1 AN INNOVATIVE INTEGRATED SYSTEM FOR EDITORIAL PROCESSES MANAGEMENT: THE CASE OF FIRENZE UNIVERSITY PRESS BOLLINI, ANDREA 1 ; COTONESCHI, PATRIZIA 2 ; FARSETTI, ANTONELLA 2 ; MINORE, SEBASTIANA 2 ; MORNATI, SUSANNA 1 1 AePIC team, CILEA, Inter-Academic Consortium for ICT Via Sanzio 4, Segrate, Italy 2 Firenze University Press Borgo degli Albizi 28, Firenze Firenze University Press was born in 2003 with the mission to provide dissemination of the intellectual output of the University of Florence, Italy. Its strategy aims to enhance visibility of editorial production and to attract authors by a high-quality professional support coupled with low-cost production and the opportunity to keep copyright. Firenze University Press has also a role in innovating publishing models in the Italian academic environment and market. In the next two years, its efforts will concentrate on adopting recent scholarly communication paradigms coupled with advanced technologies, in order to offer better services to the academic community. The adoption of the Open Access model for electronic versions of published works is sustained through sales of paper copies. The implementation of an integrated system for the management of all editorial processes will allow economies of scale and a more efficient use of resources. The platform is based on a modular architecture and makes use of available open-source software, developed in advanced contexts and spread in large communities all over the world; details of the system are described in the paper. These choices enhance sustainability and allow extended customization opportunities. The exploitation of technologies, linked to the use of XML and recent protocols for document treatment and preservation and for metadata exchange, will keep Firenze University Press abreast of the most advanced trends in electronic publishing. This project provides an example of sustainable solutions for up-to-date small publishers and university presses. Keywords: scholarly communication; open access; XML publishing; metadata extraction; Open Journal Systems; DSpace; DRM; SRW; OAI-PMH 1. INTRODUCTION Firenze University Press, born from a project within the University of Florence, Italy, established its role as a publisher in 2003, becoming soon a model for Italian academic publishing activities . Its mission is to provide dissemination of the intellectual output of the university through a strategy that aims to enhance visibility of editorial production and to attract authors by a high-quality professional support coupled with low-cost production and the opportunity to keep copyright. At present Firenze University Press has a large and varied catalogue of over 17 research journals and 120 monograph titles, including interdisciplinary works, that mainly address the scholarly community but also a larger audience. Firenze University Press offers publishing services also outside the context of its university. The main distribution point is the
2 web site (see Figure 1), a shop-window but also a medium for communication. All published items are available both in digital and paper formats. Every electronic publishing initiative at the Firenze University Press is certified through the legal deposit of a digital inalterable version by the Italian National Library of Florence, according to a special experimental contract. Thus digital works have a legal value for academic carriers and evaluation paths even before the new law on legal deposit of electronic publications comes into force. Paper editions are legally deposited and distributed in the traditional way. Every publication proposal is examined and has to be approved by a Scientific Committee of referees, who guarantee certification of high quality in the contents, in order to satisfy both authors and readers expectations from an academic publishing service. A special attention is devoted to pilot experimental projects that extend traditional communication patterns and propose innovative media, such as multimedia, for the dissemination of scientific, teaching and cultural contents . FIGURE 1 FIRENZE UNIVERSITY PRESS WEB SITE At the moment the editorial products are hosted on the online platform of Digital Casalini, the only large commercial distributor in Italy for electronic publications that provides such a service in a structured environment of online editorial services. Firenze University Press has the ambition of reaching an independent and completely controlled distribution under its own brand, in order to reach a better positioning of its own editorial products on the market. But there are also other new needs that have to be met, and the effort of Firenze University Press in the next two years will concentrate on innovative paradigms and technologies to enhance scholarly communication opportunities and offer more advanced services to the academic community.
