American Society for Horticultural Science’s 6 week journey to launch on PubFactory

In late 2018, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) had a time-sensitive requirement to change the business model of their flagship journal, HortTechnology, from a subscription to an Open Access (OA) model, with a hard launch date of January 1, 2019. In addition, ASHS needed to migrate and launch two other subscription journals, HortScience and Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, by the end of January 2019.

When the migration to PubFactory began, it was already early October; this left only six weeks in which to complete both projects.

“The decision to relaunch our journals on PubFactory was made with confidence, as it allowed us to extend our long-term relationship with Sheridan. There were risks involved, especially with our very compressed timeframe to relaunch HortTechnology on PubFactory. It was a critical period for ASHS, with long-term impact on our future. Sheridan was the partner we had great trust in to lead us through the strategic transition from one platform to another while also flipping HortTechnology from a subscription journal to an OA journal,” said Michael Neff, Executive Director of ASHS.

José Fossi, Vice President of Client Services for Sheridan PubFactory confirms, “We always remind publishers that challenges will inevitably arise during our work together. What’s most important is how we manage and resolve challenges together. It’s the greatest determinant of our shared success.”

With this in mind, the ASHS team and the Sheridan PubFactory team formulated a strict timeline and project plan detailing the actions required by both sides. To that end, ASHS provided preliminary guidance in three critical areas:

  • Branding
  • Design and content presentation preferences
  • ASHS member community needs

    During preparatory sessions, ASHS agreed to grant the Sheridan PubFactory team nearly full autonomy in making platform implementation decisions. This allowed Sheridan PubFactory to develop a functioning version of the platform for ASHS to respond to within two weeks of project kickoff.

    Preceding the move to PubFactory, ASHS already had a long-established working relationship with Sheridan Journal Services. This provided significant advantages for both ASHS and Sheridan PubFactory, including:

  • Both teams―ASHS and Sheridan PubFactory―had a strong foundation of trust upon which to build.
  • From the outset, the Sheridan PubFactory team had a deep understanding of ASHS’ content needs and business requirements.
  • A typically complicated migration task―migration of subscription data―was eliminated because it was already managed in-house by Sheridan Journal Services.

    “The project with ASHS was a model of successful collaboration,” remarked José Fossi. “We worked together to find the most cost-efficient solutions that would keep the project on schedule, while always having a view to meeting the needs of ASHS and its members.”

    On January 1, 2019, ASHS launched HortTechnology on schedule as an OA journal on the PubFactory platform. Three weeks later, on January 22, ASHS launched their other two journals, HortScience and Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, on the same PubFactory platform.

    “We are extremely pleased with the relaunches of our three journals on the PubFactory platform. Despite the short schedule, all of the migration—as well as the transition of HortTechnology from a subscription to an Open Access model—was achieved on or ahead ofschedule. We are especially pleased with all of the Sheridan teams we work alongside every
    day,” said Assistant Executive Director Tracy Shawn, leader of the ASHS transition team.

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