XML conforming to the JATS standard

For journal publishers, getting articles added to relevant scholarly indexes is paramount to expanding the reach and reputation of their publications — but we know it’s not always easy. Often, indexes require content to be submitted to them in machine-readable formats that many publishers with limited resources can’t easily produce on their own. And, even when indexes do accept manual deposits, submitting rich metadata inputs can be incredibly time-consuming for journal teams. Sound familiar? That’s why Scholastica is creating tools to help.

We’re building out our open access publishing platform and typesetting service to help journals using either or both of those products reach their indexing goals with less manual work and fewer technical headaches. We now produce machine-readable JATS compliant XML article-level metadata for all journals using our OA publishing platform, and we’re introducing automated article deposits for major indexes and discovery services. We’re also producing full-text JATS XML article files with rich machine-readable metadata for all journals using our typesetting service that are fully PubMed Central (PMC) compliant. Read on for the full details!

XML article files conforming to the JATS standard

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

In the world of abstracting and indexing, being able to submit the details of your articles to databases in computer formats is a must. Indexes can’t “read” article text, they ingest information in machine-readable markup languages, and XML is the standard markup language used by academic journal indexes.

At a minimum, journal publishers should produce front-matter XML files with rich metadata - descriptive data such as DOIs and ORCIDs - for all of their articles. However, producing full-text XML files for articles is preferable to allow for text and data mining; and it is a recommended publishing best practice. For example, Plan S lists producing full-text machine-readable article files in its strongly recommended technical criteria.

Adding another layer of complexity for many publishers is the need for XML to comply to the JATS standard — a term that many know but find somewhat elusive. JATS, which stands for “Journal Article Tag Suite,” is a specific way of formatting XML developed by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). JATS is considered the technical standard for journal articles and is required by all National Library of Medicine (NLM) indexes - PubMed, PubMed Central, and MEDLINE - and preferred by many other academic indexes.

If you’re like many journal publishers, you may not be sure of how to go about producing JATS compliant XML files for your articles, and you may be concerned about what it will cost. At Scholastica, we’re making journal XML production easy and affordable. Scholastica automatically produces front-matter JATS XML metadata files for all journals that use our OA publishing software, and full-text JATS XML files for all journals that use our typesetting service. Learn more about how we’re helping journals produce machine-readable metadata to make articles more discoverable here.

PMC-compliant full-text XML

If you publish a journal in the biomedical or life sciences and you’re looking to add articles to PMC, we have good news for you. The full-text XML article files that Scholastica generates for journals using our typesetting service now meet all of the PMC technical requirements. And we’re continuing to enhance how the XML that we generate is structured so that it conforms to all PMC style criteria as well. This ensures that article XML is not only valid but also formatted to follow the conventions that PMC prefers. The editors of Spartan Medical Research Journal shared how using Scholastica’s typesetting service to produce full-text XML conforming to PMC’s standards has enabled them to pursue PubMed indexing in this recent interview.

Want to know more about the difference between NLM’s three databases — PubMed Central, PubMed, and MEDLINE? Check out this interview with PubMed Central Program Manager Kathryn Funk or watch this webinar about helping journals get included in indexes like PMC from Scholastica CEO Brian Cody.

Index and discovery service automations

In addition to producing XML metadata files for all journals using Scholastica’s OA publishing software and full-text XML article files for all journals using our typesetting service, we’re also working to help journals add articles to indexes and discovery services more easily. We now offer automations for:

Crossref DOI registration: One of the most common indexing requirements and overall discovery best practices that journal publishers should follow is adding Digital Object Identifiers or DOIs to all of their articles. For journals using Scholastica’s open access publishing software, adding DOIs is easy using our automated Crossref DOI registration feature. You can turn on this automation by following the steps outlined here. Learn more about this feature and the benefits of Crossref DOI registration in this blog post.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): For journals using Scholastica’s open access publishing software that have been accepted into the DOAJ, Scholastica also offers automatic DOAJ deposits. Just follow the steps outlined here to turn on the DOAJ article deposit integration, and Scholastica will take care of the rest — automatically formatting article XML files to meet DOAJ’s standards and sending all new articles to the index. Learn more about the benefits of automatic DOAJ indexing in this interview with DOAJ Operations Manager Dominic Mitchell.

Google Scholar: Additionally, we’ve worked with Google Scholar to have Scholastica approved as a trusted content source, so all journal articles published via Scholastica’s open access publishing platform are indexed by Google Scholar automatically. Journal publishers don’t need to take any steps to get this benefit, it’s all handled by our software. We cover why having your journals indexed in Google Scholar matters more than ever in this blog post.

Prioritizing journal publishing automations now and in the future

Submitting journal content to academic indexes is one of the most beneficial steps that publishers can take to improve their reputation among authors and attract more readers. However, it can also be one of the most challenging. At Scholastica, we’re working to help all publishers, regardless of size, professionalize their journals and reach their indexing goals. We’re continually improving our XML production and working to expand our automations to take the legwork out of submitting content to major indexing and discovery services.

Scholastica is also working to support publishers in other automation areas, such as depositing articles into archives. Recently, we announced automatic XML article deposits for the Portico dark archive, and we’re currently looking for beta partners to build out a CLOCKSS integration. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a beta partner, please email us.

We’re constantly introducing new features, so stay tuned for more indexing and discovery service automations in the near future! We’ll be updating this blog post with the latest options.

Update note: This blog post was originally published on the 7th of March 2019, and updated on the 28th of May 2020