS) departed Silverchair last year to expand its 15-year journal production partnership with KGL in order to host its 11 journals on PubFactory (journals.ametsoc.org). AMS will also take advantage of self-service author proofing, made possible by KGL’s Smart Proof interface. In a sign that this trend will continue, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) just extended its production agreement for its two journals after a thorough search process, only to choose PubFactory to build its new site.
We are particularly looking forward to maximizing our newly integrated journal workflow which offers a dynamic, real-time online approach to proofing that will be of huge benefit to our authors— Brian Papa, Associate Executive Director at the American Meteorological Society
As PubFactory and the wider KGL organization eye new synergies and continue the industry-leading quality and service publishers have come to expect, broadening the scope of the platform will remain a priority. Helping publishers promote and make use of underutilized content, drawing new connections between content, making it more discoverable, and expanding the user base are all benefits that technology can drive for the academic community. Watch this space for new innovations, integrations, and inspirations in 2021!