One Sprint Down, Two More to Go

May 16th, 2019 by  | No Comments

Sunshine. Waterfront views. And great ideas. Our first sprint of 2019 has come and gone, with more than 10 projects completed over the course of two days. Of these projects, about two thirds were non-technical, proving you don’t need to know how to code to sprint with PKP. The best part, as always: sprints make Open Journal Systems (OJS) better, together.

On May 6th and 7th, 2019, 32 sprinters comprised of PKP staff, partner organizations, and community members gathered at Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Harbour Centre campus ahead of the Library Publishing Forum (LPF) in Vancouver, Canada. As an LPF affiliated event, the SFU Sprint brought participants from 13 library publishers from across Canada and the USA: University of Pittsburgh, Vancouver Island University, University of Minnesota, University of North Texas, University of Toronto, Columbia University, McMaster University, Université Laval, Virginia Tech, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, York University, and the University of Ottawa. Our furthest academic contributor came from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). We also welcomed several sprinters from our strategic partners including Crossref (USA), Erudit (Canada), and SciELO (Brazil). We thank everyone for the time and cost it took to not only to get to us, but work with us too – behind every great sprinter is an organization sponsoring them to be there.

Many of our sprinters split their time between our sprint and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries’ (CARL) Advancing Open, another LPF affiliated event. Our limited time together seemed to only fuel our sprinters, with a large majority of the work completed on Monday. We began the sprint with a suggested list of projects (ideas were submitted at registration), voting on which topics people most wanted to work on. If you haven’t been to a PKP sprint before, it truly is a thing of beauty watching our community and staff seamlessly break into self-led groups and get down to business.

Projects fell neatly into the following five key development areas: (1) documentation, (2) accessibility, (3) user interface/user experience (UI/UX) testing, (4) Crossref integration, and last, but not least, (5) a selection of OJS improvements. Over the next few weeks, stay tuned as we report out, in a five part series, the key accomplishments of our SFU sprint. First up: documentation. If you’ve ever been mystified by the number of email templates or plugins in OJS, or if you’re one of the many gearing up to migrate to OJS 3, stay tuned – you’ll want to check out how two days of sprint work equals major additions to our OJS 3 user guide.

If you missed the SFU Sprint, or weren’t able to travel the distance to Vancouver, don’t fret – we have two more sprints planned in 2019. Join us in Pittsburgh in July (our first sprint in the USA) and Barcelona this November. We’re also interested in finding new sprint partners around the world so please, contact us if your organization would like to co-host a sprint in your neck of the woods.

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