Monday 24 July 2023

Spotlight on: Cassyni Journal Seminar Series

This year, the judges have selected a shortlist of four for the ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing 2023. We also invite ALPSP members to take part in the judging process before the closing date of 31 July. Vote online

The finalists will be showcased in a lightning presentation session at the ALPSP Conference on 13 September, with the winners announced at the ALPSP Conference Awards Dinner on 14 September in Manchester.

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

Tell us about your organization

Cassyni is a startup launched in 2021 by the founders of Publons, Mendeley and Kopernio (now EndNote Click), we are based in London and have team members in the US and Europe. The platform was originally developed in the midst of the Covid pandemic as a way for researchers to organise, run, publish and preserve research seminars online.

Cassyni’s publisher offering is seeing rapid uptake across all fields of research and has been adopted by both commercial publishers (e.g. Elsevier, Springer Nature and Cambridge University Press) as well as society publishers (e.g. Royal Society, New Phytologist and AIAA). 

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

Cassyni Journal Seminar Series is a platform for publishers to run, organise and publish online seminars in which authors talk about their latest research. It includes a suite of intuitive workflow tools making it easy for editors to convene keynote live events and author-led seminars.  

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

The Cassyni team is made up of former researchers who have extensive experience of bringing innovative products to the publisher market that have positively changed scholarly communication. The team passionately believe that research seminars are an important part of the academic lifecycle and are currently an unseen jewel. By growing a connected ecosystem around seminars it will enable a well established medium for communicating research to travel further, faster to a more inclusive global audience. 

There are 2 types of seminars in the Cassyni Journal Seminar Series, Keynote seminars and Author-led seminars. 

Keynote seminars are live online events presented by authors hand-picked by the journal editors for their outstanding research. The seminars are promoted to the journal’s audience, who can attend the event and subscribe to the series, enabling the publisher to build a community around a topic, discipline or journal. Cassyni Keynote Seminars capture the magic of an in-person seminar, with the added bonus of being able to include a more diverse and geographically dispersed audience. The ‘watch later’ functionality allows researchers in different timezones or those unable to attend live to view the recording and take part in the Q&A asynchronously. All seminar recordings are preserved in a custom branded journal seminar series page on Cassyni. 

Author-led Seminars are designed to be scalable and require minimal input from journal teams. Selected authors are invited to give a Cassyni seminar as part of the manuscript acceptance process through a light-touch integration with editorial management systems. Authors simply click on the Cassyni link which walks them through the self-serve seminar publishing workflow. Online seminars based on a researcher’s latest publications are a proven route to increased reach and accelerated impact, helping them disseminate their findings to new audiences and boosting research integrity. 

In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

Research seminar series form the centres of communities in which academics across disciplines share and discuss the latest research. However, without dedicated workflow tools and supporting infrastructure journal publishers have not been able to engage researchers participating in these communities in a systematic and scalable way. Increasingly, researchers are seeking out online events and videos as compelling complements to published articles when consuming research. For many researchers a 30 minute seminar can be a more engaging entry point to a new topic than a 30 page manuscript. 

Seminar recordings are automatically enhanced using Cassyni’s proprietary AI technology to produce high quality transcripts, extract slides and detect and resolve references to other scholarly works contained in the talk. The enhanced recording which includes automatic hyperlinks to journal content embedded in the video and is then published with a DOI ensuring it is part of the scholarly record. Seminars that are associated with a research article are linked from Cassyni, driving engagement and traffic to the publisher website. 

Publishers and societies are always looking for new ways to push the boundaries of research and engage their authors and readers with value-add services. By allowing authors to give seminars associated with their publications there is a chance for the community to hear directly from the people behind the papers. With the rise of generative AI and papermills having a seminar published alongside a paper is a valuable tool to boost research integrity and increase trust in the research. 

What are your plans for the future? 

A major focus for Cassyni is connecting online seminars deeply into the wider scholarly ecosystem as first class research outputs.  Cassyni seminars are already issued with a Crossref DOI and so are discoverable wherever Crossref is indexed. There are imminent plans to integrate with a multitude of research tools and discovery platforms so watch this space!

About the author

Ben Kaube co-founded Cassyni to help researchers disseminate their work through seminars and video. Prior to Cassyni he founded one-click research access tool Kopernio (now EndNote Click, acquired by Clarivate) and Newsflo (acquired by Elsevier). Ben holds a PhD in physics from Imperial College London and was named a Forbes “30 Under 30” for Science and Healthcare in 2020.

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