The Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship

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Author: Melissa Harrison (on behalf of the JATS4R Steering Committee)

Dear colleagues

Most publishers who produce full-text XML conform to the ANSI/NISO JATS Standard. However, this standard is purposefully “loose” to allow different publishers’ needs. JATS4R is a NISO recommended practice that creates recommendations to focus on machine readability and exchange of that content.

Some examples of recent and topical recommendations:

  • Preprint citation recommendation highlights best practice to ensure that preprints are consistently tagged as such when cited, which has become critical in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Peer review materials is a comprehensive recommendation that was worked on for over a year with input from a wide range of players in the field and is important to help ensure peer review materials can be surfaced across corpus as we move to a more open peer review atmosphere 
  • Data citations recommendation was updated to reflect needs that came out of the Data availability statements recommendation
  • The Funding and CRediT taxonomy recommendations were both updated as a result of feedback from the community
  • Software citations working group has been launched and will start work imminently
  • We are looking into ways to improve tagging for RRIDs

Recommendations take time to publish. Work goes on beforehand, and lots of people contribute to this – from suggesting a need, to joining a topic-specific subgroup, to making comments on a draft recommendation. We need people (YOU) at all of these stages. Joining or running a subgroup allows you to meet new people, use your creativity, and contribute to and influence the way JATS is used and developed by the publishing community. If you are interested in participating in a particular subgroup, please let us know!

We need feedback and input—as little or as much as you can provide:

The JATS4R website was relaunched in September 2020, and now it contains a roadmap section. Would you be able to help us better understand what our community needs by voting on the importance of the entries that are currently listed?

If you would like to propose a new recommendation that has not been created or is missing from the roadmap, please suggest a recommendation.

(You will need to login to the site to do these things, but it only takes a second.)


Members of our steering committee are currently involved with the JATS Standing Committee, Crossref, Force11, Metadata2020, and STM. Things are changing a lot in our world and we want to ensure that we have input from other organisations so that the best possible recommendations are made available to suit the community’s needs.

If you are unable to participate as described above, providing any feedback on how/if you are using JATS4R recommendations would be great. We all need feedback, and as an organisation made up of volunteers, the knowledge that our time is being spent well and is useful to others helps motivate us to keep going!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Melissa Harrison (on behalf of the JATS4R Steering Committee)

Publication Date: 9th February 2021


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