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Vega: An Academic Publishing Platform

Type of project
Applied research
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
01.01.2015 -> 31.12.2017

This project has been completed

About the project

The primary deliverable for this project is the free, open source Vega platform, intended for publishing digital and media-rich academic research in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and sciences. This content-management system will be a ‘turnkey’ publishing platform for print-like and scholarly multimedia journals, books, and data sets. The platform includes features that will help editors and publishers provide an accessible, secure, sustainable, flexible, open, free, and collaborative environment for authors and readers to engage with building and reading multimedia-rich, peer-reviewed content.

Vega’s publishing platform will be built to accommodate a range of online scholarly venues including print-like journals, multimedia-rich journals, journals that occasionally publish multimedia-rich articles, data-driven articles (and new conceptions of what data publishing might look like), print-like journals and presses, and multimedia-rich presses. 

As part of this wide scope of venues, Vega artifacts will include the capability to process 

  • Print-like articles, chapters, and books (e.g., word-processing documents, PDFs, LaTex documents, Markdown, plain HTML, etc.),
  • HTML-based webtexts/articles, chapters, and books (e.g., linked sets of multimedia in any web-compatible combination)
  • Interactive PDF-type articles, chapters, and books (i.e., print-like articles with embedded animations, movies, audio, etc.),
  • Stand-alone media files (e.g., videos, audio files, slideshows)
  • Database-driven installations (e.g., Scalar, Omeka, WordPress, wikis, etc.),
  • Data sets, and
  • Other file types that may arise in the near future.

Vega is being built to focus on the submission, editorial review, copy- and design-editing workflows (not on multimedia authoring only). It will also support front-end publication processes and branding. Vega draws on existing, open-source projects whenever possible. The release date is expected to be early 2018.