Doc Maps are a community-driven framework that will meet three key requirements for representations of editorial processes in a healthy publishing ecosystem:
Extensibility: the framework should be capable of representing a wide range of editorial process events, ranging from a simple assertion that a review occurred to a complete history of editorial comments on a document to a standalone review submitted by an independent reviewer
Machine-readability: the framework should be represented in a format (eg XML) that can be interpreted computationally and translated into visual representations.
Discoverability: the framework should be publishable such that events are queryable and discoverable via a variety of well-supported mechanisms.
We are assembling a Technical Committee (TC) composed of the parties interested in modeling object-level editorial processes to create and adopt Doc Maps, a common framework for representing object-level editorial processes that meets the above requirements. This committee will also bring in other parties who may be willing to surface metadata as part of their infrastructure (e.g. indexing services, preprint servers, Crossref, etc), as well as entities like independent review services who may be willing to create metadata as part of their editorial process.
Editorial practices (ie, the processes, checks, and transformations that journals and publishing platforms apply to manuscripts, such as peer review, ethics checks, certification such as journal acceptance, etc) are highly heterogeneous, and will become even more so as scholarly publishing is disrupted by new innovations, the open science movement, and the removal of barriers to entry. Multiple initiatives to develop models describing peer review practices have emerged, including Transpose, Peer Review Transparency, Review Maps, and an STM Association working group.
These models are a positive development, but they are often narrowly focused on the needs of their creators, and as such do not fully accommodate the needs of readers, funders, and the scholarly publishing ecosystem as a whole. In particular, these efforts do not focus on representing editorial practices in ways that can be reliably aggregated, surfaced, and queried. Moreover, these efforts are often limited to traditional peer review processes, and do not capture the full range of editorial practices and events needed to accommodate a Publish-Review-Curate world where reviews can be conducted by multiple parties. To support this world, the community needs a machine-readable, discoverable, and extensible framework for representing and surfacing object-level review/editorial events.
Specification for representing editorial events as Doc Maps
Technical guides for implementing Doc Maps aimed at the specific needs of publishers and aggregators in biology
Roadmap for the development of an aggregation service that can query for, verify, and visualize the Doc Maps on a manuscript from a broad range of sources, likely in the form of a search engine and companion browser extension