Qatar University Press (QU Press) has launched its e-platform through a virtual launch event.
QU president Dr Hassan al-Derham, research and graduate studies vice-president Prof Maryam al-Maadeed, and QU Press founding director Dr Talal Abdulla al-Emadi were among the attendees.
The launch comes at a time when the local and international university publishing arena is in an evident need for such cutting-edge digital platforms dedicated to the effective communication with authors, researchers, readers and all audiences.
QU Press platform website https://qup.qu.edu.qa comprises a number of other leading university presses.
The platform can track visitors and downloads.
Its security is in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and contributes to the development of the editing and production of books and journals, reflecting professionalism and effectiveness in the editorial process.
QU Press seeks to keep pace with the benchmarks of the industry’s best practices for online academic publishing platforms, and will always focus on transparency amongst books, magazines, authors, peer-reviewers and the press.
The QU Press e-platform will be used to expedite and facilitate communication with authors and peer-reviewers; by using automatic responses, follow-up, and reminders forms, organising work with all partners remotely, and expanding authors and peer-reviewers’ database.
Other features of intrinsic value are electronic indexing, increasing citation and improving impact factor.
These can be achieved through electronic submitting of metadata, and journals and books content; in order to transfer data to global indexing platforms, digital academic repositories, e-libraries, global book distributors, as well as mobile research applications, such as: Researcher, and personal search file building platforms, such as: ORCID & Research Gate.
With regard to books, specifically, the platform acts as a register of publishing applications, allowing authors to easily track their submissions.
It also facilitates the submission, evaluation and peer-review processes, as well as the provision of automated electronic archiving to preserve publications for long term.
It also allows displaying books in Arabic and English, locating and selling them.
In addition, books will be available online with their specific bibliographic data, which will enable indexing in international digital repositories, to add books in their databases for advanced search, thus improving citations.
In alignment with QU Press’s aim to include their journals in recognised indexing bodies, the platform allows displaying journals issued under the umbrella of QU Press with their structure, content, and appropriate features that facilitate their indexing on a long-term basis.
Therefore, authors will be required to submit their articles through individual accounts; so that all submissions and peer-review dates are kept under a sole account.
The platform incorporates production-specific features such as iThenticate plagiarism checker software to verify the originality of written work, the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) System, and automatic support for metadata export.
These features allow QU Press journals to transfer metadata to external indexing and archiving repositories such as Pubmed and Medline for Biomedical Sciences, as well as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Google Scholar and other tools.
Thus, journals and scholarly articles at QU are accessible and easy to follow, track and download.
In terms of marketing and sales of digital books and journals, the platform contributes to circulating news and events through links on QU Press social media channels.
It aims to expand opportunities to attract new local and international readers and peer-reviewers, and will also be able to display journals and books; with hypertext, metadata and research, display online introductory videos, and announce publishing invitations for those journals and books.
The platform also facilitates automatic display and marketing on social media platforms, announcing QU Press news, and organising virtual events.
Moreover, the platform is a comprehensive e-commerce solution for bookselling, distribution, and print-on-demand (PoD) services both locally and internationally.
Commenting on the launch, Dr al-Emadi, who is also a professor of oil and gas law, said: “This newborn platform seeks to be among the leading platforms of university presses.
It is set to provide ways to communicate professionally especially at a time when the world is still suffering from Covid-19 pandemic.
The state-of-the-art platform will open up many global prospects for QU Press.
It will exemplify global influence factor that develops digital publishing, marketing and sales as well as increasing citations of our unique and specialised references.”