Wiley is continuing our journey toward a new, digital, web-first publishing ecosystem for our journals, including those we publish on behalf of learned societies. We recognise a need to move away from the print-centred paradigm that has driven journal publishing for so long and move toward a web-first environment.
We are particularly interested in the experience of authors, who are key drivers of a journal’s success. Our research has shown us that authors want a simple publication experience, a fast production experience, and ways to increase the discoverability of their work. As result of our research, and as a part of our commitment to moving web-first environment, we are developing new systems and processes to improve the author experience.
Our current focus is the post-submission workflow, i.e. the work that happens after an editorial office submits a final manuscript for production. Our research has told us that complex journal designs are a key area in need of simplification for authors and editors. For the vast majority of journals, designs and style sheets have not changed in years—even decades—and while journals have evolved and moved online, we continue to typeset to match the historic print journal. This is why you may notice that the layout and design of journal articles published in the Journal of Peptide Science is in the process of changing. This forms part of the successful introduction of a new design for more than 400 journals across our portfolio over the past two years and in the context of the plans for many more.
The new design is the result of work that has been ongoing for a number of months, where we have tested, refined and incorporated feedback from researchers about aesthetics and readability and established a set of designs that optimise journals for the online environment. We understand from speaking to authors of the important need to reduce publication times—the time from submission to publication—and we are pleased to report that the new, streamlined design has worked well in this regard. Very early data suggest that the turnaround time for the average article has decreased by 22% when we moved a journal to the new design, and we expect this trend to faster publication to continue as our typesetters and editors become more familiar with the new process.
As well as improving time to publication, the new journal design also allows the publisher to take increasing responsibility for functional aspects of publishing. It forms part of a web-first publishing environment that supports authors, reviewers and journal editors to look after the quality of science without being distracted by items peripheral to the content.
We have also been pleased to take the opportunity to optimize the Journal of Peptide Science‘s design for the online space. As publishing moves increasingly into a digital-first environment, it is important that the structure underpinning published research articles is able to accommodate new digital innovations. Moving to this new style is a stepping stone towards even greater enhancements to the final published article in the coming years, and we hope that you will enjoy the benefits this brings to you as readers as well as researchers. One innovation is that eLocators have been introduced into the new page design. An eLocator is a unique identifier for an online article and serves the same function page numbers that have traditionally served in the print world. The eLocator will become the primary means of citation, just as page numbers have been in the past—a readable and meaningful citation reference.
The journal’s author guidelines have been updated to reflect the changes and can be accessed via the journal homepage here. All authors wishing to submit to Journal of Peptide Science should refer to the latest author guidelines when preparing their manuscript.
To view an example of a recently-published article which benefits from the new journal design, please see here.