The team working on Libero Publisher at eLife share their approach and highlight the progress being made with the platform.

The Libero community is pleased to present a demonstration of Libero Publisher to exhibit the progress we’ve made so far and to gather feedback as we continue to iteratively develop new features. Being an open-source platform for scholarly publishing, the components of Libero Publisher have always been available for use and downloadable from GitHub. But, if you’re not familiar with cloning code repositories and running software containers, it can be difficult to track the project’s progress due to the lack of visible milestones. This is why we’ve taken the time to showcase some great examples of compatible journal content on a brand new instance of Libero Publisher at https://demo.libero.pub.

We have selected examples from journals of different sizes and disciplines, and will continue to grow the example set as more publishers test their content on the platform or new features are added. You’ll recognise the examples as scholarly articles with titles, authors, keywords, abstracts, content and figures. Other elements will continue to be added, and you can keep track of what to expect next on our public roadmap: https://elifesci.org/roadmap

Our Lean approach to software delivery sees constant iterative improvements to the working software as we develop it. We use a set of techniques called continuous delivery, allowing us to simply deploy any new improvements to our Libero Publisher platform directly to the demonstration journal as soon as they are available, ensuring that the demonstration journal is always an up-to-date reflection of the platform’s current state. You can expect to see one or two changes every week as we continue to develop towards our Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The MVP will test Libero Publisher’s ability to help operate a small journal, with the goal to ultimately become a platform for larger and more complex journals: https://github.com/libero/publisher 

Example articles from eLife were the most readily available for us, so we’ve included a few of those with little effort – including examples to highlight the support for special characters, complex figures and editorial content. Adding in examples from the International Journal of Microsimulation was relatively quick too, as they use the same JATS XML model as eLife even though their content is quite different from the life sciences we exhibit with eLife samples.

We’ve also added in examples from a Hindawi journal, Care Reports in Surgery, which took a few minor changes to the JATS XML format to render properly. This last example is interesting as it highlights one of the problems that Libero Publisher is designed to help address: the inconsistency between JATS use across publishers. The extensible Libero Core data model will allow publishers like Hindawi, one of our early partners on the Libero platform, to override the default JATS schema to support any differences in their own content. The result is a relatively small amount of customisation needed at the publisher side to leverage the existing benefits of Libero Publisher software and its user-driven experience design, in contrast to having to build a publishing platform from scratch.

One of the goals of Lean software development is to gather feedback, and we welcome any comments via our Slack workspace, directly emailed to hello@libero.pub or through raising issues on GitHub. If you think you can contribute ideas or direction for the roadmap then please also get in touch, and if you want to contribute to the codebase you will be more than welcome.

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