3 2. THE CONTEXT OF SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION With the advent of the World-Wide Web and electronic publishing in the last decade, scholarly communication has undergone deep modifications. The role of traditional publishing is no longer unique to provide dissemination of research results, new models are emerging that can extend the scope and impact of communication . Research outputs need ready and wide dissemination. Researchers tend to be unsatisfied with traditional publishing methods, which place several limitations to their needs in time and space. Moreover, high journal prices and legal barriers - copyright and licences - prevent many potential readers to access publications that are written with the main purpose of scientific impact, and no expectations of payment or royalties. The strong monopolies in the scientific publishing market and the resulting lack of competition among journals cause distortions in communication processes. The publishers way of performing peer-review procedures is under discussion, and strong criticism comes from larger and larger portions of the academic and research community. Authors are not usually allowed to retain their copyright when publishing. This is the main obstacle to re-use of writings for wider dissemination. Rights to intellectual property concern not only attribution - that is usually retained due to the main need of being recognized as the author of a publication but also the rights to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited . Together with research results, access to primary information and background data is becoming more and more important. Though the web has made it easier to put these materials online and share them all over the world, the lack of certified dissemination channels, the deep web problem and the variety of standards make it difficult to provide them with the same evaluation status as traditional publications have. But traditional publishing does not systematically deal with these materials. New models are emerging in electronic publishing that show a potential for providing innovative solutions. Open access journals and open archives - either as subject or institutional repositories - can represent the new paradigms for scholarly communication, centuries after the establishment and achievement of traditional journals. While new economic models and their long-term sustainability are still under discussion, recent studies show that open access increases impact of research publications, measured by the number of times they are cited . The open-access communication model can be seen as a means to enhance the reward and recognition that researchers gain from publishing their results, and a candidate to substitute traditional publishing in future research communication patterns. Firenze University Press has a role in innovating publishing models in the Italian academic environment and market, thanks to the choice of adopting and supporting the Open Access model for a larger dissemination and publication impact of the electronic versions of scholarly works and data. 3. SYSTEM GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND METHODS The opportunity to adopt new emerging publishing models went together with considerations on the need of innovation in editorial workflows and processes at the Firenze University Press, mainly by integrating automation in all procedures, publishing non-
4 traditional research materials and data, and exploiting technologies issuing from the use of XML. The project designs and implements an integrated system to manage and control all processes related to the publication of journals, monographs, proceedings, data sets, and other materials, from author s submission to refereeing, from copyediting to the layout editing, from administrative tasks to dissemination, curation and preservation. Digital rights management (DRM), subscriptions and e-commerce issues are also addressed. The platform for the Firenze University Press is based on a modular architecture. This allows easier extension and maintenance, and the opportunity to build upon existing opensource software for most modules. Core modules include workflow, based on Open Journal Systems - OJS , and preservation/storage - DRM - search engine, based on DSpace . Other modules are being developed for administration management: address book, royalties, subscriptions, print/store, and integrated with an e-commerce platform (see Figure 2). Dissemination of bibliographic descriptions is based on XML formats and several communication protocols. Style sheets and XSLT allow specific formats to be built for different purposes, mainly Firenze University Press and distributors catalogues and web sites. In order to manage and control different users of the platform, a centralized sign-on system allows both authors/readers and scientific reviewers/professional staff to login and access their functions. The possibility of combining different roles increases flexibility of scientific and commercial workflows. FIGURE 2 MAIN SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE The choice of software modules was done after comparing different products, especially in the open source environment. There were several reasons for this, from the need
