Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Open Journal Systems Enhancement

Many of the Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies are served from the Open Journal Systems platform.  The SURFfoundation, has just announced the development of two plug-ins permitting the enhancement OJS publications with related research data:

Enhanced Publications now possible with Open Journal Systems
Research results published within tried-and-tested system using plug-ins

The Internet makes it possible to present publications in combination with related research data, as Enhanced Publications. The Enhanced Journals…Made Easy project (EJME), which is funded by SURF, has designed a practical work process for publishers of Open Access journals so as to enhance academic journals with the associated data files. The project involved the development of two plug-ins for Open Journal Systems, a system for managing and publishing journals. Open Journal Systems (OJS) is the most frequently used open source package worldwide for academic journals.

Open Journal Systems
OJS is used internationally to promote and increase access to research results. It is used for more than 10,000 journals. The plug-ins developed during the EJME project add capabilities to OJS. The University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, DANS (Data Archiving and Network Services), and Amsterdam University Press have made use of a tried-and-tested system for creating enhanced publications so as to stick as close as possible to the publication process used by researchers. 

Publication process
Authors and editors who use OJS can now easily add data files to articles, including the associated metadata. The data files are then available – without any extra action being necessary – for everyone involved in the editorial process, including peer reviewers. When the article is published, there are references to the datasets, both on the webpage and in a machine-readable file. It is also important that the editorial team can make it possible for the data to be automatically submitted to a reliable data repository when the article is published.

According to Jeroen Sondervan (Amsterdam University Press), “This integration of research data and results on the one hand and publications on the other creates a completely new way of assessing, verifying, and publishing. The combination of OJS and the EJME plug-ins brings this a step closer.”

Practical testing
The EJME plug-ins link up with the work process followed by the editors of Open Journals: from the researcher’s intention to publish to the Open Access publication of the article. The plug-ins that have been developed have been tested in practice by two journals published by two different publishers:
• Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries (JALC), published by Amsterdam University Press (AUP)
• International Journal of the Commons (IJC), published by UBU/Igitur Publishing.

Public Knowledge Project
Staff of the international OJS are enthusiastic about the EJME plug-ins and have included them in their plug-in library. “We are very happy with what EJME has done. The plug-ins are extremely useful and robust, and the documentation is clear and well written," says Kevin Stranack of Public Knowledge Project (PKP), the organisation that manages and develops the OJS. PKP is negotiating with Utrecht University regarding collaboration to improve the functionality for depositing research data via OJS. 

More information
For editors of Open Journals: more about how to present enhanced publications via the available plug-ins.

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