Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Spotlight on the Charlesworth WeChat Gateway - shortlisted for the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

Charlesworth logo





This year, the judges have selected a shortlist of eight for the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing.  The winners will be announced on 16 September at the opening of the ALPSP 2020 Virtual Conference. In this series, we learn more about the finalists.

In this post, we learn more about the Charlesworth WeChat Gateway.

Tell us a bit about your organization.

The Charlesworth Group is recognised globally as a trusted partner for STM Publishers for sales, marketing representation, technical solutions and consultancy in China. Charlesworth is also a leading provider of language editing and author services globally through its Charlesworth Author Services division. We provide services to Publishers and Institutions, supporting thousands of authors each year.

Charlesworth is a family-owned business, established 90 years ago as a bookbinder. Throughout the decades our focus has been on publishing services. We have offices in the UK, US, Ukraine and have had an office in China for over 20 years.

What is the project/product that you submitted for the Awards?

WeChat is the most dominant social app in China, often referred to as China’s super app because of the breadth of functionality the app offers across communication and eCommerce. It currently has 1.15 billion monthly active users, who spend on average 82 minutes per day using the app and make 1 billion transactions a day. The WeChat environment is moving from being a walled garden of messages and posts for followers to integrating more third-party applications into the app and creating more possibilities for content discovery via its search tool.

The Charlesworth WeChat Gateway is a web-based content marketing and author communication platform, used for managing author communication within the STM workflow through WeChat.
Simply put, WeChat Gateway allows publishers to integrate their systems into the WeChat environment and create user journeys for China-based authors that replicate the slick e-commerce stores those authors are used to within WeChat.

WeChat is heavily used by academics and it is far quicker and more convenient for a Chinese author to engage with a Publisher via WeChat, instead of having to load a webpage hosted outside of China.

screenshot image WeChat Gateway

The Gateway has three core components which allow a Publisher to be present on the WeChat platform and engage with their authors:

  • API integration platform – the Gateway allows a Publisher to integrate their backend systems. Currently, the Gateway is connected with journal submission systems. This allows a Publisher to send unique customised paper status notifications to authors or allow them to self-check 24/7. The configurable chatbot delivers all of these messages in Chinese. This integration deepens author communication and reduces queries on paper status from authors. 
  • WeChat marketing platform – marketeers can use the Gateway content hub to directly manage and upload marketing content into the Publisher WeChat account.
  • Publisher Analytics Dashboard – WeChat Gateway incorporates an analytics dashboard that extends and enriches the standard reports available from WeChat itself, providing deep data on follower behaviour, growth and content engagement.  

Tell us a little about how it works and the team behind it

Charlesworth has teams based in China, the UK and Ukraine. Together, these teams use agile methodologies to continually understand and respond to the needs of Chinese authors and Publishers globally.

The team focused on the development of the WeChat Gateway is made up of Andrew Afonin, IT Director who leads a development team in both China and Ukraine, Andrew Smith, Product and Marketing Director who leads teams in the UK, led by our Product Manager Jean Dawson and in China, led by Kelly Zhang. 

We utilized WeChat software development tools as a base to create Gateway but our Product teams extended and created new functionality; creating a platform that is not available within the WeChat software tool offering. Our resulting Gateway software creates an omnichannel solution for our clients, allowing us to connect multiple external systems to the Gateway which can then feed out as a personalised notification data stream to different WeChat author accounts. The Gateway has servers in both China and outside; these servers manage the data flow in and out of China to ensure the Gateway powers a quick response to China-based authors.

The Gateway is continually being developed to bring on board new system integration and to add additional features. The speed of change in China is at a lightning pace, so our teams are continuously monitoring trends and talking to authors to ensure the product is developed with user needs at its core.

In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

China-based authors are expected to use the standard tools and workflows offered by STM Publishers globally. This ignores the fact that the Chinese web and the most commonly used apps in China are very different from those in the west. China is a mobile-first market and in many ways, the Chinese leapfrogged earlier web technology, which means that email is not the dominant form of communication. A Deloitte survey from 2018 shows that only 33% of Chinese users check their email daily, while 88% check their instant messaging apps daily. Therefore email is not an ideal form of communication. Instead, social messaging apps are the key form of communication and academics use these apps to communicate, promote and discuss their research.

Publisher tools are usually based outside of China and designed with users in North American and Europe in mind. Users in China, accessing these tools on their mobile, can struggle with both connectivity issues and navigating the user interface. 

Charlesworth, through the WeChat Gateway, helps STM Publishers to integrate their services into the WeChat environment. It helps to solve the issue of communication with Chinese authors by powering interfaces that replicate the Chinese eCommerce experience and deliver updates in Chinese. Initially, we have focused on integrating article submission notifications, so a China-based author can receive all the status notifications about their paper in WeChat. These notifications can then be linked to the content in WeChat. For instance, an acceptance message can be linked to author promotion content, creating a great experience for authors.

For Publishers, the Gateway is a tool that can be easily configured without a need to understand WeChat or speak Chinese. The Gateway can be used by a marketing team and the chatbot allows a Publisher to configure the messages which are sent to the author.

What are your plans for the future?

Our vision for Gateway is to integrate the whole STM publishing workflow into WeChat.

Through our partnership with Editorial Manager, we will be able to offer authors submitting their paper to EM Publishers the ability to check article status notifications in WeChat from submission to final decision. Through our ingest relationship, we will also be able to join this up further, so authors can receive notifications during both language editing and article submission and review, without the need to complete a full resubmission to Editorial Manager. 

We are continuing to integrate different systems and satisfy new use cases to create engaging user journeys for China-based authors in WeChat. Our next steps are to look at how an author can submit and manage their article via WeChat and receive notifications across the whole author journey. This includes post-acceptance. For instance, on publication, we want to be able to deliver updates to the author on the citations to their article, usage and support in promoting and marketing their research. We are engaging with multiple publishers, looking at simplifying the China-based author experience through WeChat exclusively, rather than asking them to access multiple platforms.

We are building a new mobile dashboard that allows authors in WeChat to submit papers seamlessly, initially for our language polishing service, but this module will have wider application. We are also developing a voice-recognition feature so authors can request information via WeChat about their article submission or published article.

The platform has been designed to integrate with other social media apps. WeChat has been our focus and continues to be so but we plan to integrate other social messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Line into the Gateway to deliver services to authors based outside of China.  For further information, please visit: http://www.cwrepresentation.com/



You can hear from all of the Finalists at the ALPSP Awards Lightning Session on Tuesday 8 September. Visit the ALPSP website to register and for full details of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020.
The 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing are sponsored by PLS.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Spotlight on WordToEPUB - shortlisted for the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

The judges have selected a shortlist of eight for this year's ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing.  The winners will be announced on 16 September at the opening of the ALPSP 2020 Virtual Conference. 

