Enabling Open Access for a Scholarly Publisher : A Case Study

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The Client

A leading international publisher of scholarly books and journals and partner to academic societies, universities, and libraries worldwide. 

The Problem

The client was eager to support new Open Access models — in which authors and their funders pay for article publication up front, making the published work available to scholars and libraries for free — but this would mean redesigning and rebuilding its technical infrastructure and workflows. In order to preserve its position as a key partner to academic societies and journals, the client needed a new technical infrastructure that could support this new business model. 

The Solution

Tricon Infotech’s teams of engineers, working in collaboration with the client’s technical staff, designed, built, and implemented a new series of platforms that offered a seamless, automated experience throughout the publishing process. 
  • A new Submission Portal centralizes the entire publication journey for authors in an intuitive workflow. Authors (or their approved proxies) can upload their articles and supporting information to the journal editors using a secure system, which automatically converts the manuscript into an XML file suitable for distribution to the editors and reviewers.  
  • The entire article submission process involves only a half-dozen steps and offers a transparent view into estimated charges and business rules, as well as a preview page before submitting the work. A “card” view allows users to organize and understand all outstanding submissions in a single dashboard. 
  • An integration with the client’s third-party, cloud-based peer review systems, Editorial Manager® and ScholarOne Manuscripts, allows the editors to evaluate each article, share it with peer reviewers, and determine whether it is suitable for publication. Two-way API calls track and update every change by users across all the systems. Authors can manage all communication with editors and peer reviewers directly in the Submission Portal. 
  • If the editors opt to accept the article for publication, then they can specify the up-front payment of the Article Publishing Charge before publication. Additionally, authors can indicate in the Submission Portal whether they will pay the Article Publishing Charge (and submit a receipt to their funder for reimbursement), or if a third-party funder will make the payment. (A separate dashboard for funders allows them to verify that each article meets their expectations before issuing payment.) 
  • Thanks to an integration with the client’s Salesforce CRM platform, the entire payment process is automated, from quotes to the payment gateway, eliminating the need for manual processing by the client to approve each article for publication. The client can even offer special purchase discounts via promo codes that can be redeemed in the checkout process. 
  • Once the payment has been made, the journal can publish the article electronically and make it available for librarians to acquire quickly. The new system gives librarians a new Librarian Portal in which they can evaluate and choose content for their collections, all using the same level of automation as the publishing process. The system works hand-in-hand with the Submission Portal so they can effectively manage their research and acquisition budgets.

Business Impact

The new platforms, along with a tight integration with both home-grown and third-party technologies, have allowed the client to offer a seamless experience for evaluating and publishing scholarly works under the growing Open Access publishing model. This has enabled the client to continue to leverage its expertise and remain a leading publishing partner for academic societies and a provider of content to libraries and institutions worldwide. Tricon and the client continue to add new features to the platform to further streamline the experience and add new capabilities, including some driven by new Generative AI capabilities. 

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