In our recent blog post, we talked about what XML format is and what role it plays in academic publishing.

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a text-encoding format that facilitates data exchange across various platforms and websites. In academic publishing, it is used for automatic delivery and content indexing in libraries and abstracting services, increasing discoverability. The format also enables better control over the structure and quality of published documents, becoming an invaluable tool for editors and publishers.

Benefits of the XML format

Academic papers can be published either partially (only metadata) or fully in the XML format. Converting the whole documents into the XML format is advantageous and brings additional benefits:

  • The XML format is mobile-friendly – the text adjusts automatically to the device’s screen size, enhancing the reading experience. Meanwhile, PDF files need to be scrolled, which makes them difficult to read on the go.
  • Texts in XML are screened by search engines – users of academic content utilize various methods to reach the content they are interested in. Some look for specific journals by opening their web pages directly, some check the contents of indexing databases, and others prefer to use the search engines, such as Google. In the latter case, only papers available in XML format have the chance to be discovered and read, as search engines do not have the possibility to scan PDF files. Publishing metadata in XML (and the article body in PDF) is not always sufficient, as readers may want to search for keywords or phrases that are not accessible in the title and abstract.
  • The XML format can be read aloud by screen readers – this functionality enables all readers, including those with different types of disabilities to access your research output. Sciendo’s publishing platform is compliant with the latest accessibility standards and hence provides a screen reading component that read texts available in XML. 

The room for improvement

The XML format provides many advantages to those academic publications that decide to use it. A major disadvantage of this standard is the time required for additional document formatting, taking anywhere from a few days to even a few weeks, depending on the publisher. During that time journal editors and authors need to wait for their publications to become available online.

As the document formatting time has become a major issue in the production process, Sciendo took a step forward to meet the rising expectations of its clients and the broader scientific community and introduced the XML Fast Track service. The service provides a new workflow that speeds up the conversion process allowing authors and editors to focus on creating high-quality content faster.

XML Fast Track in practice

The workflow starts with the acceptance of an article for publication in the online submission system. Our specialists convert the paper directly into XML and perform the first production works, language editing and copyediting already in this format. Once finished, the copyedited document is converted into PDF and sent to the article author for proofreading in a form of the downloadable link.

The proofreading process

The proofreading takes place fully in an online environment:

  • The author inserts the comments into the PDF and sends the file back through the dedicated webpage
  • Editors review the comments, accepting them or adding their own remarks
  • Any corrections are applied in the same online manner
  • Finally, the system creates a publication files bundle (PDF + XML) and sends it to the platform for final publication.

With the XML Fast Track service, documents are converted into an XML at the very beginning of the publication process. That way, when an article is ready for publication the final conversion process can be omitted, saving time, and placing the paper immediately online.

The service reduces the total production process time to 15 working days, starting from manuscript acceptance up until its final online publication.

Service requirements

All the works take place in an online environment, hence it becomes necessary for a journal to operate an online submission system. If such a system is in place already, we can start the work immediately. To inquire about the peer review management software we offer, please get in touch with our representative:

XML Fast Track processing requires also a dedicated XML article layout. Sciendo delivers its own house-style layout free of charge, but we may also design an individual, unique layout to resemble the style and feel of your publication.

Enhance your production process

XML Fast Track is an efficient solution for those journals and authors that value their time the most. It streamlines the production workflow making it easier to work with digital content and create high-quality outputs quickly and efficiently.

You can order the service as part of the Premier Plus package for journals or as a stand-alone solution. To find out more, contact us by completing the form.

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