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Introducing Texture: An Open Source WYSIWYG Javascript Editor for JATS
Alex Garnett

Last modified: 2018-03-15


Microsoft Word's dominance as an authoring tool creates substantial inefficiencies in the scholarly authoring ecosystem. Many journals and journal management platforms are designed around uploading and downloading incrementally updated drafts of Word manuscripts, creating a difficult-to-manage ecosystem of individual change-tracked files and annotated PDFs. For most end users, there is no sufficiently easy to use or widely accepted alternative to this. Yet, when it comes to publishing, the scholarly publishing industry has (mostly) settled on a structured format—JATS XML. This disconnect between the tools and formats used for authoring and the formats required for publishing has meant that, for several decades now, manuscripts received from authors will need to be entirely XML-typeset by publishers at considerable expense.
Texture is a WYSIWYG editor app that allows users to turn raw content into structured content, and add as much semantic information as needed for the production of scientific publications. The primary goal of Texture is to remove this requirement for XML expertise by providing a solution for publishers to bring accepted papers to production more efficiently. Texture reads and produces valid JATS files. This allows Texture to work seamlessly in existing publishing workflows. The Public Knowledge Project has continued to develop their Open Typesetting Stack (OTS) application for automatically transforming Word or PDF articles into JATS XML. We currently have an alpha plugin for integrating OTS into our Open Journal Systems publishing platform; this plugin includes Texture. Our solution, using the Open Typesetting Stack and Texture, aims to address the impracticalities of trying to "reverse-engineer" an author's work in Word while still supporting a polished, professional typesetting workflow.

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