Professional Association Streamlines Publishing Operations

Non-profit Publisher Outsources Production Process as Part of Single-source Publishing Solution


Over the years, a leading professional association has forged an impeccable reputation as a major publisher of books, journals and databases. While the association’s primary mission continues to be to advance the chemical sciences in Europe, publishing is an important means to that end, funding some three-fourths of the society’s overall charitable spending.

As a publisher of more than a dozen scientific journals, 40 books and other publications, the association also finds itself in the same competitive landscape as major commercial publishers. The society is under constant pressure to find more cost effective ways to deliver content to its audiences and improve revenue from its publishing operations.


Recognized for its innovative campaigns to raise awareness of scientific issues in Europe, the association was not afraid to try new approaches to streamline its production process and cut costs.

First, the publisher had engaged Innodata Isogen to create a singlesource publishing platform for five of its journals, which would support both Web and print publications and create a repository to reuse that information in other formats. Thinking they could drive even greater synergies by merging the two processes, the association’s publishing arm then outsourced layout and pre-press production for those journals to Innodata Isogen.

By outsourcing these production processes to Innodata Isogen, the society created an integrated workflow that would eliminate the physical transfer of files between Innodata Isogen and the society’s publishing team. This not only saved costs, it also helped them control the process to reduce errors.


Since the publisher was already providing Innodata Isogen with author manuscripts for XML conversion, the first challenge was to create a production pipeline that could handle the volume of manuscript submissions from the five journals, which could include as many as 800 individual pages per month.

The Innodata Isogen content services team also had to set up a process for ensuring quality control, which meant giving the association’ s editors and authors sufficient opportunities to review the pageproofs, while keeping journal production on schedule. Another challenge was converting the graphics-intensive manuscripts ? which included equations, tables and mathematical formulas ? into print and Web-ready .pdf files.

The scientific publisher kicks off the production process by sending electronic files to Innodata Isogen. The content services team converts the original documents to XML, which are then returned to the association for another round of editing. The corrected xml files are sent back to Innodata Isogen to be turned into page-proofs, at which the time the text, graphics and tables are converted into the .pdf print-ready files.


Now that the production has kicked into high gear, the association is realizing significant benefits from lower costs. Even more important from an editorial perspective, the association gains control over the entire production process. All intermediate phases of the production process are done in XML, which ensures the integrity of the content, while also delivering cost savings by eliminating the typesetting phase altogether. This also creates an XML-based repository that will support the publisher’s efforts to repurpose the data for future reuse or resale.

In addition, by saving money in production costs, the association is now free to direct additional funding toward research and education and communicating the benefits of a strong sciences program to the public and the government. This can make a huge difference, even for a non-profit organization. In 2003, the association’s publishing revenue increased by almost 1.5 million pounds over the previous year. By finding additional ways to sustain that surplus, the association is now positioned to expand its mission to advance science throughout Europe.



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