XML conforming to the JATS standard

Indexing is paramount to expanding the reach and reputation of scholarly journals — but 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 feasibly produce on their own. And, even when indexes do accept manual article deposits, preparing and submitting rich article-level metadata can be incredibly time consuming for journal teams. Sound familiar?

That’s why Scholastica is introducing tools and services to help.

We’re continually enhancing our production service and Open Access publishing platform to make it easier for journals using either or both of those solutions to reach their indexing goals with less manual work and fewer technical headaches. We now generate full-text JATS XML article files with rich machine-readable metadata for all journals using our production service. And our OA publishing platform includes machine-readable HTML and JATS compliant XML article-level metadata at no added cost. We’ve also introduced integrations with major indexes and discovery services like Crossref and PubMed Central (PMC), featuring enhanced metadata deposits. Read on for the full details!

Automatically generated machine-readable article-level metadata

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

In the world of abstracting and indexing, producing article-level metadata in machine-readable formats is a must. Indexes can’t “read” article text (at least not yet!). They can only process information available in computer markup languages. The two main types of machine-readable metadata that matter for journals are:

  1. HTML metatags for crawler-based general and academic search engines like Google and Google Scholar
  2. XML metadata — the standard markup language used by academic journal indexes

At a minimum, journal publishers should have HTML metatags on all of their article web pages and produce rich front-matter XML metadata files (i.e., includes descriptive data such as DOIs and ORCIDs) for all of their articles. However, typesetting articles in full-text XML is preferable to allow for text and data mining, and it’s a 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 with 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 HTML metatags or JATS compliant XML files for your articles, and you may be concerned about what it will cost. At Scholastica, we’re making journal metadata production easy and affordable. Scholastica automatically generates full-text JATS XML article files with rich metadata for all journals that use our software-based production service. And we create article-level HTML and JATS XML metadata for all journals that use our OA publishing platform. You can learn more about how we’re helping journals produce machine-readable metadata to make articles more discoverable here.

Our full-text XML is PubMed Central compliant

If you publish a journal in the biomedical or life sciences and you’re looking to add articles to PubMed Central (PMC)/PubMed search, we have good news for you. The full-text JATS XML article files that Scholastica generates for journals using our production service now meet all of PMC’s technical requirements — so they’re ready for deposit with no work on your part. And we’re continuing to enhance how the XML we generate is structured to conforms to all of PMC’s preferred style criteria. Having Scholastica automatically typset articles in PMC compliant XML is helping publications like the Spartan Medical Research Journal more easily pursue PMC/PubMed search indexing.

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

PubMed Central/PubMed search: Scholastica’s production service now offers a PMC integration option to journals admitted to that database, so publishers don’t have to wrestle with uploading files to the PMC server. We take care of all initial article deposits, and we even send any revisions made to published articles to PMC automatically. The new integration also makes it possible to speed up indexing in the PubMed search engine since PubMed pulls in content from PMC. For journals applying to PMC, Scholastica’s production team can also help with preparing and submitting articles for the “Technical Evaluation” stage. Learn more about how we’re supporting journals with PMC indexing here.

Crossref DOI registration: One of the most common indexing requirements and overall discovery best practices that journal publishers should follow is registering Digital Object Identifiers or DOIs for all of their articles. For journals using Scholastica’s OA publishing platform, adding DOIs to articles is easy using our automated Crossref DOI registration feature. We deposit rich machine-readable metadata with all article DOIs, including ORCIDs and citation information, to help you get the full discovery benefits of Crossref membership. You can learn how to turn on this integration and ways Crossref supports content discoverability in this blog post.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): For journals admitted to the DOAJ using Scholastica’s OA publishing software, Scholastica also offers automatic DOAJ index deposits. Just follow the steps outlined here to turn on our DOAJ integration, and Scholastica will take care of the rest — automatically formatting article XML files to meet DOAJ’s standards and sending new articles to the index. You can learn more about DOAJ and the benefits of automatic indexing in this interview with DOAJ Operations Manager Dominic Mitchell.

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 OA 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 process and introducing new integrations 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 4th of June 2021