The California Digital Library and
the Public Knowledge Project
Transformative models of coordinated development
and sustainability in scholarly publishing
CNI Spring 2012
Catherine A. Mitchell, Ph.D., California Digital Library
Lisa Schiff, Ph.D., California Digital Library
Brian Owen, Simon Fraser University
Journal Publishing in the Library
• Robust Need/Desire for Alt Publishing Models
• Disciplinary distinctions – shared values
In tension with:
• Persistent challenges to authority/authenticity of
OA journals
• Limited technical capacity to support new modes
of publishing
• Limited support capacity for new journals
The Making of a Partnership
• CDL’s reconception of IR roles and technology
• Desire to extend capacity by hooking into larger
community of practice and technical expertise
• Commitment to Open Source technology where
• Recognition of sustainability planning as the next
eScholarship and OJS
• OJS customization for eScholarship journals
• PKP partnership effect on future development for
• Back to the code – which enhancements will be returned to
the OJS community?
• PKP development partnership program and future
directions for OJS and other PKP scholarly communication
• How this work engages with new practices and
opportunities within the scholarly publishing environment
Customizing Open Journals System
(OJS) for eScholarship journals
How to transition 45+ journals to a
new publishing platform (OJS)
• Modify, but don’t break workflows
• Maintain reasonable customizations and individuation
• Provide an independent, private sphere of work for each
• Ensure a stable, scalable service for existing journals and
extend capacity to meet growing demand
Customer-Facing Strategies
• Advance work: crosswalk “old” tasks and workflows from
one system to another
• Lightweight “look and feel” modifications: a more
streamlined and intuitive UI
• Relabel and reorder certain tasks
• Eliminate some options
• Identification of significant gaps/differences between
• Support system development
• Training webinars, documentation, traditional one-on-one
customer support
Backend Strategies
• One OJS instance for all journals
• Reduces maintenance efforts
• Simplifies the customization task
• Journal separation modifications
• Ensure editors, reviewers and authors see only their own journals
• Reviewer lists are invisible across journals
• Support customized messages to various
authors/reviewers/editors at different points
• Check for existing user accounts as part of adding a new user
Backend Strategies (cont)
• System-based PDF generation
• More reliable support for blind reviews
• Easier PDF based publishing for those journal editors
without PDF generation experience
• Automated publishing to eScholarship’s front end
access system
• Eliminate links to native OJS display
• OJS user account system for entire platformm
Enhancements Underway
• An extended set of metadata fields
• An inline tool for users to select terms from a
controlled, hierarchical taxonomy
• Metadata summaries presented to users upon
completion of a submission
The PKP Partnership and
eScholarship’s future
• Access to community based enhancements/solutions, e.g.
– Data publishing modules
– New peer review mechanisms and methodologies
• Potential solutions to growing requests from UC researchers
– Conference support -- Open Conference Systems (OCS)
– Monograph publishing -- Open Monograph Press (OMP)
– Non-PDF-based publishing support
• Exponentially increased collaboration possibilities for
tackling emerging publishing and repository needs
• Opportunities to integrated valuable CDL technologies into a
widely used platform (e.g. EZID)
PKP Growth
Open Monograph Press
PKP Sustainability
• No major grant funding after Mar.31, 2012
• New financial strategy:
• Flip grant funding to 20/80
• Expand hosting and related services
• Support from community: sponsors and partners
• Significance of Development Partners like CDL
Software development
General PKP support
PKP Software Development
• Cultivating an open source development community
• Partner attributes: technical expertise & scale
• CDL Contributions:
• Single OJS instance enhancements
• Plugins, e.g. PDF Converter
• User Interface review & usability testing
Some Challenges
• Multiple development teams
• Virtual collaboration
• Development practices: coding, review &
integration, testing, documentation, release
• Local vs. community priorities
General PKP Support
Support forum
Testing and documenting new releases
Training materials
PKP Governance
• Transition from a “project” to ?
• Implementing & maintaining sustainability
• Engagement with PKP community:
• March 2012: 139 countries
• Top 5: US (29%); Brazil (17%); Indonesia (6%); Spain (5%);
Turkey (4%)
• Advisory, Technical, Members
Strategic / The Future
• “Rust never sleeps”
• Interoperability
• New Development Areas:
Open, dynamic publishing platform
Social networking integration & content enrichment
Indexing & discovery facilitation
Research data integration & generation
PKP Development Partnership