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Allen Press Collaborates with Ecological Society to Develop Online Publication Workflow

September 7, 2010
LAWRENCE, KS—Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010—On August 3 at its 95th Annual Meeting, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) officially launched its newest journal, Ecosphere ( Ecosphere, a peer-reviewed, online-only, open access publication, welcomes submissions from all subdisciplines of ecological science. This new publication expands the breadth and depth of papers published by ESA and significantly reduces time from submission to publication.

Working with Allen Press, Inc. (, ESA staff were able to realize their vision of a rapid-publication journal to expedite the dissemination of research in an open access environment. This was achieved by creating a fully electronic workflow that harnesses the power and flexibility of XML, or Extensible Markup Language.

ESA, a longtime customer, approached Allen Press in the spring of 2010 about developing a workflow that would allow them to publish accepted papers within a matter of days. Project planning began in April, and within 4 short months ESA launched the first issue of Ecosphere. More than 20 Allen Press staff, including departmental representatives from peer review, file distribution, composition, and online publishing, collaborated with ESA Publications staff led by David Baldwin, Managing Editor, and Ellen Cotter, Associate Managing Editor, to discuss solutions and provide guidance for this integrated author-to-reader workflow.

“Launching Ecosphere in such a short time frame could not have happened without our effective partnership with Allen Press. The ESA/Allen Press team produced a detailed plan with strict timelines, reviewed progress in frequent conference calls, and together ensured that we would have Ecosphere ready for our August annual meeting launch date,” said Katherine McCarter, ESA Executive Director.

Manuscripts for consideration for Ecosphere are submitted to ESA Publications via EcoTrack, a derivative of the Allen Press–supported peer review system AllenTrack (powered by eJournal Press), where they undergo rigorous peer review. Decisions are made within 4–6 weeks. Since the journal will have no subscriptions, authors pay a one-time fee in lieu of traditional page charges. Enhancements to EcoTrack allowed ESA to offer discounts to members (and encourage membership) as well as collect fees directly in the peer review system prior to publication.

To expedite publication, ESA has made authors responsible for copyediting before submission. After acceptance and receipt of payment, manuscripts are converted to XML and formatted according to the Ecosphere style sheet using sophisticated rules-driven automation developed by Allen Press. After the XML is typeset, author or editor revisions are made by proofreaders using XML Author for Microsoft Word and the corrected article is posted to the ESA Publications website, which is hosted and managed by Allen Press. The file goes from raw manuscript to published article in just a few days. The online article includes a fully typeset, printer-friendly PDF file and the same level of quality and color figures, graphs, charts, and photographs found in other ESA publications.

“This fully-integrated workflow significantly reduces time to publish and will enable ESA to publish more research efficiently, without sacrificing quality,” said Gerald Lillian, Allen Press CEO. “The workflow was designed to be modular and scalable. We are already working with ESA to incorporate certain elements of this workflow for other ESA journals to speed publication and simplify copyediting.”

Although Ecosphere is an online-only journal, this expedited workflow can also be used for print publications as well as for other types of electronic deliverables. The various elements can integrate seamlessly with other peer review and online journal systems. To view published articles from Ecosphere, visit

About Allen Press, Inc.

Allen Press, Inc., plays a vital role in the dissemination of knowledge and information by partnering with organizations in the scientific, technical, and medical community to promote their interests and achieve their goals. Headquartered in Lawrence, KS, Allen Press provides a comprehensive portfolio of integrated services in the broad areas of print, online, distribution, and publishing services. Founded more than 75 years ago, Allen Press is a trusted partner of scholarly societies, professional associations, and corporations worldwide.

About the Ecological Society of America

The Ecological Society of America is the world's largest professional organization of ecologists, representing 10,000 scientists in the United States and around the globe. Since its founding in 1915, ESA has promoted the responsible application of ecological principles to the solution of environmental problems through ESA reports, journals, research, and expert testimony to Congress. ESA publishes four journals and convenes an annual scientific conference. ESA's Public Affairs Office focuses on the Society's goals of raising public awareness and ensuring the appropriate use of ecological science in environmental decision-making. Visit the ESA website at or find experts in ecological science at
Source: Company press release.

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