Global Research Letters

Multimodal Journal Publishing

Hi nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals my name is alex fletcher and i’m the associate director of development for the public knowledge project i’m going to give a presentation on multimodal journal publishing this was first given at the first international symposium on multimodal publishing hosted by the university of victoria i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals work for the public knowledge project which is based at simon fraser university which is on the unseated territories of the squamish quikwetlam mosquim and slaveotooth nations i’m a member of the metis nation of british columbia via my father’s mother i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals was raised with an awareness but not without not with a real connection to that culture and i’m working to understand my subtle roots and history both through my european and media heritage so um i’d like to start with what multimodal publishing looks like in ojs and credit for these examples goes to kate shuttleworth who’s a digital publishing librarian and she works with numerous journals based on simon fraser university which is where these examples come from while i’m going through these i’d like you to assess a few things where does the content live does it live on your computer your server or somebody else’s if it lives on somebody else’s server then why for how long and what happens then does it play well with others does the content have a standard format can it be archived does the metadata conform to a standard are the semantics there for machine readable formats is it accessible and finally if any of these is not a positive answer if for example you’re hosting content on somebody else’s computer and you think it may go down in the future what does that mean can the downsides be mitigated can you encapsulate the content so it lives on your system can you convert to a more standard format or if not can you at least scrape the content later and then solve that problem down the road so the examples i’m going to present here are from a publishing course this is pub 371 called the structure of the book publishing industry in canada and this is a course taught by hannah mcgregor at simon prison university so here’s an example of a timeline this is using us an open source tool called timeline.

Js which is by it is a free open source tool but in this case it’s delivered via a content delivery network which means that the code that supports the timeline is on a separate server and that may go down at some point and disappear here’s an example of a youtube video and this is embedded within an article in this case youtube is a corporate entity and their business model may not be compatible with yours they may be ad based they may have copyright strikes that content may not live there forever and here’s an example of a interactive storyboard using a tool called in this case my understanding of stellar is that they are a private company and it’s not easy to get content out of that service should that services business model change or should that content be threatened here’s an example of a podcast and this is a standard audio file uploaded into ojs this is a good example of a case where the content can be encapsulated with an ogs and protected from the ravages of time in a way that might destroy other kinds of content so a little bit about ojs for those who may not be familiar with it it is both a workflow and publishing tool for publishing academic journals and relevant to this presentation is it doesn’t really care what kind of files you upload upload into it as an author you submit something editable then you go through the peer review process and the copy editing process using again something editable and then some kind of magic occurs outside of ojs to transform that from something editable into something presentable and then ogs presents that that piece of content as what the end user reads so in most cases something editable is typically a word document or an open document it’s a wordpress processor file but ogs doesn’t care what this it could be anything typically something presentable means a pdf file that’s the way that most ogs users present their content but again ogs really doesn’t care you can upload anything you want and the magic the point at which you convert something editable into something presentable that’s typically just saving as pdf from within microsoft word or libreoffice or equivalent there’s often very little magic actually there so a word about experimentation because a lot of multimodal publishing is somewhat experimental we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals seek experiments as partnerships we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals as an open source group with a very large user community we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals try to meet 90 of the needs of 90 of the journals and that means publishing in a lot of different languages publishing in all sorts of different fields of study and all sorts of different publishing cultures it’s impossible for us to accommodate that entire community and meet all of their needs 100 of the time so we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals hope that the individual users who need that last 10 percent can pursue it in the spirit of open source can communicate with us if there’s a successful experiment or if changes are needed and then can share those results with others in the spirit of open source to improve the software so i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals do have some recommendations for pursuing multimodal publishing and then i’ll show a demonstration that that demonstrates this the first is to encapsulate your content and what this means is that if you’re publishing in html which is the form you’ll be doing most commonly with multimodal publishing it’s very easy if you’re not careful to create an html document that has bits and pieces out in different places of the internet and that may make for easy maintenance in the short term but longer term you’re depending on a very brittle set of connections and while you can preserve that html if it depends on javascript or fonts or images or videos elsewhere on the internet and those pieces go down then you’re not able to preserve that content and it will eventually age poorly and disappear embrace genre it’s tempting to think of multimodal publishing as genreless do anything you want be creative and have no constraints but actually the demonstration i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals gave earlier the the forms of content that i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals showed earlier fall within some very clear genres there’s timelines there’s videos there’s audio files and when you embrace genre and decide what as a journal you’re going to present you can set down a pipeline for each of those types of pieces of content so you’re not creating a brand new um website essentially every time you publish a new article you need to understand your technical debt and keep it simple as much as possible some of the examples that were given during the conference were cases where for example content was produced in flash and if you’ve got experience with flash you’ll know it’s now been decommissioned and no longer functions in some cases it was necessary for those files to be converted to other formats and in especially interactive cases it was necessary to essentially take a video recording of walking through various paths in that piece of content now if you were considering doing that kind of approach from the start to produce content in a standard compliant form obviously you would never do that and so that’s a case where eventual technical debt was very expensive by choosing some format decisions at the outset in a way that did not favor longevity and in particular open formats be aware of accountability um one of the big issues with multimodal publishing is accessibility it is possible to produce multimodal content that is accessible but you need to be very careful to choose your tools in a way that supports that at the outset if you are thinking that you can publish content now and resolve accessibility later it’s not likely to happen and you don’t want to find out when you’re challenged legally about your obligations for accessibility when you could take it into account at the very beginning furthermore uh there are issues around global access when you go to multimodal content consider that you’re going to be likely using larger bandwidth you may have content delivery coming from various parts of the world it may be more technically challenging to produce and to to read for end users it may be more difficult to localize into different languages etc so uh if you are producing cutting-edge content consider how that looks to folks who may not be able to view that content as easily as you a lot of this is planning and policy it’s not technical decision making ideally if you make the right technical decisions you won’t find yourself becoming out of necessity a software startup make clear decisions at the outset choose your tools carefully and then follow patterns to make it easier on yourself many of the examples that i’ve seen for multimodal publishing are very ambitious and they start with uh with a good quality of output but they can’t continue the pace of production because the cost of producing the content is too high so make simple choices and avoid becoming a software startup i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals have a quick demonstration here of a way that i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals would recommend producing multimodal content that follows the path that i’ve just been describing and i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals will just show the motivation for this so this is a tool that i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals mentioned before for producing timelines and it’s called timeline.

