Dear Electronic Publishers and Developers,
At Ibict we have been discussing a matter that seems important to address here, to provide a broader discussion for it.
To put in a few words, we are thinking about the development of a tool to ease the submission and review process of documents, mostly for security reasons and integrity of data.
The Université Lumiére developed a macro for Microsoft Word that made it easier for Post-graduate students to create their thesis and automatically upload it to the system. With the use of stylesheets, the software detects the data and automatically input that in the system.
We were thinking of something along those lines, that could provide easier upload from the author, preventing malicious users to upload viruses and other types of files, as well as run a previous virus scan to avoid transmission of corrupted and infected files. This was brought up because of the popularity Open Source software is gaining, as well as Open Access, and retaliation is to be expected by someone and should be addressed and prevented.
We, as developers, cannot assume that everyone is "Mr Nice Guy" or that the user is aware that the files me be infected.
The system would also allow the reviewer to download and place the comments in the same way, and automatically input them separately for review, as well as a reviewer version as OJS has today.
The idea behind this is that would't the author rather just worry about the content and let something take care of the rest for him? Providing the user with a template for typing in the content would be accepted more easily.
We have discussed the creation of the file directly in the system via web, as most CMS software do. However, this requires the user to be online for a while, and internet acces and phone costs are not going down in "under"developed countries. They should, but the industry is stronger and it will be long before that happens.
This is just a theoretical idea, but we believe this could be the next step in Electronic Publishing.
What do you all think?