Software updates can be frustrating, especially if they insist on arriving just as you’re sitting down to work. However, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that those important updates actually are important. They will include fixes for bugs, performance improvements, and resolutions for security vulnerabilities.
In the pre- and early-internet days, you would buy your software on a disc (or disk, if we’re really going back) from a shop, take it home, and install it. And that would be the version of the software that you used until you went and bought the next version, however many years later.
These days, failing to provide regular updates to a piece of software would open users up to all manner of performance issues and security threats as the internet changes around it.
ScholarOne Manuscripts—a system which many of you will use daily—is no exception. It is Software as a Service (SaaS), and ensuring that the system is as up to date as possible is part of that service. The security aspects of these updates are, of course, of particular importance, given that the sites collectively hold personal data for hundreds of thousands of people.
Many of us like to joke that ScholarOne has not changed very much since its creation, but of course that’s not true. Clarivate issues at least two major updates (or ‘releases’) a year, with smaller updates as and when required. Some are very visible, such as the redesign of the reviewer dashboard last year, and the author dashboard the year before that. Others are more concerned with the behind-the-scenes working of the system.
Here are some of the most recent updates:
ScholarOne made some changes to the way emails are sent, reducing the chance of them being marked as junk by the recipients’ server. The system will also block email addresses to which it has been unable to deliver emails, reducing the number of ‘bounce-backs’ received by editorial offices. (Users are warned if their address has been blocked when they next log in and asked to either update it or verify that it is correct.)
There’s unlikely to be anyone in Europe who isn’t aware of GDPR, the new data protection regulations that came into effect in May 2018 (and there was also an article in the July issue of this newsletter if you want more information). This necessitated a number of updates to the general security of ScholarOne, as well as some changes for users. For example, users now have the ability to remove their own accounts. And, of course, there are new privacy policies to agree to (or not…).
This is a good example of a minor change that makes a big difference. Links to a manuscript’s abstract and author’s response for revisions were made much more prominent and easy to access on the reviewer scoresheet, saving reviewers precious clicks and time.
The next release of ScholarOne Manuscripts is due at the end of this year or early next, and will include:
Transfer improvements: When a reject and transfer decision is made, journals will have the option to give authors a choice of other journals to which they can transfer their manuscript, rather than only being offered a transfer to a single journal. This won’t be appropriate for all journals, but talk to your Wiley contact if you think it would be a good idea.
ORCiD sign-in ability: Users will be able to log into ScholarOne sites on which they have an account using their ORCiD account details, avoiding the need to remember separate login details.
CRediT integration: ScholarOne will integrate with CASRAI’s CRediT, allowing authors to easily specify the contributions made by each listed author using this widely-adopted taxonomy. If you haven’t heard of CRediT before, check out the contributors’ page of Wiley Editor Academy (access can be provided to all editors of journals published by Wiley).
The release notes are available online. If you ever notice anything that you think could be useful for your journal’s site, just ask your Wiley contact about it.