Js and it’s produced by a group called night lab this is an open source tool and so right from the outset we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals know that we’re able to encapsulate the content because the license will allow us to do that for the software and we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals will proceed with that so the way this works is essentially you’ve got a series of dates you’ve got text and a title and you’ve got images and multimedia content and you can navigate through the timeline interactively to see in this case how whitney houston’s career developed this is an example that’s used by night lab to show the capabilities of this tool and if you look at their instructions for how to use this tool the first step here is to create a google spreadsheet and i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals would suggest that that is not the path you should take for reasons i’ve already laid out if you use a google spreadsheet then that content is easy to enter and it’s easy to create but it will live on google spreadsheet until that spreadsheet moves or the api nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals changes or google’s decision to maintain this kind of content changes etc there’s many ways this could break so what i’ve done is i’ve taken a look at what the example has the example has just a quick piece of html which is the wrapper around all the content and then there’s timeline data here and you can see here that there are a series of different events and titles there’s text there’s multimedia et cetera and this is the content in a format called json that populates the javascript timeline for presentation to the user now i’ve just started i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals realized using a bunch of different acronyms i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals will say that ogs doesn’t hold your hand through this it’s a very flexible tool but it does require a basic amount of knowledge of how these tools work in order to embed them in the content in a way that’s well preserved it’s not rocket science but it does require essentially a few basic web developer tools um and i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals would argue that if you are going to need to understand uh some of the issues around multimodal publishing like longevity of formats like accessibility you’re going to have to understand these things and so there’s really no way around that skill set if you have a tool that’s promising to solve all these problems for you without requiring you to have these skills you’re not going to know much about how it’s working and you’re likely going to be embedding your content in forms that’s difficult to convert later that’s maybe behind a private tool uh maybe that’s not got a permissive license maybe that’s not going to last very long so i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals do apologize for the acronyms and the code here but i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals promise i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals won’t spend much time on it and it actually isn’t that demanding if you do have some of those skills so i’ve taken this example which is the whitney houston timeline and i’ve moved that into ojs and the way i’ve done that is i’ve taken the set of files that’s required there is the main html file and there’s a series of dependent files if you publish with html in ojs you’ll be familiar with this this is the place where you put your multimedia your uh your images and so on so in this case we’ve done just that we’ve got a couple of images that come from the timeline but we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals also have the timeline javascript the fonts and the css files that represent the library that we’re using to to present this content i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals also threw an mp3 file in here just for fun and there’s also a video file which i’ll i’ll just show the motivation for this right now if i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals look back at the example here we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals have a couple of images with some text but the very third item on this list here is a youtube video and in fact that video has gone down so this is a good demonstration of the kinds of problems i’m trying to solve here so that video is down i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals can’t use it so instead of that i’ve just added to the article a video file of my cat so when those are uploaded um there are some adjustments required and i’ll show a quick example of that later what you essentially have within ojs an article that includes the same multimedia but now this is living within ogs and hosted within ojs and we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals have this timeline presentation the important thing to notice here is that this looks no different to the end user but in this case all of the code and all the style sheets and all of the images and videos are hosted within ojs so if you are able to preserve content in your ogs you’re backing up the content it is guaranteed to remain there as long as you’re following your own best practices you’re not dependent on youtube you’re not dependent on flickr you’re not dependent on the night lab website that’s providing the javascript tool it all lives within that single article within ojs in fact there’s several ways you could do this one the way that i’ve demonstrated is to have the content wrapped all into the single article and if you tend to produce content that maybe is a little bit different every time and that you never need to you never want to go back and maintain this is the way to do it but if you were producing content uh consistently using a timeline tool you didn’t mind a bit of maintenance on older articles if you had to say upgrade the library at a later date you could maintain a single copy of that timeline tool and uh and use that from all articles all right let’s take a quick look at the html that was that was produced to do this um it’s essentially a quick wrapper around a few important things the most important here is the data that that populates the timeline and you’ll see here there’s metadata about the timeline and then a series of events and this is the same as you would do for that timeline javascript regardless of whether you’re doing it you know js or anywhere else what you’ve got is urls to the images and this is called family.

