If you ask a handful of scholars where they go to find articles when conducting research, they will likely mention academic indexes such as PubMed, MathSciNet, or Google Scholar.
According to the “How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications” report, produced by Renew Publishing Consultants, Abstracting and Indexing databases (A&Is) are in fact the top search starting point for researchers when looking for relevant academic journal articles.
For publishers of open access journals, getting content added to both general and discipline-specific A&Is is paramount. But with limited resources it can be difficult. Depositing articles into A&I databases can be time-consuming and many A&Is only ingest content submitted to them in machine-readable formats that publishers can’t easily produce on their own.
At Scholastica, we’re building out our open access publishing platform to make it easier for journal publishers to reach their indexing goals with less manual work and fewer technical headaches. We’re producing machine-readable XML files for all articles published using our platform and introducing automated article deposits for major indexes.
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. 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 will soon be required for many Plan S funded authors. Additionally, in order to be Plan S compliant, full-text XML will need to be JATS compliant.
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 know 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 XML production easy and affordable. Scholastica automatically produces front-matter XML files conforming to the JATS standard for all journals that use our OA publishing software and full-text XML files conforming to the JATS standard for all journals that use our typesetting service. XML files are easily accessible from article pages. You can see an example of full-text XML from the Spartan Medical Research Journal here (just click “save article as” and select XML!).
The editors of the Spartan Medical Research Journal shared how using Scholastica’s typesetting service to produce full-text XML conforming to the JATS standard has enabled them to pursue PubMed indexing in a recent interview.
In addition to producing XML files for all articles published using Scholastica’s publishing software, we’re also working to help journals add articles to indexes more easily. We offer automated indexing for:
Google Scholar: 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 software are indexed by Google Scholar. Journal publishers don’t need to take any steps to get this benefit, it’s all handled by our software.
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): For journals that are using Scholastica’s open access publishing software and have been accepted into DOAJ, Scholastica offers automatic article deposits into DOAJ. Publishers just need to notify Scholastica that they would like to have their articles deposited into the index, and we take care of the rest—automatically formatting article XML files to meet DOAJ’s standards and sending all new articles to the index.
Submitting journal content to academic indexes is one of the most beneficial steps that publishers can take to improve their journal’s reputation among authors and attract more readers. However, it’s also one of the most challenging. At Scholastia, we’re working to help publishers with limited resources professionalize their journals. We’re always improving our XML article file production and working to expand our indexing automations in the future to help take the legwork out of submitting content to more major indexes.
We’re 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.
We’re constantly introducing new features, so stay tuned for more automation and integration updates in the near future!