Photo by Enrapture Captivating Media on Unsplash
Photo by Enrapture Captivating Media on Unsplash

Since Scholastica’s inception, we’ve spoken with publishers and editors across academic disciplines to learn more about their journal operations. One of the main challenges we’ve heard from them is trying to piece together disjointed peer review and publishing software and services. When journals rely on tools and systems that don’t connect, it can lead to gaps in editorial communications, workflows, and ultimately, publication delays — which nobody wants! For journals to operate smoothly, aligning team members, processes, and systems is a must.

At Scholastica, we believe that publishing should be a streamlined process, and we pride ourselves on helping journals close the loop between peer review and publishing. That’s why we’re constantly working to improve our easy-to-integrate Peer Review System, Production Service, and Open Access Publishing Platform to help journals alleviate editorial bottlenecks and get new research out into the world faster.

To share how Scholastica is helping journals work more efficiently and optimize their peer review and publishing processes, we created a collection of Customer Stories. Below, we highlight four stories from academic institutions and scholarly societies using Scholastica to close the loop between peer review and publishing.

Bond University uses Scholastica to manage its journals in one place

Bond University Journal example, Culture Mandala

Over the past 30 years, Bond University has developed a thriving journals program with a broad portfolio of faculty-run titles. At the helm is Scholarly Publications & Copyright Manager Antoinette Cass, who oversees Bond’s publishing initiatives.

One of the primary challenges Cass faced as she worked to expand Bond’s journal program was trying to keep track of a patchwork of peer review and publishing tools their editors were using. It was difficult for her to know how each journal was faring and how she could best facilitate workflows within various software systems.

So, in 2019, she set out to find a new way to manage and host Bond’s journals, ultimately deciding to migrate all their titles to Scholastica’s peer review system and fully-OA publishing platform. Now, as a Scholastica admin, Cass can easily monitor editorial operations across Bond’s titles. And their editors can move accepted manuscripts straight to publication without tedious file and metadata transfer steps like before.

“I really liked what I learnt about Scholastica. It came through as a very adaptive and well-structured platform that would do everything we needed and more,” said Cass in a blog interview about Bond’s transition experience.

Since moving to Scholastica, Cass has been using the time she’s gained to work on initiatives to continue professionalizing Bond’s publishing program and help the journals reach a wider readership, starting with indexing. “We’ve got Google Scholar indexing now, which was a must,” said Cass. “And when I saw that Scholastica integrates with DOAJ, that was a big plus.”

Cass also uses Scholastica’s peer review system analytics to get a bird’s-eye-view of how Bond’s journals are doing overall. She checks high-level stats to assess editorial operations, including the average number of manuscripts assigned to each editor, each journal’s average time to a first manuscript decision, and average days to a decision by editor. “I really like all those touch points so I can see how everyone is traveling,” she said. “Library Services has provided the platform, and we have a vested interest in making sure all of the journals using it do well.”

Spartan Medical Research Journal uses Scholastica to streamline peer review and produce articles in PMC-ready XML

Spartan Medical Research Journal HTML article saved as XML

For Spartan Medical Research Journal (SMRJ), a publication outlet of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, the decision to move to Scholastica resulted from their need to both improve the journal’s editorial workflows and meet indexing requirements.

“Relying on email and Word docs [for peer review] was getting pretty difficult,” former Assistant Editor Sam Wisniewski explained in a blog interview. “So we started talking about ways to streamline that process. At the same time, we were getting our application ready to submit to PubMed Central for indexing, and that’s when we realized we needed XML. So it was good timing when we found Scholastica and realized it could help us with both those things.”

SMRJ migrated to Scholastica’s peer review system, digital-first production service, and fully-OA hosting platform. Moving to Scholastica enabled SMRJ to streamline its peer review and publishing operations, saving the team time and improving the experience of its editors, authors, and reviewers.

