Introducing Phenom Review: open source scholarly infrastructure by Hindawi
This guest post is one of a series from sponsors of the OASPA Conference in 2019. Please note that the views in this post do not represent an official view or statement from OASPA. This post is by Richard Bennett of Hindawi.
Can collective effort lead to a peer review system that actually serves the needs of the scholarly publishing community?
Peer review systems have developed over time to adjust to the changing requirements of different academic journals, pushing the legacy systems to the edge of their capabilities. Most importantly, an ongoing shift towards a more open culture in scholarly communications, including Open Access and Open Data, has created new challenges by bringing to light the inherent limitations of current proprietary infrastructure.
Now, imagine a world where peer review systems were built in a way that serves the wider research community, reducing duplication of effort, increasing flexibility and editorial control without sacrificing transparency, and bringing the cost of publishing down. What would that world look like and how do we build it?
This month, a second Hindawi journal will move onto the Phenom Review system, our new peer review platform built entirely open source. Phenom Review is part of Hindawi’s collaboration with Coko utilizing their open source PubSweet framework.
This is a significant milestone because while creating a peer review system and workflow for a single journal is relatively straightforward, making it flexible enough to accommodate multiple journals is much more complex. Once we can use it effectively and efficiently for two journals, it is easy to expand to more. The migration of our remaining 230 journals is expected to be completed early in the new year.
Working within the Coko community is a collaborative enterprise with teams from eLife, Europe PMC and Hindawi constantly joining forces and sharing information. In addition to Phenom Review, this collaborative approach has created an increasingly rich diversity of publishing modules that are already live. Libero Reviewer from eLife now takes 100% of their submission traffic from their website, Europe PMC released a multiple source post-publish submission system for author self-archiving, and Editoria is a community-led open source books production platform.
Building momentum in open source projects is not easy, but by making our code open and reusable this can help jumpstart other platform development projects. As long as more platforms move towards a shared set of open standards, the research community as a whole will benefit. Open infrastructure in the form of independent, interoperable platforms in loose competition with one another will lead to faster innovation than a landscape of one or two dominant providers.
We believe community-led, open source projects and systems have a vital role to play in not just opening up published research (as Open Access does) but the whole infrastructure of scholarly publishing. In this way, publishers put the outputs of scholarly publishing and the means of their production back to where they belong; in the hands of researchers, institutions and the research community.
Richard has over 18 years of experience in commercial positions across the publishing industry. Prior to Hindawi, he built the institutional sales team at Digital Science managing the sales for Symplectic, Altmetric, figshare and UberResearch.Across his career, he has held various senior sales management positions at Mendeley, Ovid, Springer Nature and Elsevier Science , based out of location in London, New York and the Netherlands.
We are grateful to Hindawi and all of our 2019 conference sponsors for their support.