In this post, we hear from Richard Orme about WordToEPUB.

Tell us a bit about your organization.

logo DAISY Consortium
The DAISY Consortium is a global family of organizations which pool and coordinate resources to deliver worldwide change on our vision and mission, ensuring people have equal access to information regardless of their ability. 

Our work is focused on the development of solutions for accessible publishing and reading via influencing global standards, the creation of tools to facilitate accessible content creation and delivering guidance materials and training.

For over 20 years the DAISY Consortium has had a significant impact on mainstream and specialist publishing. The DAISY audiobook standard is used by organizations around the world to deliver millions of titles on a daily basis to people with print disabilities (e.g. people who are blind, have low vision, dyslexia or physical disabilities).

Our work on the EPUB standard ensured that it was built on a foundation of accessibility. The free validation and accessibility checking tools we develop and maintain are used by publishers, conversion services and retailers for almost all commercial publications.

What is the project/product that you submitted for the Awards?

We are delighted that our new WordToEPUB tool has been shortlisted for the awards. Launched earlier this year, it an incredibly user-friendly tool which enables anyone with a structured Microsoft Word document to easily create an accessible and highly flexible publication in the EPUB 3 format. This can be read on any device and used with a variety of assistive technologies which people with disabilities around the world rely upon throughout their education, work and leisure.

Tell us a little about how it works and the team behind it

The WordToEPUB tool was designed to offer a simple process which anyone can use, with more advanced options available to those seeking a greater level of control and customisation. The tool can be run from a button on the Microsoft Word Ribbon, or directly as an application. On activation the tool performs a series of tests on the Word document to identify significant accessibility issues which would impact the resulting document, and if found the user is notified of the issue and advised. If the document passes the initial test the document undergoes conversion resulting in an EPUB document. A menu of advanced features and customization is also available, aimed at users who are knowledgeable in ebook creation, but not hampering the ability of novice users.

The tool also automatically records details about the content language, supporting multilingual texts for accurate text to speech playback and support for reading in braille. The application and the supporting documentation has been translated from English into French, Spanish, German, Italian, Danish and Portuguese, with support for Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Hindi and Japanese partially implemented. Support for other languages is underway by native speaking volunteer supporters. 

The tool was developed by DAISY staff, with voluntary contributions from the global DAISY community of educators, publishers and accessibility experts, and with advice and encouragement from Microsoft.

Despite only being a few months old, the WordToEPUB tool has already shown that it plays an important role in the development of simple, practical workflows for the creation of accessible materials. The tool is now in everyday use in education establishments and specialist libraries as a primary tool for the creation of accessible education and leisure reading materials and has been used by self-publishing authors to release titles.

In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

EPUB is generally produced from bespoke XML workflows, complex publishing software or specialist tools. WordToEPUB was created to answer the direct needs of people who create content using a familiar word processor and needed a simple method that is just a couple of clicks. With this tool they can ensure their materials are delivered in a flexible and accessible way to meet the needs of their diverse readership. Marrying the most widely used word processing system on the planet with EPUB, the world’s most accessible publishing format, through a free and easy to use tool delivers benefits to everyone involved. Readers can enjoy EPUB publications using whatever device they own, adjusting the text presentation based on their device size or access requirements, or directly reading through audio or braille.

The powerful EPUB format is already used widely in education publishing, so enabling educators and support staff to provide education resources in the same format has proven to be particularly powerful. This is especially true since the COVID pandemic has driven many education establishments around the world to transition to delivering education content online, while meeting their moral and legal obligations to ensure the content can be accessed by people with disabilities.

What are your plans for the future?

We have seen a significant increase in the adoption of the WordToEPUB tool, and feedback has been glowing. Over the coming months we are continuing to enhance the tool and support resources, offering guidance for more complex content like equations, and translating the tool and support materials into more languages with a special focus on the developing world.

On the development side we are working towards a command line system for batch processing and integration into established workflows, as well as a cloud-based solution which may assist educators unable to install applications. Slightly longer term we plan to release a macOS version of the tool.

Through the development of this tool we have been able to share information and offer feedback to tools supporting content authored in Apple, Google, and open formats to improve the quality of output

We will also continue to work with Microsoft and encourage the integration of this or a similar process directly within Word.

photo Richard Orme

Richard Orme has worked in the area of inclusion and accessibility for over 30 years, including many years working on innovations for mainstream and specialist publishing. 


Resources
Web links:
https://daisy.org/wordtoepub
https://daisy.org/news-events/articles/epub-publications-from-word-w/
https://daisy.org/news-events/articles/wordtoepub-extended-tutorial-w/

Twitter

You can hear from all of this year's finalists at the ALPSP Awards Lightning Session on Tuesday 8 September.  Visit the ALPSP website to register and for full details of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020.
  
The 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing are sponsored by PLS.


Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Spotlight on DataSeer - shortlisted for the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

This year, the judges have selected a shortlist of eight for the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing.  The winners will be announced on 16 September at the opening of the ALPSP 2020 Virtual Conference. In this series, we learn more about the finalists.


In this post, we hear from Tim Vines about DataSeer. 









The idea for DataSeer comes from my time as a Managing Editor at the journal Molecular Ecology. In 2010 we adopted the Joint Data Archiving Policy – which mandates data sharing as a condition of publication – and were experimenting with how best to enforce it. We found that the only consistent approach was to check for compliance ourselves by reading every accepted article and listing the datasets the authors needed to share. After about 500 articles it occurred to me that we could get a machine to do the same job, with the advantage that the machine would be quicker, cheaper, and much more scalable.

Fast forward to 2018, when we received a Sloan Foundation grant to develop DataSeer as part of the Open Source software developer Coko (aka the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation). We’ve recently released DataSeer as a Beta and we’re working with numerous potential users to see how best to fit DataSeer into their workflows.

What is the project/product that you submitted for the Awards?

Our organisation and our product are pretty much the same thing! Our goal with DataSeer is to address one of the biggest obstacles to Open Research Data: there’s no easy way to get from the generally worded data sharing policies to the actions the authors need to take for their particular manuscript.

This issue is pernicious because it both increases the time and effort authors need to devote to data sharing (often to the point they give up altogether), and prevents the stakeholders (journal and funders) from knowing what should have been done. The stakeholders then struggle to enforce their data sharing policies, such that authors have no consequences for non-compliance.

DataSeer uses Natural Language Processing to scan research texts for sentences that describe data collection, infers the type of data being collected, and provides best practice advice on how and where that dataset should be shared. Once the author has shared all of the required datasets (or given a reason why they can’t be shared), DataSeer passes a report back to the journal or funder. This approach saves time and worry for the authors and empowers stakeholders to promote open research data.

