Publishing world-leading research and reviews across their five hybrid journals and two fully open access (OA) journals, Portland Press advances the field of molecular bioscience and supports the charitable objectives of the Biochemical Society. In April 2020, Portland Press launched their new journal sites on the Silverchair Platform.

portland homepage

Portland Press’ main homepage uses Self-Serve Widgets to establish their unique scientific brand through custom art, photos, & video.

The challenge

As a learned society publisher committed to open scholarship, Portland Press sought a platform that is forward-looking and proactively supports and champions the emerging needs of researchers while at the same time facilitating commercial needs and opportunities for publishers. This meant a robust development plan, modern user experience, and tools to support its transition to OA publishing models. Portland Press also wanted access to tools that enabled them to quickly develop and release key messages on their platform.

The solution

In addition to an enhanced, modern user experience, Portland Press’ 100,000+ journal articles and ‘The Biochemist’ magazine now feature improved search capabilities and built-in flexibility to grow with their content. Portland Press used the migration as an opportunity to showcase each journal’s branding, creating unique home pages for each journal.

Coinciding with the migration to the Silverchair Platform, Portland Press launched a pilot to offer new transformative deals and renewal options while maintaining the technological standards needed to enable open scholarship, such as provision of good article metadata, supporting and rewiring of workflows to support OA publishing, and facilitating reliable and consistent reporting mechanisms.

The process

Silverchair began by detailing established Silverchair Platform capabilities and how Portland Press’s content, browse pages, & homepages would fit through a series of deep discussions & documentation. The base platform implementation was then styled with Portland Press’ pre-established branding guidelines. UX Designers took this as well as custom tasks, image assets, and existing content from the client to establish a collection of design values, or styleguide, that both expressed their branding values and matched Silverchair’s Platform capabilities. This styleguide was then applied to individual components and pages on the Silverchair Platform.

Portland styleguide

Example of the Silverchair Platform templates transforming into Portland Press’ site by applying established branding to their styleguide & content

During the site’s construction in code, a collaborative workflow was established for homepages & secondary content. Utilizing Silverchair’s Platform tool, SiteBuilder, teams were able to customize individual homepages for Portland Press & all seven of their journals. Using a mix of Dynamic Widgets (auto-updating parts of the homepage displaying up-to-date articles, issues, and other data) and Self-Serve Widgets (parts of the homepage able to be manually-customized), Portland Press and Silverchair created landing pages that showed the latest, most accessed content as well as news, updates, & often-used links.

Even after a successful public launch of Portland Press’ new site, they were able to continue to receive ongoing updates to the Silverchair Platform’s growing list of abilities. For example, they were able to take full advantage of opt-in enhancement to journal articles with Silverchair Universe Partners and their industry-standard tools: CrossRef’s Crossmark button and Open Research & Contributor ID or ORCiD button.

Portland screenshot

Examples of enhancements made after launch: 1) The addition of the Crossmark button gives readers quick access to checking for new article metadata; 2) The ORCiD button, a unique, persistent identifier for authors & researchers to connect readers & other researchers to their work & profile

“We have appreciated Silverchair’s collaborative partnership to help us achieve our strategic objectives. We now have branded micro-sites for each of our journals, which provide a much improved digital presence for our portfolio and offer additional functionality to further support the needs of our research community. Portland Press and Silverchair are fully aligned in our proactive support of the needs of the research community, and we are pleased to be working with such a forward-thinking organization.”

—Richard Reece, Chair of the Board of Directors of Portland Press Limited

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