SAA rolled out a new website for The American Archivist in April. This elegant destination for the entire run and future issues of the journal is built on a robust online publishing platform—Pinnacle, powered by Atypon and available through Allen Press—that offers tremendous functionality. For users, it provides a better experience accessing and logging into the system and includes new features such as favorites and email notification.
Here are enhancements to The American Archivist expected over the course of the next year:
- A web-based manuscript submission, tracking, and peer-review system that allows authors to submit original and revised manuscripts, editorial staff to send manuscripts out for peer review, reviewers to conduct reviews and return comments, and the editor to make final decisions.
- An XML-based publication workflow that begins with the receipt of a fully edited manuscript and ends with publication in multiple formats—HTML5, PDF, and print.
- A flexible browser reading environment in the online version with HTML5.
- Ability to read content on smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
- Options for defining an “issue” and when individual articles will be released to members and subscribers
- The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) applied to all content.
- The capability of bundling or repackaging journal content as “special collections” appropriate for classroom use or specialized thematic groupings.
It would be tempting to say that the sole purpose of this transformation was to improve the reader experience. However, the journal’s online service provider since 2007—MetaPress—made a business decision in spring 2014 to discontinue hosting online journals, which compelled us to act swiftly and find a new solution. The Editorial Board and SAA leadership chose to look at this development as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. There had been ongoing discussions about enhancing the journal’s online presence. Therefore, we decided to take the “big picture” view of the situation.
SAA formed an Online Publication Working Group a year ago to explore options and present recommendations to the Editorial Board. The Working Group members were Paul Conway (chair and a member of the group that initially took the journal online), Amy Cooper Cary (journal Reviews Editor), Bethany Anderson (Publications Board), Brad Houston (SAA Archives), and Teresa Brinati (SAA staff liaison). The Working Group developed a list of requirements for a new vendor, identified sixteen potential vendors, and prepared an RFP that was disseminated to those vendors. The Working Group then reviewed the seven vendor responses, conducted interviews, and ultimately recommended Allen Press. SAA signed a contract with Allen in January. On behalf of all SAA members and journal subscribers, I want to thank the Working Group for an extraordinary effort in a very short time.
The Editorial Board and SAA staff are excited about our relationship with Allen Press. If you haven’t already done so, take a look and let us know what you think. Here’s what will continue: open access to online content except articles in the three most recent volumes (which will be reserved for SAA members and journal subscribers), printing and distribution of the journal, and exceptional content that makes The American Archivist the leading publication in the archives field.