Tell us a little about how it works and the team behind it

DataSeer has three main parts - the algorithm, the user interface, and our ‘Research Data Wiki’. Our code is open source (here and here). The algorithm has been trained on about 3000 open access articles from a wide range of subject areas. Moreover, researchers tend to describe data collection with similar language regardless of their field, so training an NLP algorithm to spot data sentences is a fairly manageable problem. As with any AI application, it’s making a fair number of mistakes at the moment, but that should change as we process more and more articles.

graphic DataSeer illustration














The wiki hosts our ‘best practice’ advice for sharing many different types of data, and we encourage users to edit our advice if they feel it can be improved. Our vision is that widespread use of DataSeer will eventually lead to a global resource on best practice for data sharing across all areas of research.

As mentioned above, the idea for DataSeer stems from my JDAP enforcement efforts at Molecular Ecology. I started out as an researcher in evolutionary biology before moving into journal management in 2008. In 2014 I founded Axios Review, an independent peer review service that acted as a broker between authors and journals. I've since become a Managing Editor again (this time for the Journal of Sexual Medicine), and rejoined the Scholarly Kitchen blog. I am based in Vancouver, Canada.

Our business lead is Kristen Ratan – Kristen has been involved with developing technology solutions for the academic publishing industry for over 20 years, and has heaps of experience in bringing open science products from idea to marketplace. She has worked at HighWire Press, Atypon, PLOS, and Coko, and now runs her own consultancy on open source solutions for promoting open research. Kristen is based in Santa Cruz, California.

Our lead developer is Patrice Lopez, who has spent the last ten years developing open source NLP tools for research articles. His pdf parser, Grobid, has been applied to over 1.6 million articles and is incorporated into workflows at many large academic publishing organizations. Patrice is based in a small village in France.

In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

DataSeer’s innovation is to use the efficiency of machine learning and Natural Language Processing to automate a really difficult step in enforcing data sharing policies: working out what the authors of a particular article need to do, and helping them do it. At some journals this step is performed by PhD level data curation experts, but as each article can take them between 30 minutes and an hour to process, this approach is only practical for accepted manuscripts at well-resourced publishers. By making this process much cheaper and quicker, DataSeer will enable many more journals to adopt data sharing policies.

Moreover, because DataSeer is cheap and highly scalable, it enables journals to require that all submitted articles share their data, so that the datasets can be scrutinised during peer review. This in turn will prompt researchers to be more rigorous with their data management throughout the research cycle, which should ultimately improve the overall reliability of published work.

DataSeer will also ensure that a much higher proportion of articles share their data, and also do a better job of sharing all of their datasets. Articles will become more reproducible, and many more datasets will be available for testing new hypotheses, conducting powerful meta-analysis, or just verifying the authors’ results. This is the crux of DataSeer’s innovation: by fixing an apparently minor stumbling block in the peer review process, we can usher in a revolution in open science.

What are your plans for the future?

In the immediate future, we’re focused on working with our current partners to ensure that DataSeer is doing everything that they need it to do. Longer term, we will 1) allow authors to deposit their data in the most suitable repository directly from our User Interface; 2) promote reproducibility by detecting mentions of code and data then helping authors share both correctly; and 3) expand DataSeer to numerous other use cases and workflows, to ensure that we’re helping as many groups and stakeholders as possible.

photo Tim Vines

Tim Vines is a researcher, journal manager, and entrepreneur. His research has motivated and informed many aspects of the open data movement.










Website
https://dataseer.ai/
Twitter
@DataSeerAI

You can hear from all of the Finalists at the ALPSP Awards Lightning Session on Tuesday 8 September. Visit the ALPSP website to register and for full details of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020.

The 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing are sponsored by PLS.



Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Spotlight on Rigor and Transparency Index powered by SciScore - shortlisted for the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

In this series, we hear from the finalists for the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing.  The winners will be announced at the ALPSP Virtual Conference on 16 September.  

In this post, we hear from Anita Bandrowski and Martijn Roelandse about the RTI, Rigor and Transparency Index, powered by SciScore.


logo Rigor and Transparency Index


Tell us a bit about your organization.
We are a group of inventors that come from a long tradition of breaking technology and social barriers. We have a technology toolbox, but always ask “is the answer technology or culture?”

What is the project/product that you submitted for the Awards?

In a way, we have something similar to the impact factor, however it scores different things. The RTI, Rigor and Transparency Index, is the average rigor criteria completeness score for each journal.

graphic SciScore illustration


What is included? The rigor and transparency criteria (sex/gender as a biological variable, randomization of subjects into groups, investigator bias reduction through blinding, group size determinant via power calculation, identification of statistical tools, as well as the identification and authentication of key biological resources such as antibodies, cell lines, and organisms). Authors, funded by several funding agencies such as NIH or submitting to various journals such as Nature, are expected to address these criteria in their work, but some may not. The RTI is the average number of these criteria found in journal articles in a given year. 
We think that if journals know where there are particular problems or where they stand compared to their peers, it may inspire them to work with authors to improve the quality of manuscripts.

Tell us a little about how it works and the team behind it

The RTI is based on our tool, SciScore, which has now been integrated into eJournal Press and will be available in Editorial Manager in the fall. This tool acts as an automated reviewer, which can check whether rigor criteria are addressed. It looks for sentences that discuss the particular criteria, for example “experiments were performed on both male and female mice, with subjects balanced for sex in each group” fulfills the “sex/gender as a biological variable” criteria. The authors or reviewers can then determine if the criteria are met in the context of the study, something that automated tools really can’t do at this point. While SciScore acts as a reviewer, the RTI index is the average SciScore for papers published in a given journal and given year.

The team behind this endeavor includes Anita Bandrowski who heads the Antibody Registry and the RRID initiative; Maryann Martone, one of the architects of FAIR; Martijn Roelandse, a former head of content innovation at a major publisher; and Burak Ozyurt, a computer scientist that has just taken the Google BERT AI, and made it run ...on a laptop ….in his spare time. We bring varied skills to find interesting solutions to very difficult problems.

In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

Innovation is a tough thing to assess. Certainly there are plenty of ways that someone can score journals. However, as far as I am aware, all ways of scoring journals are based on the data around the article itself, i.e, how many times it is cited or tweeted about. The RTI delves deep into the science described in the paper and attempts to assess how good that is. It seems to me that this is something quite different, therefore potentially innovative.

What are your plans for the future?

