Catch up with Editoria

Alison McGonagle-O'Connell Jun 27, 2018

Editoria is paradigm-shifting, and includes many features that represent serious efficiencies for university presses and library publishers, but it is also a great travel partner! From the time I joined Coko this spring, we’ve travelled back and forth across the United States together, making stops at several industry meetings (including Council for Science Editors, Society for Scholarly Publishing, Library Publishing Forum, and Association of University Presses). To get involved in the Editoria community, sign up for our mailing list, or attend the community meeting.

I’ve learned about the urgent problems that publishers are strategizing to solve, straight from the professionals working to solve them. At this point, reducing costs, slashing time to publication, and bringing the infrastructure into alignment with values, are important shared goals across the scholarly communications community. The details of these vary depending on the publishing organization and the content.

As such, it is not totally surprising that similar questions were raised frequently. Here they are, alon
g with truncated responses based on Editoria’s capabilities:

Q: Is open source software really free?

While there are many examples of Open Source in use in our daily lives, from this WordPress website, to components within the operating system of the device you may be reading this on, we can only respond to this question as it applies to Coko technology.

A: Code is available on gitlab.coko.foundation right now. Anyone can grab it and use it. However, in the true spirit of community, it will be infinitely more useful in solving problems if those using it contribute in ways specified here.

Q: What if we don’t want to host it ourselves?

A: Some organizations see the ability to self-host over working with third-parties who store and in some cases control access to data as a major benefit. Still, others will prefer that ‘set it and forget it’ convenience of packaged vendor solutions. For this reason, Coko is exploring a couple of scenarios that will allow publishers to choose which level of partnership makes the most sense for their organizations:

Self-hosted: In this model, the publisher will install and maintain code on their own servers via in house staff.
Third-party hosted: Coko is establishing relationships with existing hosting providers to provide a hosted-only instances of xpub and Editoria for organisations that don’t have tech staff, who are otherwise willing to look after themselves, and do not need additional publishing services (see next item).
Third-party full service: This option is for publishers interested in hosted instances of Editoria and/or xPub that also included user support. These relationships enable smaller, resource constrained organizations to realize the efficiencies these tools offer in workflow.

Coko’s primary mission is to enable the transformation of knowledge production and dissemination. While hosting deployments is an important detail, it is not a barrier to publishers who are otherwise ready to increase the transparency and efficiency within their monograph workflows.

Q: Can it export [insert your format of choice here]?

A: Export from Editoria has a current state, and future states:
Current state

Editoria today features automated typesetting capabilities including output of PDF and paginated javascript, which can be “printed” to PDF.

Future state(s)

As Editoria is a community-built and supported tool, the roadmap is in the hands of adopters. From this perspective, anything is possible when it comes to future development. The code is open and organizations can set their own developer resources free to enhance. Sure, we hope they contribute code back, and participate in collaborative development with Coko and other community members, but technically, this is not required.

Coko is working with the community to explore the possibility of an ‘export console’ where one simply clicks the output they desire, and receives it automatically from the system, without external intervention. Our community tells us that highest priority outputs are ICML, EPUBJS support, support for EPUB 2.1 and 3, and enhanced automated typesetting via Paged Media

“In thinking about improving upon current workflow, regardless of how we get there, output has to be consistently high quality,” said Scott Abbott, Manager at University of Technology Sydney Press. “This is the primary reason we are working with Coko – to understand Editoria’s capabilities and community development model. The press can realize efficiencies with quality automated typesetting.”

Q: Is it integrated with other tools?

A: The short answer is yes! As an open source tool, we can extend in any way you see fit, as long as the other tool/service has a “way in.”

This means that integration with file management systems early in workflow, as well as with title management systems and platform delivery tools is easy, if each of those services has integration points or can be easily extended to include them. Typically, you would assume third-party services have some kind of external API, but it’s not always true. If they do, then, “no problems.”

The community of users can identify integration needs and work on them together, or on their own. This true control over the roadmap means an no single organization decides which tools or services publishers can integrate with. This is the picture of workflow freedom, and in practice it enables creativity, and efficiency.

Q: Can I use it for journals workflow?

A: Editoria is optimized for books workflow. While it may be technically possible to use for journals content, it is not recommended.

Still, there is good news for publishers who want to realize the kind of time and cost savings born-digital workflow will offer journals: xPub! xPub is the journals submission and peer review platform developed by the Coko Foundation in collaboration with eLife and Hindawi. Like Editoria, it is browser-based, converts .docx to HTML (or XML), allows for web-based word processing and collaboration, and can output paginated, typeset files in multiple formats.

Unlike Editoria, xPub is optimized just for journals; built by leading Open Access publishers for all publishers. This means that it includes capabilities to capture persistent identifiers and other metadata such as submission question data. It includes a peer review module (and the opportunity to create and insert your own!), and reviewer management tools. While these components could be built into Editoria, that use case has not become necessary yet, but is central to the xPub community.

If you want to learn more about xPub, just let us know! We can connect you with more information, as well as the existing xPub community.

About the Author

Alison McGonagle-O'Connell

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