Aries Systems Corporation has announced a new initiative that would "formulate a publishing industry standard to support the exchange of scientific manuscripts between differing online manuscript tracking systems." The proposal calls for the creation of an XML-based, system-neutral standard for the exchange of manuscript metadata and content. The Submission and Manuscript Exchange Format (SMXF) would support the needs of Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) journals publishers who "have identified that the Internet provides an excellent medium for the submission and tracking of scientific manuscripts. The broad adoption of such a standard would provide key benefits to STM publishers; for example, a journal would be able to download SMXF data from one conforming system, and upload it into another, thereby ensuring continuity of service and data security. The SMXF standard could also be used to build functionality, enabling cooperating journals to share in-process manuscripts even if they use systems from different vendors." The developers envision that SMXF standard would "build on top of existing XML initiatives such as PRISM and the Dublin Core by making additional provisions for in-process manuscript data such as reviewer commentary, status terms, and editor decision letters."
From the text of the announcement:
In the past two years, Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) journals have identified that the Internet provides an excellent medium for the submission and tracking of scientific manuscripts. While some large societies have developed in-house systems, many journals have also adopted solutions sold by commercial vendors.
Aries' proposed XML-based "Submission and Manuscript eXchange Format" (SMXF) would provide a system-neutral standard for the exchange of manuscript metadata and content. The broad adoption of such a standard would provide key benefits to STM publishers. For example, a journal would be able to download SMXF data from one conforming system, and upload it into another -- thereby ensuring continuity of service and data security. The SMXF standard could also be used to build functionality, enabling cooperating journals to "share" in-process manuscripts even if they use systems from different vendors.
Richard Wynne, the VP of Sales and Marketing at Aries Systems Corporation commented: "This marketplace will undergo numerous technical and business changes during the next few years. Journals are justifiably concerned about locking their data into incompatible proprietary systems. An open standard like SMXF is the only real way to address fundamental concerns about continuity of service, as well as providing an exciting platform for cooperation between journals. We are committed to making our Editorial Manager system SMXF compatible."
Aries Systems Corporation seeks industry feedback and participation from publishers, system vendors and journal staff so that an open standard can be developed. Aries is sponsoring an initial meeting for interested parties at the London Online Meeting in Room 305 (Conference Level 3) at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 4th, 2002.
About Aries Systems Corporation: Since 1986 Aries Systems has successfully delivered technology that enhances the scientific publishing process: Knowledge Finder for online literature searching, DocuRights digital rights management for STM publishers, and Editorial Manager for online manuscript submission and tracking.
Analysis from Seybold: "Although cooperating journals and the fear of being 'locked in' were the genesis of the SMFX proposal, what we find equally intriguing is the possibility that SMFX would facilitate data interchange between peer-review and production-tracking systems. Given the recent proliferation of peer-review systems, and the dearth of commercial production-tracking systems (a market void waiting to be filled), a vendor-neutral standard could lay the foundation for clean bridges that would benefit both publishers and vendors. For it to work, though, the standard must make it easy for vendors to support publisher-specific extensions, such as unique metadata. And, as Aries expects, the standard must be controlled by a consortium of users and vendors, not a single vendor. Aries' proposal is a good starting point for a discussion that we hope will draw its customers, prospects and competitors to the table..."
- Announcement 2002-11-25: "Proposed XML-based Standard to Allow Journals and Publishers to Exchange. In-Process Manuscripts Between Different Online Submission and Tracking Systems."
- Editorial Manager System
- Aries Systems Corporation website
- Email contact: email@example.com
- "Aries Proposes Journal Interchange Standard." In The Bulletin: Seybold News and Views On Electronic Publishing Volume 8, Number 9 (November 27, 2002).
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