“Pinky we are going to take over the world!!!” - The Brain (...or maybe not)

We are passionate about making science a little better, and a little more efficient. We want every study to be done in a rigorous way, we want every reagent to be explicitly specified so people reading scientific papers can quickly replicate key findings. If successful, this should accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, not just the rate of publishing.

photo Anita Bandrowski
Anita Bandrowski works in the department of neuroscience at UCSD taking part in the daily operations of projects such as the Brain Cell Census Network and the SPARC project (tracing the neural to organ connections). In addition, she runs the RRID initiative (rrids.org), heads SciScore development efforts, and appreciates the finer intricacies of both wine and cats. 

photo Martijn Roelandse
Martijn Roelandse is founder/consultant at martijnroelandse.dev and has worked with the SciScore team for over 10 months now. He has a PhD in neuroscience, worked for 10+ years in scholarly publishing with a major publisher and 2015 ALPSP Award finalist with Bookmetrix. With friends he owns 4 barrels of whisky and he is really fond of his dog Bo.



Twitter
@sciscore
COVID-19 Project Twitter bot 


You can hear from all of this year's finalists at the ALPSP Awards for Innovation Lightning Session on Tuesday 8 September.  Visit the ALPSP website to register and for full details of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020.
  
The 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing are sponsored by PLS.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Spotlight on Open Library of Humanities - shortlisted for the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

The judges have selected a shortlist of eight for this year's ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing.  The winners will be announced on 16 September at the opening of the ALPSP 2020 Virtual Conference. 

In this post, we focus on the Open Library of  Humanities, a Consortial Funding Model for Gold Open Access in the Humanities Without Publication Fees 

Tell us a bit about your organization.

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing world-leading open access humanities scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges. Launched in 2015, our free-to-read, free-to-publish model was set up to revolutionise the field of open access publishing. Five years on, our sustainable business model has attracted nearly 300 supporting institutions, with further revenue generated through hosting on our in-house open source publishing platform Janeway, enabling us to establish a thriving platform of 28 peer-reviewed open access journals. Our mission is to support and extend open access to scholarship in the humanities - for free, for everyone, for ever.

logo OLH Open Library of Humanities


What is the project/product that you submitted for the Awards?

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a scholar-led, gold open-access publisher with no author-facing charges and was launched by Martin Eve and Caroline Edwards in 2015. With initial funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the platform covers its costs by payments from an international library consortium, rather than any kind of author fee. We are part of a growing global community of not-for-profit publishers that explore different business models and innovative approaches to open publishing. OLH was established to challenge the costly, limited routes to open access publication in the humanities, and find a sustainable business model to enable academic journals to publish peer-reviewed research without charges to author or reader - making world-leading research accessible to anyone. 
Tell us a little about how it works and the team behind it

The model proposed by the OLH is one where publication costs do not fall on the institution or researchers but are instead financed collaboratively through an international library consortium. Each member pays an annual fee according to the country and size of the institution, reducing and distributing the costs of publication across our members, with an economy of scale that improves as more institutions join. Our idea is that research organisations and libraries make a relatively small contribution that covers the costs of running a publication platform on which peer-reviewed scholarly journals can then be published as open access. All contributing libraries and individuals are given a place on the OLH Library Board, which will consult with the OLH Academic Board in the future admission of journals and other governance and budgetary decisions. 

The Open Library of Humanities is co-directed by Professor Martin Paul Eve and Dr Caroline Edwards, both at Birkbeck, University of London. We also have two full-time Senior Publishing Technology Developers, Andy Byers and Mauro Sanchez, who lead the development of our Janeway Platform and the OLH website. Dr Rose Harris-Birtill serves as Managing Editor across the Open Library of Humanities platform of 28 Open Access scholarly journals, and Editor of its flagship journal OLH. Paula Clemente Vega is the Marketing Officer for the Open Library of Humanities where she is in charge of increasing the visibility of the OLH through outreach, content marketing and advocacy. 

In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

The OLH has been internationally recognised as an important development in open access for the humanities and for its innovative business model. The platform was initially funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and now, five years after its launch, entirely covers its costs by payments from its international library consortium. The international consortium of libraries comprises nearly 300 institutions including Harvard, Cambridge, Yale, Princeton, and many others. With this model, the OLH has expanded from 7 journals in 2015 to 28 journals in 2020, has four full-time staff, funds two external commercial university presses (Ubiquity Press and Liverpool University Press) to convert their journals to open access, and has developed and launched in 2017 Janeway, its own field-leading innovative open source publishing platform developed fully in-house. 

Part of the OLH model that makes it so appealing lies in our journal ‘flipping’ programme, where we have sought to convert existing subscription titles to an open access model without fees. One of our most popular incorporations was the high-profile transfer in 2015 of the editorial board of Elsevier’s journal Lingua to a new title, Glossa, published by Ubiquity Press but funded by OLH and LingOA.  

We are delighted that OLH won a Coko Foundation Open Publishing Award in 2019 and we were pleased, recently, to be able to publish an article in Liber Quarterly on what we have learned from the first half-decade of running the Open Library of Humanities. In just five years, we have established a platform of 28 peer-reviewed academic journals, whose scholarly articles have received over 360,000 downloads worldwide. Last year, in 2019, we published a total of 532 articles (74 more articles than in 2018) – without charging any APCs. We have worked hard to change the field of open access publishing by encouraging other organisations to use our model as the basis of their own Open Access publishing frameworks. Other businesses have also adopted our novel economic model, resulting in over $4 million of worldwide revenue generation; according to Jisc Collections, library crowd-publishing company Reveal Digital has based its UK financial model on OLH, and has raised $4,258,681 to date. We may be a small digital publisher, but as these sizable achievements show, our vision goes far beyond one company.

What are your plans for the future?

We have demonstrated that a model for high-quality open access publishing without article processing charges is possible and also sustainable in the long-term. During these first five years, the Open Library of Humanities has made thousands of articles open access under our no-author-fee system funded by our member libraries. We have shown that academic libraries are willing to pay for open infrastructure as part of their mission, and that scholars in the humanities do not oppose to high-quality peer-reviewed open access when there are no financial barriers along the way.

When Martin Eve and Caroline Edwards began to devise the project, one of the first things that they did was to ask academic libraries if they would continue to pay for the subscriptions if they became open access, and the answer was and continues to be a resounding ‘yes’. This has allowed us to celebrate five years and became financially independent. What we need now is for other publishing houses and academic societies to experiment with this model and adapt it to their respective needs and realities. The main beneficiaries of a greater diffusion of consortial models like ours will always be, in any case, researchers and universities and their increasingly tight budgets. 

There have been several exciting new developments in the recent months. Earlier this year, the Open Library of Humanities launched the OLH Open Access Award 2020, a fund dedicated to promoting the benefits and impact of open access to humanities scholars and disciplines and to knowledge worldwide. Our open access awards were awarded to two organisations in recognition for their exceptional open access scholarly projects: the National Library of Kosovo and the Open Access Digital Theological Library.

