So…. what special features are there in Kotahi?
Well…first of all, not all of this is yet built but much of it is. So I’m just going to outline what we are building whether it will be in the 1.0 release or later.
Live chat for talking in realtime. So, you might ask, how come this doesn’t exist in publishing systems to date? Because, I would argue, most systems are built with the concept of post-paper digital workflows. MS Word, or similar ‘offline’ storage medium, is used together with email to emulate (literally) paper and stamps. The Scholarly Communications sector has not escaped the paper paradigm. Live chat is a child of the network. It is time, IMHO, we start embracing the network in how we work.
Same as above. Except – if text becomes too burdensome then dial up your collaborator and talk to them directly.
Article (concurrent) editing
Edit the article right in the system with annotations, comments, semantic tagging etc etc…edit the article concurrently if necessary (similar to google docs). All achieved using the Wax 2 editor.. why editors are so integral to this kind of system is beyond these posts… I’ve written about this elsewhere, but in short…the problem Scholarly Comms is very text heavy and we lack a robust, sophisticated, fast and extensible framework for building web based word processors that use annotated html compliant data structures for their content storage format. Wax 2 is exactly this and why we built an editor (wax 1) and then rebuilt it (wax 2)… 1.0 of wax 2 out very soon… an editor is not just an editor… there is so much more to it…but more on this later
Push button to PDF
Yes… using the very latest typesetting technology you can go from “annotated html compliant data structures ” (as per above) to very good looking PDF…. attached is a very simple example of pagedjs in action
pagedjs is a state of the art, standards (W3C) compliant, typesetting engine that converts html to PDF using CSS to control the style and layout. How do we know so much about this? Because we built it. For more info on this and wax see https://www.cabbagetreelabs.org/
Push button to JATS
How? Well, we have an extensible editor… next is to add functionality that will enable us to identify regions in an article, add metadata from the submission form, and export to JATS. Its possible in theory, hard in practice. It is our next item to tackle. But it is doable…i mean, we built track changes into the editor (you never want to do this…twice)… we can figure this one out….
What? A form builder? how exciting!… well..actually it is pretty cool…. Kotahi has a built-in form builder for generating your submission questions..what does that mean? It means you can build your own submission forms, using custom submission questions and interface elements (check boxes, text boxes etc) with custom validations. You can also mark which items are necessary to answer and which are optional. Finally, Kotahi stores all this stuff in the DB explicitly marked so you can then call this up when exporting (eg to JATS)… its pretty useful.
much more too… but enough for now…