Manuscript Manager, the Copenhagen-based peer review software vendor, has integrated two of UNSILO’s Evaluation tools: the Reviewer Finder and Technical Checks. Publishers are already trialing both.
Manuscript Manager is very much the exception in the world of Manuscript Tracking Software (MTS) tools. This market is dominated by giants such as Scholar One and Editorial Manager, who measure their customers in terms of thousands of journals, whereas Manuscript Manager, a Danish company headed by Andy Beare, who is British, numbers its journals in the hundreds.
I asked Andy if he was worried about competing in a world surrounded by such big competitors. “We don’t see them as direct competitors”, he stated. “We are offering a more contemporary, ‘Software as a Service’ approach to peer review rather than a traditional contractual model. Customers are not ‘locked in’ to a specific agreement but purchase credit to suit their needs. We have an agile development strategy, so if a customer comes to us with a sensible idea to improve their workflow, we can implement it within days, rather than waiting for a scheduled software release that for larger companies might be several months away. Plus, we can solve problems in our own way. For example, we have integrated the Technical Checks in such a way that authors can make use of them at the very early stages of submission. In this way, we can reduce some of the wasted time that Neil Christensen of UNSILO identified in his recent survey of journal submission workflow; for example, around one third of all manuscripts are returned to authors on their initial submission because of issues that surfaced during the first Technical Checks. Any system that reduces that waste must be a benefit, both to authors and to publishers.”
How will the publishers access these additional tools? “We have integrated the UNSILO APIs alongside other additional services and features. Publishers can choose to use it or not as they prefer. We are providing a palette of tools as add-on features within Manuscript Manager, so that our customers can choose whichever solution they prefer. It’s not our job to choose these things for our customers.”
How do you rate the quality of these tools? “Again, it’s not my job to evaluate the UNSILO tools, but I was pleasantly surprised to see for one of our prestige journals in a specialist medical area that the suggested reviewers coming from the UNSILO engine matched very closely the names on the publisher’s internal reviewer database – there is clear corroboration that the reviewer suggestions are along the right lines.”
What is next for Manuscript Manager? “We are keen to introduce some more of the UNSILO modules, particularly the Journal Finder, but let’s see how the first two modules are adopted. When it comes to adding new functionality, we can, as usual, work fast!”