We’ve also invested in improvements for our Janeway scholarly publishing platform to ensure accessibility for a wider range of people with disabilities, as well as making our software compatible with major publishing software systems to make it easier for journals to join us. 

Our OLH EmpowOA programme, an initiative we launched in 2018 to support scholars and librarians working in the humanities, keeps growing with the addition of multilingual advocacy resources and the publication of new Open Insights interviews and blog posts from a rich variety of scholars and librarians within the humanities and open access communities. We have also recently started hosting live chats with our academic editors, you can watch our latest webinars here.

Website
Twitter
@openlibhums 

You can hear from all of this year's finalists at the ALPSP Awards Lightning Session on Tuesday 8 September.  Visit the ALPSP website to register and for full details of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020.
  
The 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing are sponsored by PLS.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Spotlight on Jus Mundi - shortlisted for the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

The judges have selected a shortlist of eight for this year's ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing.  The winners will be announced on 16 September at the opening of the ALPSP 2020 Virtual Conference. In this series, we learn more about the finalists.

In this post, we hear from Jean-Rémi de Maistre, CEO & Co-founder of Jus Mundi. 

Tell us a bit about your organization.

logo Jus Mundi The Search Engine for International Law and Arbitration
Paris-based Jus Mundi strives to make International Law & Arbitration easily accessible and understandable to lawyers worldwide. We built a multilingual search engine by publishing the most comprehensive international legal database. We collect and structure global legal data that is otherwise dispersed across multiple restrictive sources or simply not available. Our intuitive, user-friendly interface powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning allows lawyers to do their research quickly and efficiently with legal filters.  We partnered with Brill to distribute Jus Mundi to academics. Jus Mundi is featured on Forbes Top Machine Learning Startups in 2020.

What are the main features of Jus Mundi?

Unique Content: Jus Mundi offers the most comprehensive collection document of public international law, investment arbitration, commercial arbitration, international trade law, international economic law, law of the sea. All documents are interactive. The text has been extracted from the original PDF version (including poor quality scanned copies), manually corrected, automatically structured by paragraph or page with an interactive table of content, and enriched with keywords. 

Multilingual Search Engine: When a legal query is entered in English or French, the search engine finds relevant results in all languages available in the database. Searching on Jus Mundi is more comprehensive and relevant due to the quality of the documents.

screenshot multilingual search engine

 
CiteMap: Our innovative feature CiteMap is developed with an algorithm that presents the list of relevant case law on our database in multiple languages for a particular paragraph of a document when you hover the cursor.

graphic Citemap

 
Tell us a little about how it works and the team behind it

As we cater to the international market, we ensured that the company’s strategies align with it. Today, we are proud to say that we have 11 different nationalities from all around the world. We have data scientists, engineers, web designers, and of course, lawyers. Our team adapted quickly during the times of COVID19 as we were already working remotely pretty regularly. We also onboarded a few recruits online to adapt to the situation.

Alain Pellet, one of the most recognized lawyers in international law, advised us on the legal data part since the beginning, and we are grateful for his help all along.

In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

Our solution is innovative because it combines advanced technologies, such as machine learning & artificial intelligence, with collaborative human intelligence. Recently we published commercial arbitration awards that are exclusively available on our website. We have developed an algorithm that explores worldwide case laws to extract the relevant international legal data (for instance, international awards) for our users. Our database is updated weekly, so the lawyers are always up to date with their legal knowledge. Our solution is significant because we are filling up the current gap between the dispersed legal data and lawyers who are looking to access this data by providing them on our platform. Thanks to our search engine, lawyers and students can extract essential information from legal documents in a few clicks.

We are also offering easy accessibility to our data, e.g. Jus Mundi’s Wiki Notes — a directory of concept notes published by lawyers globally - are accessible freely without requiring an account.

What are your plans for the future?

Jus Mundi's ambition is to make the entire body of international law accessible. Therefore, we are going to extend to all other areas of international law (human rights, the environment, international criminal law, private international law, etc.). We also plan to make our platform available in Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.
We have also started working with "traditional" publishers, such as our partner Brill, to index their content and interconnect it with the Jus Mundi database. There are a vast number of books and articles in international law that are produced all over the world. The problem is that it is very challenging for researchers to find what they need quickly. The specific algorithms developed by Jus Mundi can meet this need.





Jean-Rémi de Maistre is CEO & Co-founder of Jus Mundi and has practised for several years as a lawyer in international law. 




Twitter: @JusMundi

You can hear from all of the Finalists at the ALPSP Awards Lightning Session on Tuesday 8 September. Visit the ALPSP website to register and for full details of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020.

The 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing are sponsored by PLS.


Monday, 3 August 2020

Opening Content for COVID: What Comes Next?

By Will Schweitzer & Stephanie Lovegrove Hansen,  Silverchair - Silver sponsors of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020

To enable researchers, students, and faculty to easily access scholarly content remotely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many publishers removed paywalls from their content. As those free access periods begin to expire, how are publishers handling the reinstitution of paywalls, both logistically and from a messaging standpoint? How has this period changed customer relationships and how will it change future sales approaches? And how has the race to open content affected intellectual property protections and guarding against cyber criminals like SciHub? In July, Silverchair assembled a panel of publishers and service partners to discuss the ways they are approaching these challenges. A summary of the insights follows, and a recording of the full webinar may be found online.


As the pandemic crisis took hold globally early in 2020—first slowly, and then all at once—the scholarly publishing community was quick to respond, adapting their products and sales strategies and opening access to their content to support the newly remote world. Now more than halfway through the year, we begin to ask which changes are sustainable or here to stay.

Portland Press publishes five hybrid journals, of which about approximately 20% of their content is currently open access, and two fully open access journals. Portland is endeavoring to sustainably transition their entire program to open access. So, when the crisis hit, the move to open their content was a natural one: any previously published content that had relevance to the outbreak was made freely available, then any related content submitted thereafter was published fully open access with no charge to the authors. However, although coronavirus-related content was freely available, they began to wonder whether this would actually be enough for the community. As more and more countries were going into lockdown and institutions were closing, they, like many, were concerned about how researchers would access the content.

Clare Curtis, Publisher of Portland Press, said, “We knew that we had remote access options set up for our content, including institutional authentication. But we weren't really sure how this workflow fit in with the user journey. Was it straightforward for users? And we also realized as more and more research was being done on COVID-19, it was becoming very clear that a number of areas of the molecular biosciences would be of relevance to the disease. So where did we draw the line as to what research is of relevance to the coronavirus outbreak?”