5 to maintain independence in the design and future evolution of the platform, to the urge to keep project and implementations costs at a sustainable level for a small publishing enterprise. In particular, the workflow provided by OJS and the technological infrastructure for content management and preservation provided by DSpace were considered to be a proper starting point for customization and integration with other management functions. OJS is an open-source solution to managing and publishing scholarly journals online. OJS is a highly flexible editor-operated journal management and publishing system, and it is a mature product that has been on the market since a few years, recently come to a second richer release. In the context of the Firenze University Press project, its use is extended to manage not only journals, but every publishing proposal from monographs to proceedings, from lecture notes to multimedia and data sets. It allows separate configuration of requirements, section, review and editorial process of different publishing initiatives, online submission and management of all content via web forms, notification to actors at every step. DSpace is an open source software platform that enables to describe digital material, preserve it over the long term, distribute it over the web through a search and retrieval system. Contents are grouped in collections, where items are the basic archival elements. Items consist of a qualified Dublin Core metadata record for information retrieval and bundles of bitstreams (usually computer files), associated with formats (expressing a notion of how material can be interpreted, according to its encoding standard) and their support levels. This data model and its OAIS compliancy, coupled with HTML, OAI, OpenUrl, and Creative Commons support, handle and bitstreams persistent identifiers, make DSpace a suitable product for management and preservation of the Firenze University Press digital assets. Firenze University Press has chosen CILEA as a technological partner to achieve this project . Within CILEA, the AePIC team designs, develops and implements electronic publishing systems and open archives . The AePIC team is particularly active in promoting Open Access to knowledge via different approaches. In Italy, among other activities, we support several institutional and disciplinary repositories, both for organizational and technical aspects, providing hosting, customization, advice, training, and assistance through the whole archive life, from project phases to daily management. Abroad, we participate in the Open Access community, through conferences, working groups, and software development. For instance we have recently developed a new feature in DSpace to provide automatic mapping of typological collections (i.e. distinguished by document type, to set appropriate metadata for description) into subject collection, to display alternative browsing options at the archive level, and allow selective disciplinary harvesting by service providers. This feature is particularly useful for Firenze University Press for the purpose of presenting and disseminating thematic approaches to its editorial production. 4. WORKFLOW SOLUTIONS The workflow module manages the whole editorial process, beginning from the submission of authors proposals, original works that need one or more evaluation and referee cycles. This module, based on OJS, provides blind peer-review, versioning and e-messaging functionalities. Editing and proof-reading are integrated with the layout production, allowing a customization of different publishing and editorial formats. Two different installations of OJS are implemented, one for the management of journals, the other for monographs, proceedings, and other proposals, which need a different workflow and different associated metadata. The first installation covers the needs of journals publishing activities. OJS allows a different configuration for each journal title, so that layout and workflow may differ according to the need of each editorial committee. Editorial committees are external to
6 Firenze University Press, which provides professional support, while peer review and scientific contributions are managed directly by the chief editor. After the conclusion of the whole reviewing and editing processes, when a journal issue is ready to be published it automatically enters the submission process in the second OJS installation, as every other proposal received by the Firenze University Press. This allows to join different procedures in one, provides a unique workflow for all editing, layout, proofreading, and publishing activities, and reduces staff functions and time needed to perform operations. The second installation provides a web submission form for authors. Authors enter their proposals by filling in simple descriptive metadata in Dublin Core format, including an abstract, then they may upload their files when ready. This process is very similar to selfarchiving in institutional repositories, and presents no particular difficulties to scholars. With an individual login and password, every author is able to trace the status of his/her proposal at every step of the workflow. messages are exchanged automatically to inform all actors about tasks to be performed. The peer-review infrastructure is used to submit proposals to the Firenze University Press Scientific Committee, to be approved or refused, or to allows corrections to be suggested. When a proposal is approved and requested corrections to its contents are performed, the proposal and its related files enter the editing procedures: copyediting, layout editing, proofreading. Also completed journal issues enter this management step when they are automatically transmitted from the journal installation of OJS, without any additional manual treatment of data and files. Publishing formats are prepared by professional designers in outsourcing. They interact with OJS in the layout phase, downloading the author s version in its original format and uploading a new XML version, prepared according to a template that allows management and automatic extraction of descriptive metadata, and permanent preservation. Several PDF versions may also be uploaded for different purposes: online and paper distribution, print on demand, open-access dissemination. 5. STORAGE, PRESERVATION, RIGHTS MANAGEMENT, DISSEMINATION When the editing process is completed, the system performs an automatic transfer of metadata and related XML and PDF files from the workflow module to the storage module, built upon a DSpace installation, allowing integration of metadata and upload of additional files (see Figure 3).
