Every stage of the publishing process generates data. Questions like; How long did it take to find which topic to research? Which journal should I submit to? Was my submission straightforward or did the publisher have to return the manuscript to me for correction? How long did it take to get to an editorial decision on the paper? etc, will need answers from within the publishing process.
This information is typically unstructured, and what is worse, it exists in several locations: in online discovery platforms used by the researcher for searching and retrieval of new content or locked inside submission platforms, internal workflow tools used by the publisher or vendors, and in emails. What a benefit it would be to be able to gather and evaluate all this data!
Traditionally, societies and publishers often see themselves as “content intermediaries” rather than data-driven “product” companies. Yet to provide an effective service for their customers, publishers need to pay attention to the data behind the platforms, technology implementations and hosting providers. Every publisher wants answers to questions such as:
- How can I manage and utilize the data that is central to my business, given that it is distributed across vendors and partners?
- How can I analyze this data to demonstrate to new customers that I capture and display clear metrics as a standard?
Publishing used to be more about instincts than insights. ‘What should we publish?’ was a conversation conducted periodically at strategy meetings, without the availability of instant feedback. Performance data was available only at publication level, and came in days, weeks, and sometimes months after the fact. Customer satisfaction was unknown.
Knowing which content is most accessed, as well as how much it cost to deliver that content, is crucial in the increasingly competitive digital publishing space. Content-related data, and audience insights based on interactions and usage are among the most powerful and valuable insights any online publisher can have; but only if the publisher has identified clear business objectives and has meaningful analytics that can be acted on.
MC Insights™ from Molecular Connections is a state-of-the-art platform for generating intelligent insights from manuscript submissions, internal publishing decisions and content metadata. Powered by a deep-learning algorithm, MC Insights works to build robust data models that can be mined to provide performance against metrics. With its solid foundations, the publisher is provided with a future-proof platform that acts as a decision support system, allowing for data-based decisions. No longer does the publisher have to rely exclusively on instinct and experience.
Today, data availability is not the issue: the challenge is to make sense of it. Publishers need a holistic view of all the stages of the academic workflow together with the insights that can be gathered from the data. Smaller societies and publishers lack the resources to provide this insight, which can compromise their strategic investment in editorial strategy, leading to lower ROI. So, does this mean rebuilding or replacing all the expensive third-party branded tools that are used to manage this data flow and generate analytics for better business outcomes?
There is no need to buy new submission systems. MC Insights can create an analytics layer using APIs that can work with existing submission systems and hosting platforms currently in use. Such an analytics layer provides a live dashboard for editors and publishing heads to potentially see who the authors are (even across preprint servers), where they are based (institution), what happened post-submission, where rejected articles were published (if rejected by the publisher) and could it have been transferred to another journal/ Open access platform
MC Insights™ can be plugged into any existing system with ease. The system can be deployed to any existing cloud infrastructure, or integrated via an API. The application can make use of any single sign-on (SSO) authentication in use by the publisher, hence enabling instant integration to native apps.
Once MC Insights™ has been implemented, all stakeholders (editors, publishers, sales, and business development) can query the platform to provide data-driven answers to questions such as:
- How long do my submissions take?
- Where are the gaps in my journal scope?
- Are there sales opportunities from knowing author institutions and funding routes?
We can define data-driven publishing as a framework to produce and deliver content in an efficient, user-centered way. Effective content strategy for publishers needs to be based on analytics to ensure decisions you make about your digital content publishing and marketing plans are informed: in summary, data driven.