Jpg this is one of the pictures of the family there is um a second image here which i’m not seeing right now oh yes there’s the first image right here whitney and hamburg second one is the family and then i’ve also included a cat video here which replaces the broken youtube video link that looks like this so you can see the video works as well from within the ogs installation so all we’ve done is we’ve changed these from flickr urls and youtube urls to local files we’ve uploaded this content into ogs as well now this is a little bit picky the way that you add this um what ogs does when it presents the html file so it looks for file names that it recognizes that you’ve uploaded as dependent content and then rewrites those into a form that ogs can understand so it’s a little bit finicky how you populate these these urls i’ll mention that a little bit later there’s documentation as well and that’s it for the html file it’s mostly just a bit of a wrapper there’s references to the timeline css another css file the javascript is linked from here and all of these files are served from within ojs and as i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals say the end result doesn’t look any different than it would to a user who is hosting us using flickr and youtube but it’s much more preservable in this case um i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals want to talk a bit about how ogs does its work and this is what i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals referred to earlier about multimodal presentation being a little bit experimental um you have to kind of integrate different pieces of content into ogs and as a result it’s an area of the software that’s not been that well refined just in the course of doing this demonstration i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals found a few things that were not show stoppers but that helped me to improve the experience and one of those is for example that ojs wanted to make a text index of the javascript code which was slow and obviously you don’t want that you don’t want to be searching for a piece of code in the ojs search box a few other examples here around fonts and around uh video files from within the timeline tool um these are things that i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals would not have encountered unless i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals did this experiment myself and it’s likely that if you’re out there doing multimodal work you may run into one of these as well so this is a chance for you to embrace the open source spirit of ogs let us know that you’ve run into something if you’re capable of suggesting a fix for it then then do so as well and then you’ll be able to improve the software um for the entire publishing community globally that uses o.

Js and so we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals depend on your feedback for that sort of thing these improvements will go into our next release and finally uh just in terms of how you would do that this is our support forum and it’s it’s available for anyone to post if they have questions if they have suggestions if they’re encountering issues and the pkp team is frequently on this uh answering those questions but also so is the whole publishing community so if you’re doing an experiment with uh multi-modal publishing if you’re not sure whether a certain tool is suitable for multimodal publishing that will be preservable long-term for example you can ask that question here by posting a new topic that is the demonstration one thing that i’d like to improve is right now it’s necessary to manually upload all this content one at a time and i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals do apologize for that that’s one thing we’ve slated for improvement and um if you follow these practices one of the side effects here is that you’ll be in conformity with what the requirements are for the tool set for the rest of the scholarly publishing ecosystem for example if you’re doing uh using crossref for dois if you are using oipmh for harvesting into some other tool there’s a thousand different standards that you need to be careful to observe and if you follow these practices those will be observed as well and you won’t be for example stepping outside of the ogs website to present content but then breaking integration with another important tool like oy ipmh or google scholar or something else so again in the example content was all bundled there was very little handholding but there is some necessity for you to understand the technology if you’re going to be accessible if you’re going to be future proof all that sort of thing so why don’t we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals see more multimodal publishing i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals think the most important cause here is that making the content can be hard um it’s really easy to produce a word document or an open document to generate a pdf and then to upload that to the website and publish it in ojs adding multimedia elements requires more expertise and even if you have the expertise it can be very time consuming so i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals think that’s one of the most important reasons we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals don’t see more multimodal content another one is that um historically tenured promotion and impact factor have not favored experimental journals and experimental journals the ones who have been playing with multimodal content the longest one of the suggestions that came up during the conference is whether we nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals should embrace the ephemerality of multimodal publishing given that a lot of the examples didn’t tend to mature very well for example web pages broke flash became obsolete etc i’m of the view that treating the scholarship as a kind of a performance that might be a one-time thing or might be unavailable after a while is not a great outcome and i’m of the view that it’s not necessary to do that you can make content that will be archivable that will be accessible that will be long-term available that will stand the test of time and you won’t have to choose between newer technologies and sacrificing longevity in the process i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals do think there’s a huge potential for multimodal publishing i’ve seen some very effective interactive data sets it may cater to different learning styles and it can be more accessible if you have a textual article that’s got perhaps a video equivalent or an audio equivalent of narration that caters to for example visual disabilities or perhaps also different learning styles the tools are here to be used now nothing here is especially brand new or cutting edge all i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals would say is use them carefully thanks for watching um this is my twitter handle asymmetry underscore pkp but if you do have questions or your own experiments sorry about feedback then the best place to reach us is on the bkp support forum that is at forum. and i nursing journals, pharmaceutical journals will see you there thanks for watching.

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