7 FIGURE 3 WORKFLOW AND STORAGE The purpose of implementing different modules is to exploit the best features of OJS and DSpace software, respectively editorial workflow and storage / preservation / DRM / dissemination. A special application will be designed to explode metadata from XML files, allowing the creation of sub-units that may be described, indexed, preserved, disseminated, and sold separately, e.g. book chapters, journal and proceedings articles, and so on. Sub-units do not need to be managed in OJS, so that editorial processes can be performed fast and simply. XML and PDF files, both for complete works and their sub-units, are associated to separate access authorizations. DSpace DRM module will be suitably modified to allow separate policies for any bitstream associated to items in the database. Some files are in fact stored just for preservation purposes, while others are destined to free distribution and others are stored to be sold at different prices and conditions. Permanent access has to be distinguished from temporary access, and expiry dates need to be managed within the DRM module. A SOA interface will be developed to integrate the DRM API with the commercial management modules of Firenze University Press, where policies are designed for temporary access, e.g. from subscriptions and sales, for collective access, e.g. for ranges of IP addresses, for open access (see Figure 4).
8 FIGURE 4 DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT Within the storage module, metadata can be edited and enriched by the Firenze University Press staff, adding all information that is necessary to manage preservation and dissemination of assets, e.g. DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers). Subject metadata produce automatic mapping of items in subject collections, that correspond to OAI-PMH set specifications . This allows dissemination of appropriate information according to different targets (e.g. disciplinary bibliographic databases or service providers). Different metadata profiles can de devised for the same purpose, since in the OAI-PMH standard each item can have more than one associated record with different formats. Metadata are then indexed and exposed via the Lucene Search Engine provided by the DSpace installation. The Search Engine module allows full-text search and provides access to the information stored in documents and related metadata. Several protocols are adopted that allow efficient information exchange with external resources, from OAI-PMH to RSS, and Web Services are designed for information retrieval purposes. Particularly, SRW will provide data from DSpace to the Firenze University Press web catalogue and to other partners sites , and Web User Interfaces will be developed to allow direct browsing, search and retrieval (see Figure 5).
9 FIGURE 5 DISSEMINATION XML metadata extraction from DSpace can produce information to populate the editorial catalogue, the web site of Firenze University Press and its journals, and an amount of partner distributors of contents or meta-information, via XSLT. Dissemination becomes an easy and completely automated task, that can enhance visibility of authors and their works. Further developments will include object mapping in the MPEG-21 Digital Item Description Language (DIDL) data model, to allow exchange of complex object formats via the OAI-PMH . Legal deposit in the National Library could for instance be automated and accomplished via resource harvesting, and new opportunities open for resource sharing with other publishing initiatives in the academic and research world. 6. CONCLUSIONS In the context of the mission to provide dissemination of the intellectual output of the University of Florence, Italy, Firenze University Press has a role in innovating publishing models in the Italian academic environment and market. In the next two years, its efforts will concentrate on adopting recent scholarly communication paradigms coupled with advanced technologies, in order to offer better services to the academic community. The adoption of the Open Access model for electronic versions of published works is sustained through sales of paper copies. The implementation of an integrated system for the management of all editorial processes will allow economies of scale and a more efficient use of resources. The platform is based on a modular architecture and makes use of available open-source software, developed in advanced contexts and spread in large communities all over the world. These choices enhance sustainability and allow extended customization opportunities. The exploitation of technologies, linked to the use of XML and recent protocols for document treatment and preservation and for metadata exchange, will keep Firenze University Press abreast of the most advanced trends in electronic publishing.
