Tuesday 2 August 2022

Spotlight on Charlesworth Gateway Mini-Program and Notification Service

This year, the judges have selected a shortlist of seven for the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing.  Each finalist will be invited to showcase their innovation to industry peers on 14 September on the opening day of the ALPSP 2022 Conference in Manchester. The winners will be announced at the Awards Dinner on Thursday 15 September.

In this series, we learn more about each of the finalists. 

Tell us about your organisation

The Charlesworth Group is a publishing services partner to the STM publishing industry. We support publishers with services that increase the dissemination of scientific research and support ESL authors with services that enable them to publish in international journals. We do this through two areas of our business: China marketing consultancy and representation services; and our Charlesworth Author Services language editing business.

In China, Charlesworth represents publishers for library and pharmaceutical market sales and provides marketing agency and strategic consulting services. The unique combination of our business offerings gives us insights into the evolving needs of authors and librarians in China. Our closeness to authors allows our marketing team to support the goals of our publishers with targeted impactful services. These services connect our clients to potential authors through Chinese language campaigns utilising Chinese social platforms.

Charlesworth Gateway logo

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

The Charlesworth Gateway and WeChat mini-program aims to improve the communication and publishing experience for authors in China.

WeChat has over 1.25 billion monthly active users, who spend on average over 82 minutes per day on the platform. WeChat is a super-app which extends beyond social and communication use, it also allows users to buy and pay for goods and services. It is used extensively in business and academia.

Authors from China accounted for 17% of the global article output in 2021 (Scimago 2021), but as an industry, our systems and processes are built around the English language and western technology experience. As an agency and author services provider we aim to create user journeys that replicate the same experience that authors in China are used to when purchasing other goods and services. The dominance of smart phone apps and WeChat has reduced the importance of email as a major communication channel; the reliance on email communication within in the scholarly publishing journey can create frustrations for authors and publishers alike.

The Gateway and mini-program are currently live with Taylor & Francis and Gateway notifications are live with Dove Medical Press, IOP and Researcher. Gateway notification services are available for any journal that uses Aries Editorial Manager; as well as through custom API integrations with bespoke publisher systems.

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

Gateway is a ‘Software as a Service’ tool which allows a publisher to integrate their services, such as submission systems and content platforms, and send short notifications in Chinese to authors via WeChat. The mini-program is a fully publisher-branded front-end app within a publisher’s WeChat account. It allows authors to authenticate the service and self-check the status of a manuscript. The mini-program can be an author hub for information and the notifications can link to content within the mini-program.

Mini-program home screen

This can be configured for each publisher and can serve as a hub for key content for authors in China. From this screen the author can quickly set-up notifications or check the status of their article.

mini program home screen graphic

Notifications are sent through as template messages in Chinese.

Messages appear in the WeChat template message area. 

notifications graphic

The product was built by Charlesworth’s global teams in Beijing, UK and Ukraine. The mini-program design and user testing is managed by our China teams, while the Gateway platform and integration with STM publishing services is managed by our Ukraine team.

In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

We believe the Gateway is innovative as it is the first product in our industry that aims to create a digital bridge between STM publishing and authors in China. Our vision for the product is to build end-to-end notifications for the entire publishing journey from submission, publication and tracking of an article’s impact.

What are your plans for the future?

We want to create journeys which support authors further, including support resources in the mini-program, journal selection tools, manuscript editing tools and options for cascade journals. We are currently working with existing users and new clients to improve the richness of the experience through using different notifications in the publishing journey to link to specifically created content within the mini-program.

About the Author

Andrew Smith is the Product & Marketing Director at Charlesworth. He leads Charlesworth’s global author services marketing teams and helps STM publishers thrive in China through great marketing, technology and strategy consulting.

For more information, please visit https://www.cwrepresentation.com/WeChat or contact us info@cwrepresentation.com

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Visit the ALPSP Annual Conference 2022 Website for more details and to book your place. 

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