eLife invests in Texture to provide open-source content production tools for publishers

Collaborating on the development of Texture brings eLife a step closer to its open-source, end-to-end publisher workflow.
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eLife has announced today its investment in the development of Texture – an open-source toolset for the editing and production of manuscripts, designed to be integrated into publishers’ editorial and content-delivery systems.

Originally created by Substance Software GmbH (Substance) as a JavaScript library of tools for web-based content editing, Texture has been supported by a community of organisations collectively known as the Substance Consortium and including Érudit, the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) and SciELO. eLife has now invested in Texture’s development to support its own open-source publishing platform, but – as with the organisation’s other open-source projects – any new features will be added to the tool in such a way that they can be repurposed by other publishers.

First started in 2010, Substance provides building blocks for custom text editors and web-based publishing systems that are essential to establish an open-source ecosystem for knowledge creation and dissemination. The developers behind Substance – Michael Aufreiter and Oliver Buchtala – built the eLife Lens Reader in 2013 and have been working on the Reproducible Document Stack project.

The non-profit eLife invests heavily in software development, new product design, collaboration and outreach so that the potential for improvements in the digital communication of new research can start to be realised. The organisation supports the development of open-source tools with extensible capabilities that can be used, adopted and modified by others in a move towards an efficient and cost-effective ecosystem for science and scientists. By working to commoditise the infrastructure for research communication, eLife aims to help publishers and researchers avoid duplicating efforts across the sector and focus instead on accelerating the pace of discovery.

Working with Substance to introduce Texture to author proofing and staff quality checks brings the organisation closer to saving time in the production process and reducing the use of external vendors.

Melissa Harrison, eLife Head of Production Operations, says: “It’s great to be working again with Michael and Oliver on an open-source tool to provide our authors with a great proofing experience. We’re looking forward to reducing the number of steps in the production process and regaining more control in house. Working with other members of the Consortium ensures enough different voices are contributing to the effort and so it has the potential to be adopted by many more publishers in the future.”

Aufreiter adds: “The eLife team’s enthusiasm and flexibility around trying out new tools on their platform make them a great partner for Substance. As we introduce Texture to eLife’s operations, we would like to see the Substance Consortium strengthened with new members who appreciate the benefits the software can deliver to them and their users.”

The work on Texture is being carried out in line with an open roadmap, currently available to view as a public Trello board at https://trello.com/b/JqGMLWbw/texture-development.

For more information about eLife and the Substance Consortium, visit https://elifesciences.org/for-the-press/f87f62a7/elife-joins-substance-consortium-to-support-development-of-open-source-online-content-editing-tools.

For further details about the Reproducible Document Stack, see https://elifesciences.org/for-the-press/e6038800/elife-supports-development-of-open-technology-stack-for-publishing-reproducible-manuscripts-online.

And for the latest updates on Substance, Texture and other news from eLife, sign up to receive our bi-monthly newsletter. You can also follow @eLife on Twitter.

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eLife is a non-profit organisation inspired by research funders and led by scientists. Our mission is to help scientists accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science. We invest in innovation through open-source tool development to accelerate research communication and discovery. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Learn more at elifesciences.org/about.