We’ve sent out login codes to every scholar who’s signed up through our beta form over the past few months.
We’re allowing new scholars in every few days as we cultivate the finest academic community and journal management platform on the internet. If you sign up now, expect to receive your code soon!
Team Scholastica is so happy it could burst. It’s been a long time since we were all sitting around Reynolds Club at the University of Chicago and came up with the idea to make a web application that mirrored what academia is in the real world – a place of debating new ideas and publishing them in academic journals. So, the three of us decided to do something about it.
We understand and care about many of the pains of academic publishing
What we knew from our time working with academic journals, both on the publishing and author sides, was that the process was incredibly inefficient . When we’ve worked at prestigious journals, we were shocked to see how long the process took. It took eight months to a year in many cases. Finding reviewers was a mess of Google searches, spreadsheets, and asking the same reviewers over and over again. When an author would call to find out where their manuscript was in the process - some of the time the journal didn’t even know .
On the author side it was very hard to know where you were in the submission process. Especially because many times the journal didn’t even know.
To make matters worse, in an era of modern technology, journal editorial boards were still filled with that managing editor’s grad students . What this means upon closer inspection is that there might be a grad student or scholar at a university far away who is unable to contribute her knowledge just because she doesn’t have a relationship with that managing editor. That’s less than ideal. Technology can solve problems like that.
To make matters worse, when journals do have software to help their peer review processes, it’s archaic software that’s unintuitive, hard to upgrade, and ignorant of current web standards.
For journals, these are the types of problems that Scholastica solves.
There’s a popular article on Genome Unzipped that argued that plenty of problems in academic publishing could be solved by having a ‘killer app.’ The article includes a screenshot of a potential interface where Scholars could vote papers up and down to assess their quality.
A year ago, someone posted a request for an “academic stack exchange” . This is a place where people can have discussions and vote answers up and down. It’s much like what was requested in the Genome Unzipped article above. It was asked for a year ago . And it doesn’t exist yet.
The Conversation is what the academic community has been asking for. And now it’s here. And it’s beautiful, elegant, and a breeze to use. More importantly, it’s a place where knowledge is created in the same universe of where knowledge is disseminated - academic journals. If you’re a brilliant Conversation user, journals can see that and potentially use you to find reviewers for them, or even use you as a reviewer.
Today is the launch but the work isn’t done. We welcome any and all feedback going forward. We’re going to be adding new features to make Scholastica what the Scholastic community needs it to be.
With love and appreciation,