Moving to Scholastica also helped the SMRJ team successfully apply to have the journal indexed in PubMed Central, one of their long-time discovery goals. Scholastica’s production service enabled them to quickly and affordably have article typeset in PDF and PubMed Central compliant full-text JATs XML, something they couldn’t do on their own. And since being admitted into the PMC database, the SMRJ team has been using Scholastica’s PMC integration to automate article deposits.

Since Scholastica’s digital-first production service and OA publishing platform seamlessly integrate, the SMRJ team can submit typesetting requests and access all their finished articles in one place. “With Scholastica’s formatting, articles are also looking fancier, and they are more interactive for readers than before,” said Chief Editor William Corser. “You can click on citations, and they pull up the reference. You have nicer graphics, and the journal looks more polished overall.”

Precision Nanomedicine reaches its indexing goals with the help of Scholastica

Precision Nanomedicine website and article

Since using Scholastica’s OA publishing platform to launch Precision Nanomedicine (PRNANO), the official journal of the European Foundation for Clinical Nanomedicine, its editors have been able to rapidly grow the journal’s readership and gain an Impact Factor.

Among the keys to their success has been prioritizing applying to leading academic indexes, which PRNANO’s Editor-in-Chief Lajos (Lou) Balogh and Managing Editor Georgette B. Salieb-Beugelaar said they were able to do quickly and efficiently with the help of Scholastica. In a blog interview about their experience successfully applying for Scopus indexing, they discussed how using Scholastica for peer review and publishing enabled them to streamlined journal operations so they could scale their publishing efforts more quickly and focus on fulfilling indexing requirements.

“First, we applied to DOAJ, which provides the credibility you need early on,” said Balogh. “This was very easy with Scholastica because the journal website template has a place for all the necessary information. And, once a journal is admitted to the DOAJ, Scholastica offers an integration to start indexing new articles automatically.”

From there, the editors set their sites on Scopus, officially becoming part of that index in 2022. And they plan to continue working on discovery initiatives. PRNANO is using the built-in analytics suite in Scholastica’s OA publishing platform to track their readership and guide strategic publication planning.

Survey Practice uses Scholastica to publish rolling articles and issues

Survey Practice articles page

As the official journal of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Survey Practice must maintain a swift time to publication to make the latest survey research findings available to scholars and practitioners in the field. So when the journal’s editors realized they were starting to develop a backlog of articles waiting to be published, they knew it was time for a change.

In order to publish new research sooner, in 2017, the journal’s former Editor-in-Chief, Ashley Amaya, decided to transition Survey Practice to a rolling publishing model, wherein articles are published as they’re ready and compiled into issues later. Prior to finding Scholastica, Amaya said software limitations were the main barrier to reaching that goal. “We were having a hard time finding a submissions management system and a publishing system all in one that would actually allow us to not publish in issue format. It’s one of the big reasons we went with Scholastica,” she said in a past interview.

When Amaya found Scholastica, she realized she could get a seamlessly integrated peer review system and OA publishing platform with the functionality Survey Practice needed to publish articles on a rolling basis and combine them into issues at the end of each year.

Recognizing article production as one of their most time-consuming tasks, the Survey Practice team also decided to move to Scholastica’s digital-first production service to eliminate manual work and save time.

“Previously, we had our copyeditors format in HTML and then separately format in PDF and upload those to our old site. Now, Scholastica formats our articles in HTML and generates a PDF for download on command,” said Amaya. “So we can provide a quality reading experience with less work for our editors.”

Scholastica’s OA publishing platform also automatically generates rich machine-readable HTML metadata for all the journal’s articles, making it easier for search engines to index them.

At Scholastica, we’re proud to be helping journals across academic disciplines close the loop between peer review and publishing with our modular easy-to-integrate peer review, production, and OA publishing solutions. We work closely with our customers to determine their needs and regularly release new features to help journals do more with less manual work and fewer technical hassles so they can focus on furthering their scholarly missions.

You can see more stories from publishing organizations and individual journals using our platform on our Customer Stories page.

This post was originally published on May 16, 2019 and updated on March 24, 2023.

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