eLife extends support for Coko’s work on open-source publishing solutions

eLife and Coko will continue working together on new systems and approaches to research communication.
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eLife is pleased to announce today its ongoing support for Coko to develop open-source software solutions for publishing, including Kotahi – a new journal platform that can also help facilitate the publication and review of preprints.

Preprints have seen a significant rise in popularity over recent years. In light of this, eLife is working towards a new system in which research is first published as a preprint and the outputs of peer review, provided by different communities, are the primary way research is assessed, rather than journal title. Meanwhile, with a similar mission to eLife, Coko is working to transform how knowledge is created, produced and reported. The organisations first partnered in 2017 to develop a system for the submission and peer review of manuscripts, which was built on the Coko PubSweet framework.

Now, eLife is continuing its support of the PubSweet community’s work in creating new publishing tools. These include Kotahi, an open-source platform for managing the submission, review and publication of journal articles, micropublications and preprints.

For eLife, Kotahi is a solution for streamlining the publication of reviews to preprints posted to bioRxiv and medRxiv, as part of the journal’s review process. It also provides peer-review management capabilities for other organisations, such as the Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium (NCRC), that are interested in peer-reviewing preprints and having their evaluations appear on Sciety. Developed by a team within eLife, Sciety brings together open evaluations from different groups, building trust in preprints and helping researchers navigate the growing ecosystem of post-publication review and curation.

Paul Shannon, eLife Head of Technology, says: “Most peer-review management systems are built specifically for the review of manuscripts submitted to journals. But in the digital age, and with preprints growing in popularity, Kotahi offers an adaptable way for organisations like eLife and the NCRC to optimise their workflows for managing the peer review of preprints and publishing those reviews publicly.”

With three groups on Sciety already keen to streamline their preprint-review processes, Shannon says that starting with an existing piece of open-source software such as Kotahi means that eLife and Coko can help to quickly improve their daily reviewing activities, while continuing to work directly with them to help tailor the software to meet their needs.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Coko and collaborate together on Kotahi,” he adds. “This is a great evolution in the work we've been doing with the organisation over the last four years. The idea that Kotahi’s permissive, rather than prescriptive, approach means that many organisations can use it and adapt their processes for the publication of preprint reviews without major changes to the software is a concept that was discussed at various PubSweet meetings back in 2018. It's great to see these ideas come to fruition to support this new, innovative way of providing peer review.”

Coko Founder Adam Hyde says: “We’re so grateful and excited to continue our partnership with eLife. This is an excellent example of open publishing communities collaborating, partnering and sustaining each other to push the field forward. We hope that Kotahi will greatly improve existing publishing workflows and, over time, grow into a preferred standard of research dissemination.”


For more information about Kotahi, visit https://kotahi.community.

To learn more about the PubSweet community, see https://pubsweet.coko.foundation.

To learn more about eLife’s Public Review service, see https://elifesciences.org/for-the-press/a4dc2f54/elife-shifting-to-exclusively-reviewing-preprints.

For more information about eLife’s work with the Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium and Sciety, visit https://elifesciences.org/for-the-press/a922314b/elife-collaborates-with-novel-coronavirus-research-compendium-on-manuscript-curation-and-review.

And to learn more about Sciety, see https://sciety.org.

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eLife is a non-profit organisation created by funders and led by researchers. Our mission is to accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours. We invest heavily in software development, experience design, collaboration and outreach to help realise the full potential of the digital communication of new research. eLife receives financial support and strategic guidance from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Max Planck Society and Wellcome. Learn more at https://elifesciences.org/about.