Scholarly journal and book publishing today is a convoluted, expensive and slow process that is mired in print paradigms. It can take months to years for finished research to be published and the final product lacks the interactivity and richness possible in the digital era.
Most research communication workflows operate as they did 10 or 15 years ago. Work is done in isolated, proprietary tools and formats and these are shuffled around between people using the equivalent of email, with the manuscript as an attachment. The manuscript is not made web-ready until just prior to publication.
Reimagining publishing means shifting to a collaborative webspace with a digital-first process that posits an HTML document at the center of a flexible set of tasks and action. The Coko community is building many tools including a sophisticated web editor and a flexible workflow engine that can be configured for many different content workflows and adjusted easily to fit changing process needs.
Code Repository : https://gitlab.coko.foundation
Team Channel : https://mattermost.coko.foundation
Coko Technology: PubSweet and INK
Coko is rapidly constructing an open source technology framework with separate components that can be assembled into different platforms and adopted by anyone seeking a research communication channel. Coko is building the tools for creating many different platforms.
There are two main frameworks:
PubSweet: a publication framework enabling knowledge management, creation, processing and dissemination. PubSweet includes a robust back end and a set of interoperable components that together comprise a flexible, configurable network capable of managing many content types. The initial use cases are in scholarly journal and book publishing. The components include tools for authoring and collaboration, editing and production, flexible and configurable workflow management and user dashboards, and administration interfaces.
INK framework: ingestion, conversion and syndication environment that converts content and data from one format to another, tags with identifiers and normalizes metadata. Typical use cases include converting Word and other proprietary formats into highly structured formats such as HTML5, XML, and ePub, and outputting to syndicated services, the web and PDF. INK will add common identifiers such as DOIs and geolocation IDs and ensure compliance with standards for content and metadata.
Monolithic architectures are the dominant approach in the content management system (CMS) world. The Coko founders have experience with many monolithic publishing platforms and chose to configure the PubSweet and INK architecture as a decoupled set of components that work with one or more frameworks. A decoupled architecture creates “complex systems from simple, independent, reusable components”. (Constantine, Myers, Stevens).
In the case of PubSweet, it means the user or organization can choose their desired components and link them together to meet their needs. With INK, users can easily build and customize recipes from modular, chainable steps, and add or build new steps as their needs arise.
By using many of the same components PubSweet can be assembled and customized to meet a wide variety of use cases. You could, for example, use PubSweet as a monograph production suite, a journal publishing system, or to create a wholly new form of communicating knowledge. This same product flexibility also eases the pathways going forward into the rapidly changing future of publishing and knowledge production.
Build only what you need
If a component you need doesn’t exist the good news is that you don’t have to rebuild the entire system, you only build the component you require. There are many advantages to this including lowering the investment needed to customize the system which, as Stevens, Myers, and Constantine pointed out in 1974, “…will become increasingly important as the cost of the programmer’s time continues to rise.”
Innovate with new components
Lastly a decoupled architecture enables innovation. You can build new innovative components quickly and integrate them with existing PubSweet components. If, for example, you wanted to move beyond the manuscript as the main research object for scientific publishing, you could build a new type of content production interface and use it together with existing dashboard and workflow (etc) components.
PubSweet: the platform to build new platforms
The decoupled nature of PubSweet reflects the growing realization in the software world that the one-size fits all approach for platforms doesn’t work anymore. Each individual or organization has different requirements which reflect not only features but how people work. PubSweet solves this issue by enabling you to assemble the solution you need, and to build the platform you want from existing components.For example, by combining PubSweet with simple components, many of which are shared, we can configure the framework to meet a file QA, monograph production, or journal workflow.
Arrange components to create platforms for different use cases