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ScienceOpen: The Publisher Partner for Best-Practice Metadata

Metadata Services at ScienceOpen 

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For many publishers the requirements of modern digital publishing can be dizzying – XML DTDs, PIDs, DOIs, metatags. At ScienceOpen we have been consulting publishers on their metadata for years to help get the most visibility possible for academic publications. We have increasingly built systems with our technical partner, Ovitas, to support publishers with metadata creation and distribution and made each new tool available to the next customer.  As a metadata technical hub, we can automate time-consuming tasks and let publishers concentrate on the content. Here are a few of the services that we can provide to help take the pain out of publishing: 

1. XML check and enhancement 

ScienceOpen has developed a wide range of ways to introduce a publisher’s articles into the database with as little technical effort from the publisher as possible. The goal is to add the richest information possible about an article to increase the chances that it will be found, read and recommended by the right researchers. Information such as the abstract, license or citations can greatly increase the amount of usage for an article on the platform, which we make the case for in a previous blogpost. ScienceOpen has been active in both the Initiative for Open Citations and the Initiative for Open Abstracts, as well as Metadata 2020

Ideally, ScienceOpen works with XML metadata in Dublin Core, JATS or BITS DTD. Sometimes, however, tagging of an article is incomplete, incorrect or incompatible. Or, metadata is added from sources such as Crossref, DOAB or DOAJ where the article metadata is also not complete. For such cases, ScienceOpen has developed an “Enhance Metadata” interface that allows the publisher to update records on the platform with abstracts, Open Access licenses, author affiliations, funder information, data availability statements and more (currently limited to book publications). We can globally add metadata to a content set, such as an Open Access license or journal name (where multiple variants exist), or allow book publishers to update records individually for a homogeneous presentation of their content within the discovery environment. A great example of the latter case can be seen in our collaboration with Trivent Publishing which can be further examined here.

2. Crossref DOI deposit 

But we don’t stop there – publishers who enhance their metadata on the ScienceOpen platform with abstracts, license info and more can opt to have us deposit that information at Crossref for more complete records for all metadata affiliates of the Crossref database. We believe strongly in the valuable service that Crossref provides to the academic publishing community. Crossref DOIs are essential to prevent information being lost from inactive URLs or “link rot” and to preserve the integrity of the scientific record. However, it can be challenging and time-consuming for small publishers who are often adding metadata manually to Crossref. ScienceOpen can take over this process to save publishers time – from first deposit to updating records. 

3. DOAJ article metadata deposit 

For the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) we can offer a similar metadata delivery service. Many Open Access journals are rigorously vetted and finally accepted into DOAJ but do not have the technical capacity to deposit article-level metadata to the database. ScienceOpen can both add metadata from DOAJ, for those Open Access publishers who do not yet have Crossref DOIs for their content, and deposit article-metadata for journals that have been accepted into DOAJ. Each complete entry in a relevant database increases the discoverability of publisher content. 

4. Machine-readable open access licenses 

ScienceOpen is a good place to visualize how computers read and interpret publisher metadata – particularly relevant in the case of Open Access licenses. An “Open Access” filter on search results within the ScienceOpen discovery environment defines only those articles as Open Access which have a standard machine-readable license correctly tagged in the metadata. How does your favorite OA journal check out? If your Open Access symbol is missing, let us know and we can work together to understand and correct the problem. 

5. Google Scholar indexing 

Google Scholar requires a special set of metatags to be exposed to the search engine for efficient indexing. Not every website is immediately understood by the Google bots to contain academic content which can cause some journals to miss out on the powerful Google discovery channel. ScienceOpen works with Google Scholar to ensure that all hosted journals on ScienceOpen are instantly and correctly indexed according to Google’s requirements and that rich metadata for all our customers of advanced indexing services is correctly picked up. 

6. Abstracting & indexing services 

Once rich metadata is stored in the ScienceOpen database, we can package and digitally deliver it to a full range of A&I services. Beyond DOAJ, we currently have metadata delivery mechanisms in place for DimensionsPubMedCentral and Scopus. We are happy to work with publisher customers to set up delivery plans for them.  

7. Long-term archiving 

It is not uncommon for journals to cease publishing after a time for a whole variety of reasons. In these cases, long-term archiving is essential to secure the digital scholarly record. For publishers hosting their full-text articles on the ScienceOpen platform, we provide long-term archiving with CLOCKSS to protect their content for future generations. We are also happy to deliver content to Portico or other archives.  

ScienceOpen will always continue to work with our partners and customers to develop new forms of digital support as new situations arise. By allowing ScienceOpen to be your technical partner, you can rest easy knowing that your metadata is in line with best-practice guidelines and can focus more of your time on the content side of publishing. If you would like to learn more about our metadata services, please contact Stuart Cooper or Stephanie Dawson. We look forward to your inquiries. 

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