The Living Reviews Publishing Platform
Heinz Nixdorf Center for Information Management
in the Max Planck Society
- The History
- The Concept
- The Infrastructure
- The Software
- The Future
The Living Reviews Publishing Platform consists of
- the Living Reviews concept - in particular the type of publication,
i.e. solicited, peer refereed review articles (see http://www.livingreviews.org/faq.html)
- the common technical infrastructure (production server, test server and journal hosting environment) and
- the ePublishing Toolkit, a software package providing tools to help in
publishing scientific content on the web. (see https://dev.livingreviews.org/projects/epubtk)
The full platform is offered to journals which are members of the Living Reviews
consortium. But all parts except for the infrastructure and the brand can be
used independently for free.
- Started as venture to publish one online journal.
- Meanwhile two journals are in production ...
- ... and another two in conception.
- Slow, steady and healthy growth.
- Want to join? Contact us!
For more information about the history and reception of Living Reviews, follow
the links provided
What do we publish?
Solicited, peer-refereed review articles.
- The invitation process is a big part of our publishing workflow.
- Articles are big - 100+ print pages, 300+ references.
- Publishing rate is low - one per month and journal.
A new journal startup needs approval by consortium of existing ones.
For the concept of a particular journal see the
How do we publish?
Take advantage of the web:
- Online Only.
- Let Publications "live".
- Disseminate Metadata (OAI, ADS, RSS, RDF).
- Let Google take care of the rest.
While we publish "online only", a printable high-quality PDF version of our
publications is still deemed indispensable. The online HTML versions are
considered the authoritative versions, though, since they reflect updates
Taking full advantage of the medium does also mean that publications can be
updated and the changes being visible to all online readers immediately.
To make discovery of our content easy, we disseminate our metadata via
- an OAI static repository gateway,
- RSS (i.e. make it available to feed crawlers),
- RDF (i.e. make it available to semantic web applications).
For an example of how well Google works as disseminator,
see the "Referring Site Report" and the "Search Query Report" in our
web log analysis.
- Production server (www.livingreviews.org)
- Apache web server
- Webware application server
- PostgreSQL database server
- Development server (dev.livingreviews.org) serving subversion/trac
- manuscript management
- ePubTk development
- Living Reviews knowledge base
- Test server
The production and the development server are hosted at the RZG in
Garching, the test server at the AEI.
Find more information about the technical infrastructure
Using the Infrastructure
- Web content is maintained offline as checkout of a subversion
repository by managing editor.
- Journal metadata is maintained in (versioned) XML files.
- Publication metadata is kept in an RDF database.
- Reference data is kept in a relational database.
- Web/database content is created using tools from ePubTk.
Again, more information is provided
- Publication Builder: creates presentation formats from publication sources
- Reference Database: manage references of publications
- Register: manage public metadata of publications
- Journal Builder: create journal pages
- EIMS: Editorial Information Management System
- miscellaneous: web statistics, blog, ...
Find more information on the
In particular, details about the components can be found here:
- Input: Publication sources in LaTeX and BibTeX
- Output: HTML, PDF in high-quality
- wraps conversion tools of the TeX family: pdftex, TeX4ht
- HTML and PDF created from identical TeX source
Screenshot of a browser window displaying an article from Living Reviews in
Screenshot of the PDF version of the same article snippet displayed in Acrobat
- Import format is XML
- Import filter for BibTeX
- GUI application for management
- Web frontend for search and retrieval
- Exports XHTML, XML, RDF+XML, BibTeX
Reference Database Import
Screenshot of import screen of the reference database management GUI. Potential
duplicates from a new set of references can be inspected and either be merged
with existing records in the database or be marked as different.
BibTeX Import Filter
Screenshot of the BibTeX filter application for the reference database. This
application allows to
- trigger various checks on a BibTeX database containing
references of a publication,
- edit the fields of records in the BibTeX database,
- create an XML file from the BibTeX database which is valid for importing
into the reference database.
Screenshot of the web-based search interface for the reference database of
Living Reviews in Relativity. Note the context dependent suggestions for the
author input field.
- RDF triple store
- GUI application for management
- Create views on data via XSLT
Register Management GUI
Screenshot of the management GUI for a journal's register data.
- Integrates configuration data with page creation
- Create views on configuration data via XSLT
- supports/enforces publication workflow
- stores editorial information as publication history
- compiles role based task lists
- provides reports on publication status
Due to the special kind of publications, our workflow is special, too. Find the details
If interest is voiced, a test instance of EIMS to try out may be installed.
Screenshot of the "Tasks" screen of EIMS.
Screenshot of a list of available reports in EIMS.
Screenshot of the "Report" screen for a workflow item (in this case a
publication) in EIMS.
- move software to the server
- move interfaces to the browser
- keep on growing
- venture into the MS Word world