Building out the Research Ecosystem
There are all kinds of stuffy definitions of “ecosystems” in the context of technology solutions. Take this one, for example: “An economic community supported by a foundation of interacting organizations and individuals—the organisms of the business world…”
I prefer to simply think of an ecosystem as a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. In the case of Reprints Desk, those “parts” are our many partners and solution providers with whom our platform is integrated, creating a truly robust network of point solutions that combine to present a seamless and satisfying user experience. Working together they form something approaching an irreducible complexity—take any one of them out of the picture, and things get noticeably less seamless and satisfying. Let me provide a few examples that show how they build upon one another.
We recently partnered with The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), enhancing copyright compliance and providing quick look-up of permissions for Reprints Desk customers with a CLA copyright license. As part of the arrangement, Reprints Desk integrated CLA’s Check Permissions API into the Article Galaxy Widget, our bookmarklet for PubMed, Google Scholar, and many other discovery platforms (more than 70 of them at this point) that, by the way, comprise a significant portion of the ecosystem.
Then there’s the logging into those myriad platforms. Who can possibly keep track of so many credentials? That’s where our partnership with Eduserv’s OpenAthens federation comes in. This is a solution that expands the portfolio of secure authentication tools for Reprints Desk’s Article Galaxy platform, providing a single point of on-demand access to full-text content across science, technology, medicine and other subjects. That’s a pretty useful component of the ecosystem that eliminates the many hassles associated with managing multiple login credentials, particularly as researchers move from one online resource to another.
And as those researchers sort out search results, our integration with Altmetric LLP provides at-a-glance visualization of the attention a particular journal article has received online from the mainstream and social media, public policy documents, blogs, Wikipedia, and scholarly forums, helping scientists to evaluate the reach and influence of research before they buy it.
When it comes to acquiring the content, our integration with PubMed NCBI’s user interface, for example, makes it easy to send orders for one or more articles from any PubMed search results page. The Article Galaxy Widget is also integrated with Elsevier ScienceDirect and EBSCO Discovery Service, allowing users to extract content from both websites for simplified viewing and a shopping cart-like order experience.
We’re really just scratching the surface here. For everything else—now and in the future—our APIs make easy work of myriad other integrations that help users connect just about every possible dot across the research ecosystem. Beyond this, our network of resellers also contribute to the ecosystem, as they integrate Reprints Desk’s solutions with their own to create unique value-added solutions for their customers around the world.
Lastly, there’s one other aspect of the “stuffy ecosystem definition” that is actually pretty interesting. It reads, “The economic community produces goods and services of value to customers, who are themselves members of the ecosystem.” That’s where you come in. Our customers are the very heart and center of our ecosystem, and the focus of everything we do. If your experience of the ecosystem is incomplete in any way, let us know—we just might have a solution.