eResearch Australasia 2009

Wearing my publisher’s hat, I’ll be presenting a poster at this year’s eResearch Australasia conference in Sydney, 9-13 November.

Journals Unbound: e-Infrastructure for Small and Medium-Sized Journals

In recent years there has been a massive worldwide development of e-infrastructure for academic journals. From a top-down perspective, journal databases and aggregators of various stripes have enabled the delivery of journals directly to anyone with an internet connection and subscription. From a bottom-up perspective, a variety of Open Access publishing and repository platforms have enabled researchers to share their research on the internet with minimal effort and cost. Both these aspects of e-infrastructure are important, but do not provide a complete solution. If print journals partner with an aggregator to scan their journals there remain a number of problems: quality of scanning; imperfect optical character recognition software reducing search efficiency; lack of e-infrastructure tools such as DOIs which need to be implemented at the publishing rather than aggregating stage. Online journals also often lack certain e-infrastructure tools and, along with print journals, face the challenge of complementing the quality of the research they carry with a professionally typeset and distributed published product of comparable quality, and of discoverability. RMIT Publishing has developed an xml-based workflow solution which can convert articles from a single Microsoft Word document to a professionally-typeset pdf file, html page or other pre-defined output. Each article can then be assigned a DOI for resolving via CrossRef, as well as benefiting from the search functionality and wider research context of the Informit platform. This process can work solely with provided content, or with the added value of editorial management. In short, the RMIT Publishing solution can turn a manuscript on an editor’s desk into a high-quality published product with a full suite of e-infrastructure tools at relatively low cost and high speed.