From Submission to Publication: Creating and Conveying Quality

Virtual Conference

One on-going concern in scholarly communication has to do with publication time lags and ultimately, any delays to research dissemination. How can publishing systems more efficiently support peer-review? How rapidly can a manuscript move from completed draft to the status of preprint to a final version of record? Certainly in recent years, there have been calls for more efficient and more transparent manuscript transfer and exchange. However, ensuring quality of publication has always entailed a certain degree of lag as materials moved through the editorial and production process. This event will examine some of the nuances of the process as well as emerging possibilities for improvement.

A natural follow-up question then would be how best to guard against predatory publishers – those who would seduce researchers into submitting good work to questionable periodicals. No author wants to pay hefty feeds for publication lacking the checks of peer review or editorial oversight. Are whitelists (or conversely, blacklists) the right approach in guiding researchers to the best journals for their scholarly output? What about badges for publications (whether in traditional formats or not)? Or will such protective approaches simply expand existing issues associated with regard to metrics for use in gauging impact and/or reach?

Confirmed speakers for this event include: 

  • Kent Anderson, Founder, Caldera Associates; 
  • Brian Cody, Co-Founder and CEO, and Danielle Padula, Community Development Manager, Scholastica;
  • Mary Elizabeth Sutherland, Senior Editor, Nature Human Behaviors, Springer Nature; 
  • Sally Ubnoske, Senior Business Systems Analyst, Aries Systems,
  • Sarah J. Koechlein, Head of Resource Access, James Madison University;
  • Andrew Smeall, Chief Digital Officer, Hindawi

Event Sessions

12:00 – 12:15 Welcome


12:15 – 12:45 Collection Strategies: Determining the Best for Your Research Community


As the electronic journal landscape changes, approaches to assessment and evaluation tools must change as well. This presentation provides context for current models for acquiring and accessing journal content in libraries, from big deal to open access. Also discussed are traditional methods for evaluating journals, such as cost per use and impact factor, as well as current trends in journal evaluation across libraries.

12:45 – 1:15 Quality Indicators of Scholarly Publications


How do professional editors add to the quality of the work they publish? This talk will describe how editors at the Nature journals filter, enhance, and amplify the content that passes through their hands. I will go through the way in which we select papers, how they are peer reviewed, and the methods and criteria we use to ensure that the research is robust and reliable. In addition, I will summarizing the requirements we have in place to ensure that the research we publish is reliable and reproducible. The talk will end with a brief discussion of the new types of content that we are developing to improve the quality of confirmatory research.  

1:15 – 1:45pm Predatory Publishing -- From Natural Extreme to Unregulated Offender


Predatory publishers emerged with the quick money model of Gold OA. Through aggressive e-mail marketing, confusing title similarities, lies about impact and process, and promises of fast, easy publishing, some fooled thousands of academic researchers into paying to publish in venues that had little or no quality control. This talk with provide an overview of how predatory publishers emerged, how attempts to control them emerged and failed, how governments are prosecuting these scammers, and what solutions might be possible at this point. 

1:45 -2:00 Break

2:00 – 2:30pm A deep dive into the stages of journal publishing and core technical standards


What are the main stages of academic journal publishing? And how can journals meet the highest peer review and publishing standards? This session takes a deep dive into the journal publishing process from manuscript submission to article production to publication, including:

  • The inner workings of peer review and core journal performance metrics to track
  • Digital publishing processes and the benefits of following a rolling publishing model
  • The importance of machine-readable metadata and SEO in digital publishing and best practices

Drawing from experience working with many newly launched journals and publishing programs, the speakers will share broadly applicable case studies and best practices. This session is designed for those interested in learning more about the stages of academic journal publishing and for publishers looking to further develop their journals program. Attendees will come away with a greater understanding of how to improve publication speed and quality in every stage of the journal publishing process.

2:30 – 3:00 An Open Source Approach to Peer Review


Hindawi is both a publisher of open access journals and a technology provider. With their Phenom project, they are working with collaborators in the open source community to develop an end-to-end suite of open and reusable publishing tools. Andrew will discuss why Hindawi chose to go with an open source approach, the challenges of supporting a robust peer review process, and how the software is using integrations with other services and data providers to assist authors, editors, and peer reviewers.

3:00 – 3:30pm MECA – A New Project to Facilitate Manuscript Exchange across Systems


It has been reported that Authors lose time and effort when their manuscript is rejected and they have to repeat the submission process in subsequent journals.  In addition, it is estimated that 15 million hours of researcher time is wasted each year repeating reviews.  Both of these challenges could be addressed if journals and publishers could seamlessly transfer manuscripts between publications using different submission and peer review tracking systems.  With the growth of cascading workflows, manuscripts are regularly transferred within a publishing group.  But a growing challenge is to transfer the manuscript (and, optionally, peer review data) across publishers and manuscript systems and even to and from preprint servers.  

The NISO MECA Working Group was formed to develop a common approach for the transfer of manuscripts between and among manuscript systems, such as those in use at publishers and preprint servers.  The group is comprised of producers and users of manuscript systems, including production vendors, publishers, preprint servers and author service vendors.  The group is currently finalizing a NISO Recommended Practice.

3:30 - 4:00pm Roundtable Discussion


Moderated by Todd Carpenter, this roundtable discussion continues the discussion with the day's speakers, allowing us to touch on themes that may have emerged throughout the day's presentations and address any lingering questions from our attendees. Don't skip this last program session as it is frequently the most far-reaching in its examination of the day's topic. 

Additional Information

  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the archived recording within one business day. Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., we ask that you contact the NISO office at if you do not receive these instructions in a timely fashion. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.

  • Speaker presentation slides are posted to this event webpage following the live broadcast.

For Online Events

  • You will need a computer in order to view the broadcast; audio should feed through your device’s speaker or attached headset.

  • If you have questions or concerns regarding this registration, please contact NISO headquarters via email to We appreciate your interest and hope that you will gain valuable insight from our speakers.