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Helping a journal apply to PMC when you’ve never done it before


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In this LPForum 2020 session, Scholastica Co-Founder and CEO Brian Cody shared actionable insights on how to help a journal navigate the technical aspects of the PubMed Central (PMC) application process.

To help you stay on top of the PMC application process, check out Scholastica's "PubMed Central inclusion checklist" here:

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Helping a journal apply to PMC when you’ve never done it before

  1. 1. Helping a journal apply to PMC when you’ve never done it before Case study and indexing best practices #LPForum20 @briancody @scholasticahq
  2. 2. Session overview ◎ Share lessons learned ◎ PubMed Central (PMC) ◎ Indexing tips and strategies ◎ Share experiences during Q&A
  3. 3. Indexes:
  4. 4. Easy-to-integrate journal publishing solutions to help further your mission: ◎ Peer review system ◎ Production service (PDF, HTML, XML) ◎ OA journal hosting, discovery support, and analytics
  5. 5. TL;DR ◎ Find the inclusion guidelines ◎ Talk to someone who’s already done it before ○ Vendor, another journal, the index team ◎ Do internal audit, get all boxes checked ○ Content ○ Technical check ◎ THEN apply for inclusion
  6. 6. PubMed Central Lessons learned
  7. 7. Start at the very beginning...
  8. 8. PMC case study ◎ Campus-based publication ~3 years old ◎ Medical journal ◎ Run by faculty and residents
  9. 9. Small publishers reaching out ◎ Similar experience across campus-based and small society publishers ◎ “Can you help us answer these questions?” ◎ We needed to learn more to be able to help
  10. 10. “ What is PubMed Central?
  11. 11. ““PubMed is a kind of superset for content archived and indexed by NLM. It pulls in articles from both the MEDLINE index and PMC full-text archive”
  12. 12. “ What are the inclusion steps?
  13. 13. 6 steps in PMC inclusion 1. Apply 2. Screening 3. Scientific quality review 4. Technical evaluation 5. Pre-production 6. Live release
  14. 14. Technical requirements ◎ Individual XML file for full text of each article ◎ The original high-resolution digital image files for all figures in each article ◎ A PDF, if one exists, in addition to the XML version of each article ◎ Supplementary material files
  15. 15. Technical challenges ◎ DTD (Document Type Definition) ○ Normally JATS XML, but not always ◎ Copyright license ○ E.g. CC-BY, publisher-specific, etc. ◎ Article type ○ Original research, clinical case reports, etc. ○ Make sure representative of journal’s content
  16. 16. Internal audit ◎ Appropriate content, majority English? ◎ Regular publication history of 25+ articles? ◎ ISSN? ◎ Editorial board on website? ◎ Policies and processes explained? ○ ICMJE recommendations ○ Joint statement from DOAJ/COPE/OASPA/WAME
  17. 17. Internal audit: use PMC’s examples!
  18. 18. Internal audit: use PMC’s examples!
  19. 19. Areas of confusion we’ve seen ◎ First issue(s) ◎ Journal-level policy ◎ In-article acknowledgment
  20. 20. Areas of confusion we’ve seen ◎ Who owns the journal? ◎ Misconduct ◎ Complaints and appeals
  21. 21. Important to get it right ◎ If rejected, 24 months before applying again ◎ Need 1 journal accepted and adhering for 6 months before you can add more ◎ PMC is faster route to Pubmed vs MEDLINE
  22. 22. Beyond PMC Lessons learned from Google Scholar, DOAJ, and other indexes
  23. 23. Google Scholar
  24. 24.
  25. 25. Google Scholar ◎ Crawler, so you don’t upload anything ◎ Connects to citing articles ◎ Pulls in data from multiple sources ◎ Metadata tags in the HTML, e.g. ○ citation_title ○ citation_author ○ citation_pdf_url
  26. 26. Recommendations for software
  27. 27. “ Wait! My Google Scholar entries don’t look right!
  28. 28. Changes take a while
  29. 29. PDF vs HTML
  30. 30. First results not always yours
  31. 31. First results not always yours
  32. 32. DOAJ The Directory of Open Access Journals
  33. 33. What is DOAJ? ◎ “DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals” ◎ Barometer for ethical publishing practices (vs predatory publishers) ◎ Required for Plan S compliance
  34. 34. DOAJ indexing ◎ Not just journal-level registration - articles too! ◎ Adding articles is way to cascade metadata into other aggregators ○ E.g. Worldcat ◎ Inclusion form asks for similar information as other indexes
  35. 35. Tips for DOAJ inclusion ◎ Review ~60 questions in the application ◎ Upload XML - they do not crawl ◎ DTDs: DOAJ or Crossref ○ DOAJ links to site to upload XML + XSD to validate
  36. 36. Area to help: copyright and licensing ◎ “Does the journal embed or display licensing information in its articles?” ◎ “Does the journal allow readers to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and allow readers to use them for any other lawful purpose?”
  37. 37. Takeaways
  38. 38. Lessons learned ◎ Find the inclusion guidelines ◎ Technical check can be confusing ◎ Utilize your partners and vendors early ◎ Do internal audit, get all boxes checked - THEN apply for inclusion
  39. 39. Helpful links ◎ PubMed Central inclusion guidelines ○ Interview with PMC Program Manager Kathryn Funk ◎ Google Scholar ○ Scholastica blog post ◎ DOAJ ○ Scholastica blog post
  40. 40. Share your experiences
  41. 41. Helping a journal apply to PMC when you’ve never done it before Case study and indexing best practices #LPForum20 @briancody @scholasticahq