Social media and metrics at core of new SLJOL platform


Sri Lanka’s primary journal platform, Sri Lanka Journals Online(SLJOL) – which is managed by the country’s National Science Foundation (NSF) – has moved from the Public Knowledge Project(PKP) to Ubiquity Press. This change of host has enabled a major site upgrade, enhancing social-media functionality and introducing article-level metrics. Tweets from the JOLs Project account feature prominently on the homepage, reflecting the live uptake of Sri Lankan research. In addition to commenting directly on SLJOL itself, users can share content with their contacts on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Linkedin, Gmail and more. These messages embed each article’s DOI, allowing metrics to be updated in real-time.

The redesigned SLJOL was soft-launched this February following close collaboration between Ubiquity Press, INASP and NSF, who provided feedback on the site’s usability and accessibility. Ubiquity Press has optimized the site for low-bandwidth connections, which often hamper researchers in Southern countries, and the platform also includes a new dyslexia-friendly mode that improves readability through larger text and reduced contrast. “SLJOL’s move to Ubiquity Press connects Sri Lankan researchers to the global scientific community,” said NSF’s Sunethra Perera.

SLJOL combines INASP and Ubiquity Press’s commitment to sustainability and quality with NSF’s mandate to host, support and disseminate Sri Lankan research. Ubiquity hosts SLJOL for a lower price than the journals it hosts for richer scholarly societies and university presses. “Ubiquity Press and its clients in the Ubiquity Partner Network are strongly committed to supporting publishing-led development, and our two-tier pricing reflects that. Subsidising NSF gives them access to the same tools and services we offer partners from richer countries, and in return those partners are contributing to a more inclusive system of global scholarship,” said Brian Hole, Ubiquity’s CEO.

As with SLJOL’s previous iteration, transparency and trust and a commitment to quality underpin the site’s ethos and operation. Editors are being encouraged to outline their journal’s ‘research integrity’, detailing how they conduct peer review and disclose funding sources, among other issues. SLJOL will also become the first of the Journals Online platforms to use the CrossCheck system, with each article submitted scanned for plagiarized content against an industry-leading database.

Since its inception in 2008, SLJOL has matured considerably, and now has 60 journals, nearly 6,000 articles and up to 18,000 views per month. Though the site was originally managed by INASP, a phased handover to NSF began in 2013, which will be completed by the end of this year, when NSF will decide whether it wants to remain hosted by Ubiquity. INASP mentoring of NSF will continue beyond 2015, wherever the site is hosted.

SLJOL’s move to Ubiquity Press will consolidate and grow its audience, thereby increasing the visibility and impact of Sri Lankan research, which is the JOLs Project’s core goal. “It’s a new and exciting development for SLJOL and we welcome this opportunity to work with Ubiquity Press and NSF to develop the functionality of the site further,” said Sioux Cumming, INASP’s JOLs Project Programme Manager. “One of INASP’s core principles is that all scholars can learn from engaging with and supporting different research cultures, particularly those that are marginalized; SLJOL’s redesign brings that concept to life,” she added.

Contact Ubiquity Press’s Brian Hole for more information on SLJOL’s redesign, and INASP’s Sioux Cumming for all other media enquiries. Follow INASP and JOLs Project on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with the platform’s continuing evolution.

Image: The SLJOL team. From left to right: Amila Tennakoon (NSF), Brian Hole (Ubiquity Press), Sunethra Perera (NSF), Ruth Bottomley (INASP), Sioux Cumming (INASP), Andy Nobes (INASP).


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