For open-access journal publishers, figuring out a sustainable, long-term journal website hosting and design solution can be daunting. From search engine optimization to indexing standards — there’s a lot more that goes into building and maintaining journal websites than meets the eye. Whether you’re starting a new journal or looking to overhaul one or more outdated journal websites, if you don’t have a dedicated IT team, it can be difficult to know where to begin and how to control costs.
At Scholastica, we know that open access journal teams have limited time and budgets for online publishing — that’s why we’ve made it easy and affordable to create and host beautiful journal websites on our open access publishing platform. Using Scholastica, publishing teams can quickly create modern journal websites, without the need for advanced technical knowledge or a web developer. 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 open access publishing platform work? Let’s take a look behind the scenes.
With Scholastica’s open access publishing platform, setting up one or more journal websites is fast and easy. Each journal you create will start with Scholastica’s website template that we designed specifically for academic journals. Your publishing team can update the template to reflect your publication branding and easily add content using a simple editor tool — no need to pay a web developer for design work or to spend hours trying to build a website yourself.
Select your website header, easily 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 area you want to edit and typing. As you add content to your journal website, you can help readers find articles in particular topic areas faster by grouping your articles into custom sections. 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 is designed to showcase articles and give readers the best possible user experience with an intuitive navigation.
Scholastica’s journal website template also features:
- A responsive design that works on desktop and mobile devices
- Site-wide search functionality to help readers find relevant articles
- Social media integrations with Twitter and Facebook
- In website article display — no redirects to PDFs or separate pages
Additionally, journals have the option to add a blog to their website. Blogging is a great way to keep your website content fresh in between publishing new articles. Many journals blog about their latest articles and publication news. Journals can add images to blog posts and even embed gifs and videos in posts.
A vital step that should be part of every journal’s online publishing process is generating rich machine-readable metadata files for all articles. Academic indexes and archives require machine-readable metadata to ingest and interpret information about articles — without it, a journal’s discovery potential will be limited. But many publishing teams lack the technical time and resources to produce machine-readable metadata for all of their journal articles.
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 for journals. Scholastica automatically generates machine-readable front-matter XML files for all journals using our open access publishing platform with core metadata required by publishing standards organizations and open access initiatives like Plan S including:
- Journal title
- Article title
- Author names
- Persistent Identifiers (e.g. ORCID, DOI)
- Copyright license
Journals using Scholastica for typesetting also have the option to add additional funding metadata to articles. Scholastica formats all XML article 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 major academic discovery services.
In addition to producing machine-readable XML files for all articles published using Scholastica, we’re also working to help journals add articles to indexes more easily. Scholastica offers automatic indexing for major discovery and archiving services, including Google Scholar, The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), and Portico.
With Scholastica’s open access 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 with webpage and article-level HTML metadata tags. 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.
Scholastica’s publishing software seamlessly integrates with our peer review system and typesetting 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 switch systems, re-upload accompanying files, or re-input metadata. All of the manuscript files and metadata that journal editors apply to manuscripts in peer review are automatically carried over to the publishing platform. From the publishing platform, journals can either upload their own PDFs to their Scholastica website or use our typesetting service to produce PDF, HTML, and full-text JATS compliant XML versions of all articles. Journals that use Scholastica’s typesetting 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.
Scholastica’s 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 data 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 offer a simple and 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.
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 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 open access publishing platform, click here to schedule a demo.
This post was originally published on June 12, 2017 and updated on October 8, 2019.