And so, in April, after surveying societies, institutions, and researchers, they suspended paywalls across all of their content until further notice.

The practice of providing free access to content—whether for coronavirus-related content only or across the board—was widely adopted by scholarly publishers. MIT Press opened access to their 3000+ ebooks on MIT Press Direct. That move, and the communications that accompanied it, fostered new relationships and allowed the press to gather data and insights that may support future sales opportunities.

“We found there to be a lot of collaboration in the crisis, a lot of appreciation and a lot of flexibility in working with libraries to make sure that we were getting access to students who needed it and faculty who needed it,” said Emily Farrell, Library Sales Executive at The MIT Press. “But we also were able to gather a lot more data on our own platform than we have in the past. With the 800 institutions that we brought onto the platform, we had an incredible array of institutions that were now able to access content that hadn't been in a position to purchase before, or hadn't really considered trialing it because they didn't feel they would be able to. So, we've had community colleges, we've also had art museums, as well as larger libraries. It's also opened up an amazing channel of dialogue with libraries to be able to answer questions directly.”

The open content has also provided larger patterns of content and institutional usage that provides publishers with a better understanding of where value lies and how content is being used.

Andrew Pitts, CEO of PSI, has been working with publishers to ensure that key data from this period is accessible and actionable down the road: “We've been looking at the log files during the period where everybody's got their access controls down, to make sure that when you are about to put your access controls up, you know which organizations who are not customers have been using your content a lot, so you can actually advise them, and you can talk to them about options for accessing your content when the paywalls go back up.”

The AMA captured similar access information by keeping PDF registration in place on their freely available COVID content, which has led to a wealth of data to feed their sophisticated digital marketing programs, and which also informs new sales and productization opportunities.

Vida Damijonaitis, Director of Worldwide Sales at the American Medical Association, noted “Out of 730 pieces of content, we've had close to 33 million engagements year-to-date. Google has always been the biggest driver of traffic to our websites, and that has actually fallen off slightly. Traffic is increasingly coming from social media. That has increased by 159% year over year. Access through email alerts has increased by 82%. And we're actually seeing more and more traffic coming from mobile devices instead of traditional computers and laptops.”

The insights that come from a wealth of data are only as good as the data itself, however, and malicious actors have also upped their activity during the crisis, as revealed by PSI.

“Sci-Hub has been very, very active during this period. All cyber criminals have been, but Sci-Hub have gone into overdrive to attack universities and publishers during this period. Our data has shown that there was an 828% increase in attacks in April. What we were seeing before was about 800 attacks per month in the year previous. And in April, we had 7,424 attacks. The effect on you as publishers is that they have been downloading your content massively and taking everything.”

This means that without the proper alerts and protections in place, some of the usage publishers are seeing on their open content may be misleading. The pandemic will no doubt be seen in the future as a turning point for open and free access to content, as both users and publishers alike have been forced into a situation that has revealed both the positives and negatives of the models in a much less hypothetical conversation. For many, the crisis has simply accelerated existing plans for a full transition to OA.

Emily Farrell of MIT said, “We're certainly at a point where there's clear value in the push to open, and all publishers and societies are examining ways that we can make more content open. Also, particularly as a university press that has a mission alignment with the university, the dissemination of research is central to what we do. MIT Press has experimented with all sorts of open access models for quite a long time now. It has required us to consider what model is most suitable for each journal, in part as a consequence of the wide array of subject areas that we cover, since some disciplines just don’t have access to the funding needed for OA.”

As paywalls begin to come back up, many publishers are questioning how to communicate this change to their customers and stakeholders, especially as the pandemic appears far from over. How do they inform librarians as well as general site visitors that subscription access controls have been reenabled?

For Portland Press, said Curtis, “We will be having targeted messaging to our institutional subscribers. There will be general messaging as well to our members and our users. We have to do that quite carefully. Because obviously, we did this to support the community, but with the understanding that we cannot keep paywalls lifted indefinitely (as we require this income to be sustainable and support the Biochemical Society).”

For MIT Press, they made their libraries aware through use of public and direct messaging when the expiration date was coming nearer. As part of that messaging, they also sent information about the top 10 titles that were most used during the open period, and options for purchasing either individual ebooks or full collections.

And of course the conversations won’t end there, just as remote access and changes to user behavior won’t end when the open content periods do.

“We will be listening to our community as to how they have been and continue to access and use content, whether that be back in their institutions or remotely, said Curtis. “We will be assessing where usage from this period has been from and what people have been accessing (e.g. HTML versus PDF). An immediate action is to assess the user journey and access options to ensure that whether someone is working remotely OR accessing at their institution, this is as seamless as possible. I don’t think that the molecular biosciences research community will be back to ‘normal’ for a long time, so we need to work with that community to find a new normal, and support in any way that we are able to.”

As Damijonaitis said, “It'll be interesting to take a look back a year from now and see what sticks, what doesn't stick, and what's going to be developed between now and then.”

For more on how publishers responded to the crisis and how partnerships enabled their adaptability, check out Silverchair’s recent report.

Silverchair are silver sponsors of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020.

Authors:
Will Schweitzer Silverchair
Will Schweitzer,
Chief Product Officer, Silverchair

Will Schweitzer 

As Silverchair’s Chief Product Officer, Will Schweitzer is responsible for developing and managing Silverchair’s scholarly and professional products, including the core Silverchair Platform. He has a deep knowledge of scholarly publishing having worked in the industry for over 16 years in product and publisher roles for the American Association for the Advancement Science (Science Magazine), SAGE Publications, the American Psychological Association, and Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.




Stephanie Lovegrove Hansen
Stephanie Lovegrove Hansen Silverchair
Stephanie Lovegrove Hansen,
Senior Marketing Manager, Silverchair
Stephanie Lovegrove Hansen is the Senior Marketing Manager at Silverchair. She has worked in the publishing industry for 14 years, including at the University of Virginia Press and Clarivate Analytics.



Friday, 31 July 2020

The place of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace 2030

Guest blog by Mandeep Kundi, Head of Talent Development (Global), BMJ

Artificial intelligence (AI) is big business. It is the future and its impact on businesses everywhere will be three-fold. Embracing a world of AI means being more dependent on cognitive technologies, or robots, to run all our systems, make faster business decisions, and to help us avoid mistakes and human error.

I recently delved into the depths of the work of the futurist Richard Watson to tighten up my presentation I was invited to deliver at the ‘Academic Publishing in Europe conference’ in Berlin. Up on stage, I gave senior publishers from many organisations including the likes of Wiley, Springer Nature and Oxford University Press, an idea of what BMJ could look like in 10 years’ time.   
We can expect a much greater globalisation of talent and many more flexible working spaces. We will be reliant on automated processes that use big data and predictive technology to make many decisions on how we operate. With these changes, questions around ethics will find their way to a position that is also on the rise – the chief ethics officer.

