The NISO Manuscript Exchange Common Approach (MECA) working group today releases its draft Recommended Practice for an open protocol for the transfer of manuscripts within and between manuscript systems. The recommendations are available for public comment through February 16.
Developed to address the frustration felt by authors when their manuscript is rejected and they have to repeat the submission process, as well as to reduce the estimated 15 million hours currently wasted each year repeating reviews, the MECA working group recommendations will improve the process for all stakeholders. They cover the transfer of manuscripts and/or reviews between submission systems, between preprint and submission systems, from authoring systems to submission systems, and from submission systems to services such as post acceptance processing systems.
The MECA working group has developed a common vocabulary and made specific recommendations for transmitting, identifying, and packaging the content being transferred. Once finalized, they will be published as a NISO Recommended Practice, freely available for implementation by the community.
Welcoming the release of the draft recommendations, working group co-chair, Tony Alves, Director of Product Management, Aries Systems, commented, “We are happy to have worked with NISO to develop these guidelines which, when implemented, will alleviate some significant pain points for researchers, publishers, and service providers.”
The second co-chair, Stephen Laverick, Director, Green Fifteen Publishing Consultancy, added, “Everyone who plays a role in manuscript processing — including those working with production systems, preprint servers, and authoring services — is invited to comment on this draft NISO Recommended Practice, so that we can ensure it meets the needs of our whole community.”
NISO's Associate Executive Director, Nettie Lagace, stated, "We are grateful to Tony and Stephen for their leadership, and to everyone on the working group for their help developing this NISO Recommended Practice, which will improve the manuscript submission process for everyone involved. We strongly encourage our community to share your feedback on these recommendations, so that we can ensure they meet your requirements.”
The draft Recommended Practice is available at https://www.niso.org/standards-committees/meca.