10 This project provides an example of sustainable solutions for up-to-date small publishers and university presses. NOTES AND REFERENCES 1 Firenze University Press web site: <http://epress.unifi.it>. Some documents about its birth and activities are available in Italian, see: Tammaro, A.M. Editoria scientifica dell Università di Firenze: progetto di riorganizzazione. Firenze : Firenze University Press, 1999 [cited 28 February 2006]. Available from: <http://epress.unifi.it/upload/sub/documenti/progettofup.pdf>. See also: Cotoneschi, P. La Firenze University Press fra distribuzione tradizionale e libero accesso. In L'Archivio E-Prints dell'università di Firenze: prospettive locali e nazionali. Firenze : Firenze University Press, 2004 [cited 28 February 2006]. Available from: 2 An example is the collaboration with Reti Medievali, a large network of scientists in medieval history, web site: <http://retimedievali.it>. 3 Considerations in this paragraph are based on recent literature, but too vast to be quoted here, since it goes beyond the aims of this work. For a bibliography of works on Open Access see: Bailey, C.W. Jr. Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E- Prints and Open Access Journals. Washington : Association of Research Libraries, 2005 [cited 28 February 2006]. Available from: <http://www.escholarlypub.com/oab/oab.htm>. 4 The Budapest Open Access Initiative, February 14, 2002, [cited 28 February 2006]. Available from: <http://www.soros.org/openaccess/read.shtml>. 5 For more data see: Open Citation Project. The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies [cited 28 February 2006]. Available from: <http://opcit.eprints.org/oacitation-biblio.html>. 6 Open Journal Systems - OJS is a research and development initiative of the Public Knowledge Project at the University of British Columbia. Its continuing development is currently overseen by a partnership among UBC's Public Knowledge Project, the Canadian Center for Studies in Publishing, and the Simon Fraser University Library. OJS web site: <http://www.pkp.ubc.ca/ojs/>. For an overview of the system see: Willinsky, J. Open Journal Systems: An example of Open Source Software for journal management and publishing. In Library Hi-Tech (in press) [cited 28 February 2006]. Draft available from: <http://research2.csci.educ.ubc.ca/eprints/archive/ /01/library_hi_tech_draft.pdf>. 7 The DSpace digital repository system, jointly developed by MIT Libraries and Hewlett- Packard Labs, captures, stores, indexes, preserves, and distributes digital research material. DSpace web site: <http://www.dspace.org/>. For an overview of the system see: Tansley,R.; Smith, M.; and Harford Walker, J. The DSpace Open Source Digital Asset Management System: Challenges and Opportunities. In Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries: 9th European Conference, ECDL 2005, Vienna, Austria, September 18-23, 2005, Proceedings. Berlin [etc.] : Springer-Verlag, 2005, pp CILEA is a non-profit organization pooling nine universities in Northern Italy. It provides Information and Communication Technology services to universities, research centres, public organizations and enterprises. It also provides professional advice for both the planning and dissemination of advanced technologies in the fields of high performance computing, networking services and informatics. CILEA web site: <http://www.cilea.it>. 9 The AePIC web site provides more information about its activities: <http://www.aepic.it/index.php?lang=en>. 10 A set is an optional construct for grouping items for the purpose of selective harvesting according to the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (referred to as the
11 OAI-PMH in the remainder of this document), which provides an application-independent interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting. There are two classes of participants in the OAI-PMH framework: Data Providers administer systems that support the OAI-PMH as a means of exposing metadata; and Service Providers use metadata harvested via the OAI-PMH as a basis for building value-added services. The Protocol Version 2.0 of [cited 28 February 2006] is available from: <http://www.openarchives.org/oai/openarchivesprotocol.html>. 11 SRU (Search/Retrieve via URL) is a standard search protocol for Internet search queries, utilizing CQL (Common Query Language), a standard query syntax for representing queries. It combines several Z39.50 features, most notably, the Search, Present, Sort and Scan Services. SRW (Search/Retrieve Web Service) is a companion protocol to SRU. Messages are conveyed from client to server, not by a URL, but instead using XML over HTTP via the W3C recommendation SOAP, which specifies how to wrap an XML message within an XML envelope. The SRW specification tries to adhere to the Web Services Interoperability recommendations. The Library of Congress serves as the maintenance agency for these standards. SRW web site: <http://www.loc.gov/standards/sru/srw/>. The Firenze University Press project will adopt the OCLC SRW/U software, that implements both the SRW Web Service and the SRU REST model interface to databases. Included are interfaces that support DSpace's Lucene implementation. OCLC SRW/U web site: <http://www.oclc.org/research/software/srw/default.htm>. 12 Van de Sompel, H.; Nelson, M.L.; Lagoze, C.; Warner, S. Resource Harvesting within the OAI-PMH Framework. In D-Lib Magazine [online]. December 2004, vol. 10, no. 12 [cited 28 February 2006]. Available from: <http://www.dlib.org/dlib/december04/vandesompel/12vandesompel.html>.