These new ways of working will free up much of our time, liberating us from a life filled with the mundane. It will give us more time to hone our creativity and inspire us to work across multiple roles, and build expertise in many facets of life.

One risk in this tech-driven world is that loneliness, jobless growth and continual virtual communication could replace many real social and professional interactions.

The impact of COVID-19 can be felt by everyone across our world, and this pandemic has exponentially increased the speed at which we were working towards 2030. All of my initial thoughts and research around what would be in 2030, seemed to have moved closer, and we now find ourselves working remotely and also listening to conversations of loneliness and the need to have interaction with our colleagues, friends and family - do we need a Chief Ethics Office now rather than in 2030?...I think so!

With this in mind, think of two or three things that you don’t want to change in the next decade. And equally, ask yourself what are you desperate to change but know it never will? I am sure the answer to these questions will be very different now in comparison to five months ago!


Author
Mandeep KundiHead of Learning & Talent
Development (Global), BMJ

Mandeep Kundi, Head of Learning & Talent Development (Global), BMJ

Mandeep is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a member of the panel of judges for UK Employee Experience Awards. He is a Licensed Practitioner for SHL/Hogan/EQi2.0/Talent Q Psychometric tools with experience in providing life and career coaching to all levels of management, often using proven tools such as Insights™ Personal Discovery.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Spotlight on Select Crowd Review - shortlisted for the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

We shall be announcing the winners of the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing on 16 September, at the opening of the ALPSP Virtual Conference.  In this series of posts, we meet our finalists and learn more about each of them.

In this post, we hear from Kathrin Ulbrich, Scientific Editor at Thieme about Select Crowd Review.


Tell us a bit about your organization.

Thieme is a leading supplier of information and services contributing to the improvement of healthcare and health. Employing more than 1,000 staff, the family-owned company develops products and services in digital and other media for the medical and chemistry sectors.

Operating internationally with offices in 11 cities worldwide, the Thieme Group works closely with a strong network of experts and partners. The products and services are based on the high-quality content of Thieme’s 200 journals and 4,400 books. With solutions for professionals, Thieme supports relevant information processes in research, education, and patient care. Medical students, physicians, nurses, allied health specialists, hospitals, health insurance companies and others interested in health and healthcare are at focus of Thieme’s activities.

The mission of the Thieme Group is to provide these markets with precisely the information, services, and products they need in their specific work situation and career. Providing top-quality services that are highly relevant to specific audiences, Thieme contributes to better healthcare and healthier lives. For more information about Thieme, please visit www.thieme.com.

What is Select Crowd Review?

Select Crowd Review offers secure, fast and substantive reviewing in today’s fast-moving scientific world.

The Select Crowd Review process is an interactive and safe way to improve the quality and speed of publishing. It was first introduced for Thieme's chemical synthesis journal SYNLETT in 2017 and allows editors an evaluation of a manuscript within a very short time. Since 2018 it has also been available for SynOpen.
Select Crowd Review uses the mechanisms of social media communication to make the review process much faster than classical peer review, and with the same or even better quality.

Tell us a little about how it works and the team behind it

The initial idea came from the editor-in-chief of Thieme’s journal Synlett, Professor Benjamin List of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Working together with the Thieme Chemistry editorial team, the Thieme Group partnered with Filestage to deliver the technical platform.

A selection of about 50-100 experts, who are exclusive members of the crowd, receives a link to the manuscript and can comment on it anonymously via a secure web-interface, provided by our technology Partner Filestage. Only the editor knows who the reviewers are while monitoring the process.

Copyright © Filestage 2020

Each reviewer decides if he or she has time and expertise to comment on the respective article. Participating reviewers see each other's comments and can discuss the research featured in the paper to improve the manuscript further. They can respond, interact, and enhance it in parallel.


Copyright © Filestage 2020

After 48 – 72 hours (on average) the review period ends, and the manuscript is taken off the platform. In the next step, the editor evaluates the comments of the reviewers, decides about accepting (with or without revision) or rejecting the article and sends the feedback of the crowd to the author for consideration and implementation.
Please note that both the crowd size and the review duration are flexible and up to the decision of the editor.

In what ways do you think Select Crowd Review demonstrates innovation?

Since the first ever peer-reviewed journal launched in 1731, peer review methodology has remained unchanged. Select Crowd Review is shaking that model up, leveraging a key driver of digital disruption - the power of the crowd -  in a simple yet very modern, innovative way.

What are your plans for the future?

We already rolling SCR out to our entire portfolio of Thieme Science titles, with a plan to have it in place by the end of 2020.  Filestage is also collaborating with another publisher, Emerald, who have tested it successfully with three journals.

The next steps for product development are to allow real-time collaboration on the platform, integrate the software into manuscript submission systems such as ScholarOne and to add keyword search within Scopus or Publons to make expert crowd recruiting easier.

photo kathrin ulbrichKathrin Ulbrich studied chemistry at the University of Regensburg in Germany. She did her PhD in organic chemistry in the group of Prof. Oliver Reiser. For almost 5 years now she has been working as a scientific editor for Thieme Chemistry with its journals Synlett, Synthesis, Synfacts, SynOpen and Organic Materials.







Website:
Twitter:
@thiemechemistry  
@ThiemeNY
@filestageIO

You can hear from all of this year's finalists at the ALPSP Awards for Innovation Lightning Session on Tuesday 8 September.  Visit the ALPSP website to register and for full details of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020.
  
The 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing are sponsored by PLS.


Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Spotlight on Scholarcy - shortlisted for the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing


On 16 September, we shall be announcing the winners of the 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing.  In this series of posts, we meet our finalists and learn more about them.

We asked Emma Warren-Jones, co-founder of Scholarcy to tell us about the organization and their submission for this year's Awards.

Scholarcy was conceived as a result of the real-life experience of its founder, Phil Gooch, while he was researching his PhD. He became overwhelmed with the amount of reading and while there were lots of tools available that, given one paper would recommend several others, there was nothing that could help him distil the research in front of him and make it easier to digest. Eight years later, he built Scholarcy -  an online summariser and knowledge extraction tool that aims to make everyday research faster and more productive. 

Scholarcy reads documents in any format (PDF, Word, XML, TeX, html) and distils them into key highlights, structured summaries, key concepts, pulling out other important information such as study participants and statistical analysis.

Researchers, publishers and university libraries are all actively using Scholarcy’s knowledge extraction and summarisation technology to help manage the growing volume of published articles, preprints and manuscript submissions.

What is the product that you submitted for the Awards?

