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Introducing Janeway – the new open source publishing software from Birkbeck

The Birkbeck Centre for Technology and Publishing has released a new scholarly communications platform, Janeway, as an open-source download.

Birkbeck's Centre for Technology and Publishing (CTP) has recently released its software for academic publishing, Janeway. Anyone can download and use the press and journal system, which is designed for open-access publishing and is free to download, use, and modify.

Developers at Birkbeck decided to develop their own platform after finding limitations with other open journal systems, including complex coding that can be difficult to maintain. Janeway uses the programming languages Django and Python and is intended to be easy to understand.

The software is still under active development and includes a submission system, a peer-review management workflow, Crossref Digital Object Identifier (DOI) integration, Open Archive Initiative (OAI) feeds, Open Journal Systems import mechanisms, and more. Anyone is free to use and modify the software, but are required to make their changes similarly open.  

The Director of the CTP and Project Lead on Janeway, Professor Martin Paul Eve, said: “We are delighted to be able to contribute to the growing ecosystem of open-source platforms for open-access publication and to assist presses in lowering their overheads of running a platform.

Janeway has been designed, from the ground up, to be easy to understand with a clean codebase in a modern web framework. In turn, this makes it easy to hire technical staff at rates that won't break the bank to maintain scholarly communication infrastructures.”

Andy Byers, Senior Publishing Technologies Developer at Birkbeck, and Lead Developer on Janeway added: “My experience with some of the existing platforms was one of frustration – complexities that were difficult to maintain unless you knew them inside out.

“The goal with Janeway was to have a fast, modern web framework do most of the lifting so that we can concentrate on the features that open-access publishers need.”

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