Creating modern journal websites is easy with Scholastica
Creating modern journal websites is easy with Scholastica

For Open Access (OA) journal publishers, finding a sustainable, long-term solution for journal website hosting and design can be daunting. From search engine optimization to indexing criteria — there’s a lot more that goes into building and maintaining journal websites than meets the eye. Whether you’re starting a new OA journal or looking to overhaul one or more outdated journal websites, you’re likely wondering where to begin and how to control costs.

At Scholastica, we know that OA journal teams often have limited online publishing resources — that’s why we’ve made it easy and affordable to create and host beautiful journal websites via our end-to-end OA publishing platform. Using Scholastica, publishing teams can create modern journal websites without the need for advanced technical knowledge, a web developer, or a large IT team. And we take care of all website updates and improvements, so journals can focus on publishing high-quality articles, not technical hassles.

How does Scholastica’s OA publishing platform work? Let’s take a look behind the scenes.

Creating modern journal websites is easy using our customizable template

Image: Customize your website design and content

With Scholastica’s OA publishing platform, you can set up journal websites quickly and easily via a customizable website template designed specifically for academic journals. Your publishing team can update Scholastica’s website template to reflect your publication branding and add content to it using our easy editor tool. So there’s no need to pay a web developer for design work or to spend hours trying to build a website yourself. And with free training and unlimited customer support, we’re here to help you along the way!

Select your website header, upload your journal cover image or logo, and adjust the website color scheme to make it your own. From there, you can add text to the website template pages by simply clicking into the areas you want to edit and typing. To help readers find relevant content faster, you can also group your articles into custom sections as you add content to your website. For example, you might have article sections for “original research” and “book reviews.” You’ll also get to select an image to accompany each article you publish to make your journal website more visually engaging, with access to a free image database.

Scholastica’s journal website template also features:

  • A responsive design that works on desktop and mobile devices
  • Intuitive navigation to give your readers the best possible user experience
  • Site-wide search functionality to help readers find relevant articles faster
  • Social media integrations with Twitter and Facebook
  • In-website PDF article display — no redirects to separate pages

Additionally, journals have the option to add a blog to their Scholastica website. Blogging about research findings and other journal news (i.e., calls for special issues) is a great way to keep your website fresh in-between publishing new articles. Journals can add images to blog posts and even embed gifs and videos in posts.

If you have past journal content you need to move over to Scholastica’s OA publishing platform we can also help you there. Our team offers free PDF article back-issue imports and support for other file types. We’re here to ensure your migration is as smooth as possible.

Machine-readable metadata files for all articles and archiving and indexing integrations

Image: Example of full-text XML article in JATS format produced by Scholastica

A vital production step that every journal publisher should take is creating machine-readable metadata for all of its articles, including HTML meta tags for article webpages and XML metadata files ready to submit to deposit-based discovery services. Academic indexes and archives use machine-readable metadata to interpret what articles are about — without it, a journal’s discovery potential will be limited. But many publishing teams lack the technical time and resources to produce rich machine-readable metadata for their content.

At Scholastica, we believe that all journals should be able to have high-quality metadata without technical hassles or manual work. So we’re making metadata production easier.

Scholastica automatically generates HTML meta tags and machine-readable front-matter XML files for all articles published via our OA publishing platform with core metadata required by publishing standards organizations and OA initiatives like Plan S, including:

  • Publisher
  • Journal title
  • ISSN
  • Article title
  • Author names
  • Abstract
  • Persistent Identifiers (e.g., ORCID, DOI)
  • Funding information
  • Copyright license

Scholastica formats all XML article-level metadata files in the Journal Article Tag Suite or JATS standard developed by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), so they are ready to be ingested by academic discovery services.

In addition to producing machine-readable metadata for all articles published using Scholastica, we’re also helping journals add articles to indexes and archives more easily. We offer integrations with leading discovery and archiving services, including Google Scholar, The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Portico, and PubMed Central.

Journal websites are mobile-friendly and optimized for search engines

Image: Mobile friendly website

With Scholastica’s OA Publishing Platform, publishers don’t have to worry about the technicalities of making their journal websites mobile- or search-engine friendly — we take care of that. Scholastica’s journal website template features a responsive design that works on desktop and mobile devices, and it’s structured to be found by online search engines like Google and Bing. All articles are published to their own web page within the journal website using a search-friendly URL structure, and Scholastica ensures that article pages are available to web crawlers at all times.

Moving articles from peer review to publishing is easy

Image: Import article from peer review

Scholastica’s publishing software seamlessly integrates with our peer review system and production service, so journal teams can manage all of their publication needs in one place. Journals that use Scholastica for peer review can move accepted manuscripts straight into publishing without having to re-upload files or re-input metadata. All of the files and metadata that journal editors apply to manuscripts in peer review are automatically carried over to our publishing platform. From the publishing platform, journals can either upload their own PDFs to their Scholastica website and publish them or use our production service to get PDF, HTML, and full-text JATS XML versions of all articles. Journals that use Scholastica’s production service can easily request to have articles typeset from their publishing dashboard. Once complete, typeset articles are uploaded to the journal’s account, ready to be published.

Journal readership analytics available on-demand

Image: Article usage analytics

Scholastica’s OA publishing platform also provides publishers with the data insights they need to track journal performance. Each journal published via Scholastica includes an analytics page with on-demand readership stats including:

  • Top downloaded articles, with download counts for each article
  • Lists of top viewed articles and view counts for each article
  • Total journal pageviews
  • Readers by country
  • Referrers (sites linking to the journal website)

Scholastica’s publishing analytics suite offers a straightforward way to track article performance. Publishing analytics provide a window into how journal articles are being read, shared, and cited and can be used to help track readership over time and guide publication planning and promotion.

Instant access to improvements

At Scholastica, we’re constantly introducing product improvements to help journals reach the highest publishing standards. We also work to ensure that journal websites meet the requirements of leading publishing organizations, like the DOAJ and Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and that they comply with major online security and data requirements like those outlined in GDPR. We globally apply software updates to all user accounts as they become available, so journal publishers don’t have to wait for or install the latest product improvements. With Scholastica, journals always have the most up-to-date websites.

Want to learn more? You can see examples of journals that host their websites on Scholastica on our Customer Stories page. For a personal tour of Scholastica’s publishing solutions, click here to schedule a demo.

This post was originally published on June 12, 2017 and updated on December 8, 2021.

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