Scholarcy Library is a SaaS consumer app that helps academics sift the masses of research in their field faster, without missing any significant findings. It converts research documents into a unified, interactive summary flashcard format - which can be saved, shared, annotated on any device and exported to multiple formats.  See examples at https://app.scholarcy.com/flashcard-generator.html.

Key features:

  1. Highlights: distils a research paper, books chapter or web article into a tweetable headline, five key highlights, and a structured summary, with links to cited sources.
  2. Key terms: extracts the most relevant keywords from a document, and links these to their definitions to provide more background to a subject. Scholarcy keywords are also used by discovery services to promote content and aid discovery. 
  3. Mobile friendly format: our unified PDF/Word to HTML conversion technology makes the fine detail of a paper or chapter clearer and easier to digest on phones and tablets.
  4. Connects to RSS feeds to generate summaries of breaking research and news.

Tell us a little about how it works and the team behind it

Scholarcy uses its own custom-built machine-learning models and proprietary knowledge distillation engine to automatically extract, clean and structure text from any document, while classifying each word according to its structural and semantic function. The output is then fed into our summarisation engine which creates multiple levels of synopses for different types of readers. We’ve fine-tuned the engine on a large corpus of research papers, government reports and book chapters.

photo Phil Gooch
Phil Gooch, Founder
Phil built Scholarcy’s technology. Before this he led the NLP team at Babylon Health. He has a PhD in clinical NLP and many years’ experience developing AI solutions for the publishing, EdTech, and healthcare sectors.

photo Emma Warren-Jones
Emma Warren-Jones, Co-founder
Emma has 20 years’ commercial and marketing experience in the EdTech, academic publishing and information industries, launching discovery platforms and analytics tools to the global research community. She has also worked as a freelance writer for academic publishers.



In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

1. Versatile 
Scholarcy works on a wide range of formats and distils articles, book chapters and preprints into a unified summary flashcard layout that can be read on any device. It also serves a diverse audience, including: students, researchers, libraries, journalists and publishers.

2. Unique
Very few tools out there are tackling this problem specifically in the context of academic research and serving the needs of the academic community. There are a lot of lightweight summarisation tools available but they are unable to effectively work with the length, complexity or range of content (PDF, Word, HTML, XML, ePub, plain text) that Scholarcy does, nor can they extract the range of information we do.

3. Addresses a pressing global challenge
Scholarcy aims to help solve a significant and growing global challenge: the public understanding of science. From the beginning, one of Scholarcy’s core goals was to help make scientific literature and primary research more accessible to the lay community amidst growing levels of misinformation. We began addressing this by building extractive summarisation technology that could break long, complex documents down into easy-to-digest key highlights and sections that capture the essence of a piece of research. We have recently developed this technology further to be able to generate original plain-language summaries from scientific research (see https://summarizer.scholarcy.com/).

What are your plans for the future?

Up to this point, Scholarcy’s technology has focused on parsing and distilling individual documents. We’re now building an engine that will synthesise summaries, key facts and findings from entire collections of articles that could help automatically draft a review paper on a given topic, for example.
We’re also continuing to develop our deep summarisation technology that will create  research explainers for non-experts.

Website: https://www.scholarcy.com/
Flashcard generator: https://app.scholarcy.com/flashcard-generator.html
Lay summary generator: https://summarizer.scholarcy.com/
Twitter: @Scholarcy

scholarcy logo


You can hear from Scholarcy and the other finalists at the ALPSP Awards for Innovation Lightning Session on Tuesday 8 September.  Visit the ALPSP website to register and for full details of the ALPSP Virtual Conference and Awards 2020.
  
The 2020 ALPSP Awards for Innovation are sponsored by PLS.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

How to be most effective when homeworking

Guest blog by founder of Redwood Publishing Recruitment, Theresa Duncan


With an increasing number of companies asking their staff to work remotely from the office, many people will be learning new ways of tackling the daily task list. We’ve compiled some helpful tips to make working from home more straightforward, based on our experiences and those of candidates we work with.

Creating a workspace
The first, and one of the most important tips, is to create a dedicated workspace. Perching on the end of the kitchen table while your family eat around you is never going to work! Even if you have to move to a spare bedroom, use the sitting room for part of the day or even the garden shed, creating your own area to work in.

Timetabling
Once you have secured your workspace, now’s the time to set out a plan and schedule. Think how your normal workday is scheduled and try to mirror this as much as possible. For instance, if you always start with a ‘to do’ list, make this the first thing you do. Keep team meetings and 121s in place and look to achieve tasks during the day and week.

Sharing is caring
To help keep your schedule, share it with others who are in your home. Whether these are flatmates or family, it’s important that they respect your time and keep noise and activity to a minimum, especially if you’re on a video call!

Break it up
It’s important to schedule regular breaks, whether it’s for a coffee or lunch away you’re your desk. While you are at home, take advantage of eating as healthily as possible – homemade sandwiches, baked potatoes, veggie pasta and rice bowls are great options. Avoid sugary snacks such as biscuits and cake – they only give you a false energy high. And step outside. We are still able to exercise outside, so perhaps use your lunch hour for a power walk or jog. Drop into the garden for air during the day, to literally clear your head.

Workflow
Identify when you are at your most productive or change your work hours to be online when your clients or colleagues are. And think about dressing for the occasion. We’ve all heard about newsreaders wearing shorts under the desk and a jacket just for the TV camera, but if dressing more smartly helps your productivity, or doing your hair gets you in the zone, embrace it! There is nothing wrong with looking the part just because you are working from home. The important part is your output and getting the job done.

Stick to the 9-5
If you were in the office, you would not be thinking about the washing or running errands, so the same should apply when you are homeworking. Quit the tasks during the day or make time for them before you start work. You need as few distractions as possible, so taking housework or errands out of the mix will help you to focus. Social Media can be a huge distraction, so disable alerts and put your personal phone on silent to help you focus on the 9-5.

Keep in touch and keep motivated
One of our final tips is to keep in touch with co-workers. As a recruitment business, Redwood Publishing Recruitment do this on a daily basis, contacting candidates and clients regularly. We plan in calls, emails and meetings and stick to them, becoming business as usual. Use this to keep yourself motivated in and in touch with your colleagues. We’ve heard how effective Zoom has been for all team and 121 meetings, even being used by some for a 5pm ‘Friday hurrah’ as the week draws to a close. There are plenty of video calling options; the key thing is to utilise them to keep motivated and in touch with your team. Remote working can be challenging, but this, and the other ideas, should make your working week a little easier to manage.

Redwood Publishing Recruitment is offering ALPSP members free advice on homeworking, career coaching, team restructures, recruitment and other employment needs during this unprecedented time. Their qualified careers coach is happy to answer all your questions, just email: info@redwoodrecruitment.com