Posted on February 18, 2020

Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press is proud to launch its re-designed academic publishing platform, QScience.com, with improved discoverability features and the latest in Open Access academic publishing options.

The bilingual user interface supports the publication of scholarly content in both Arabic and English. The platform boasts a modern interface and a responsive site design for optimised display which is intuitive to use. It provides users with a streamlined experience as a result of more navigation options and powerful search and discovery tools. It also features article recommending tools, like TrendMD, which leads to the increased discoverability of published content. In alignment with HBKU Press’s aim to include our journals in recognized indexing bodies, the new publishing platform feeds into ingestion tools like Google Scholar, Scopus, PubMed Central, and Scimago to include proper citation of all Open Access articles published on QScience.com.

“HBKU Press has always sought to be a trailblazer in the region when it comes to online, academic publishing. With this new site, we have developed a state-of-the-art platform that meet the needs of authors from the region while attracting readers and scholars from all around the globe,” explains Dr. Rima Isaifan, the Head of Academic and Journals Publishing at HBKU Press. “Most importantly, this site is compatible with both Arabic and English content while meeting the benchmarks of the industry’s best practices for online academic publishing platforms.”

Scholarly publishing in Arabic language poses significant technological challenges for proper display of material online. One of the main targets for the new interface was to ensure that it could accommodate hosting Arabic content. Another feature of intrinsic value to researchers and authors that has been incorporated on QScience.com is the provision of several altmetrics related to article views and downloads that is updated in real time to reflect traffic from around the world. Traffic on the site from all over the world has greatly increased as a result of the site’s updated discoverability features and its user friendliness. A marked increase of 53% in the number of viewers and users has been noted over the past year, with a majority of users accessing the site from the United States of America and the Gulf region.

There has also been a noted increase in communications with potential authors and institutes alike, with discussions focussed on the potential stakeholders’ interest in publishing their scholarly content on QScience.com. “HBKU Press plays a key role in disseminating research from and around the region and making it visible on the global scene,” Dr. Isaifan explains. “The interest that has been generated by the re-launch is helping us establish wider global connections that the local academic community will also benefit from.”

The first phase of the QScience.com re-design was launched in April 2019 and the fully re-designed site went live in December 2019. Future plans for the QScience.com include the development of a bank of peer reviewers where professionals from all over the world can register to provide scholarly peer review to articles submitted for publishing in QScience journals in different fields. This will include disciplines such as medical, engineering, environmental, sustainability, health, and law research. For the re-design, HBKU Press partnered with one of the world’s leading provider of content solutions for progressive publishers, Ingenta. “Ingenta provides publishers with a branded site and a myriad of configurable features to help deliver content to target markets,” stated Scott Winner, CEO of Ingenta. “Through our collaborative efforts with HBKU Press, QScience.com can offer such a wide range of tools alongside a rich abundance of open access scholarly content in multiple languages.”

QScience.com is a peer-reviewed online publishing platform that offers a unique and collaborative research environment for academics and scholars in Qatar, the MENA and the rest of the world. QScience.com adopts the Open Access publishing model and hosts scholarly journals, conference proceedings, and eBooks to disseminate knowledge and understanding of scientific, social, political and health-related subjects while adhering to the international publishing standards.

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