Fast automated publishing for scientific and scholarly content


Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 Special Edition logo

For over a decade, Typefi has worked with the world’s leading scientific and scholarly publishers to dramatically streamline their print and digital publishing workflows.

Typefi’s proven single-source automated publishing platform integrates with Adobe InDesign Server for automatic composition, empowering production teams to manage their own design templates, and to rapidly compose highly complex content with 100% accuracy!

In this webinar, presented in conjunction with Frankfurter Buchmesse Special Edition 2020, Emily Johnston and Jamie Brinkman share how Typefi can help you:

  • Drastically reduce production time for visually-rich print-ready textbooks, journals, articles, research papers, and reports;
  • Publish the same content in your choice of up to 30 formats for print, online and mobile, including print-ready PDF, web PDF, HTML, EPUB, XML (including JATS and BITS), and accessible formats;
  • Automate time-consuming, error-prone elements such as pagination, running headers, tables of contents, footnotes, end notes, linked references, and indexes
  • And more!

Jamie also runs three Typefi journal article workflows, demonstrating rapid composition of XML (JATS) content into single and multi-column layouts. Complex elements such as landscape tables and images are included, as well as MathML in two different output styles (images versus live text).

If you’d like to share your thoughts about this webinar or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a line—we’d love to talk STM publishing with you!

Transcript | Presenters


00:00 Introduction
00:36 About Typefi

  • How Typefi works
  • Benefits of using Typefi
08:04 Journal workflow demonstration

  • Typefi Server web interface
  • Typefi workflows
  • One-column and two-column journal layouts
  • Complex element handling: Math, landscape graphics, tables
16:41 Q&A session

  • How Typefi determines placement of figures and tables
  • How Typefi handles complex tables that span multiple pages or spreads
  • Typefi training and implementation
  • Combining multiple journal articles into an issue
  • Automating the creation of accessible formats
  • How Typefi handles alternative text
  • Typefi and BITS
24:15 Conclusion

Introduction (00:00)

EMILY: Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us today for this webinar, Fast Automated Publishing for Scientific and Scholarly Content.

My name is Emily Johnston and I am Director of Business Development for Typefi. Also presenting today is Jamie Brinkman, who is one of our Senior Solutions Consultants. Jamie has been working for the last many years with our STM customers, helping them design solutions for their automation requirements.

About Typefi (00:36)

I wanted to start by giving a little bit of background about Typefi. Typefi was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Queensland, Australia. We have offices today in the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, and we’re supporting thousands of users in about 35 countries worldwide.

Typefi’s customers include STM publishers, of course, like New England Journal of Medicine, the US Geological Survey and the World Health Organization, just to mention a few.

But as you can also see here, in addition to STM publishers, Typefi works with many different types of content publishers from education publishers to standards bodies to manufacturers.

This variety has given us experience in developing cutting edge solutions for numerous and varying challenges that different types of content publishers face, making Typefi a leader in content automation solutions.

How Typefi works

Typefi is a single source publishing platform that allows our customers to take their content, input it into Typefi and output more than 30 different formats for print, online or mobile distribution. Once this is all set up, all of that can be done in a matter of seconds to minutes with just a click of a button.

If we look at how this works in more detail, Typefi is designed to work with the various ways that content may be authored.

For example, content can be authored in Microsoft Word or in XML like JATS or BITS which, of course, are common standards for scholarly or scientific content. Content could also be authored in HTML or EPUB or some other format.

Regardless of that source format, the first step of the process is for that content to be input into Typefi and automatically transformed into an XML format that we call CXML or Content XML. CXML is based on the DocBook DTD, and full documentation can be found on our website.

The CXML format is highly versatile and optimised for automation through the Typefi software, and particularly for automation through Adobe InDesign Server, which is used for the creation of PDF output.

As mentioned before, there are many output formats, from HTML to various types of XML, EPUB, MOBI, DAISY, or other digital formats, as well as PDFs that could be used for print, for web, with TOC linking, hyperlinks, all of that. Or accessible formats that utilise things like alternative text, alt text, for images or tables.

Those can all be automated through the use of Typefi. This gives customers versatility to set up solutions specific to their workflow needs and to produce multiple output formats or designs from the same single source, so customers get content out faster and in more formats, all without compromising on design.

I did just want to mention as well, that Typefi has an open API, which allows for integration with process management or content management systems, if you’re using that type of application.

Benefits of using Typefi

Let’s look at how the use of Typefi has created benefits for some of our customers.

FASS, the Federation of Animal Science Societies, was able to cut the amount of time it took to produce their journals in half using Typefi.

The challenge that they had when we started working with them is that they were using an old system for composition, Miles 33, they had staff retiring, and they were trying to figure out what kind of program to use that would be more versatile moving forward.

They decided that they wanted to use InDesign as their composition tool, since InDesign is the most widely used desktop publishing application worldwide, and Typefi automation sits on top of Adobe InDesign for the automation of PDFs.

So, using eXtyles to create XML and Typefi for the automation of the layout, they were able to reduce that time to produce their journals.

IGI Global was able to roughly triple the number of books and journals that they produced in the matter of a few years, without the need to add additional staff.

The challenge that they had when we started working with them was that they were trying to figure out how to cut costs, of course, and how to be more competitive in their markets. They were considering either outsourcing or looking at some way of trying to improve their processes internally.

Working with Typefi, we were able to develop an automation solution that allowed them to, again, triple the number of books and journals that they were producing, and they were able to do that without the need to add additional resources in-house.

Publishers like the International Monetary Fund have used Typefi to reduce the amount of time it took them to produce their publications by about 80 percent, reducing that time from weeks to days.

The challenge that the International Monetary Fund has is that their content, especially their fiscal reports, are constantly changing. Information for tables or for graphs that have to do with financial changes, and stuff in different regions, is constantly being updated.

So, every time they had to typeset or have a publication typeset, it would take quite a bit of time.

Using Typefi, they were able to drop in that new content and, in a matter of minutes, output a new format, a new output, so that they could very quickly get their content out to their users and have confidence that it was accurate and up to date when they did so.

Customers like Pioneer and the World Health Organization are using Typefi to automate the release of their publications in multiple languages.

Typefi supports up to 80 different languages, including Latin, Cyrillic and languages that are set right to left. Pretty much any language that’s supported in Adobe InDesign can be automated through Typefi, so if you are a publisher that has content in multiple languages, automation of those languages is definitely something that Typefi can handle.

Journal workflow demonstration (08:04)

Let’s move on to a demonstration of how the Typefi software works. Our focus today is on scientific or scholarly publishing, so we’re going to show a demo of an STM journal workflow. This is based on content authored in JATS XML, which will be input into Typefi.

As a side note, a workflow for an STM book, something that may have been authored in BITS or in Word, would be very similar. The difference, of course, is that the input format in that case it would be Word or BITS instead of JATS. But the method of setting up workflows and templates would be the same.

At this point, I’m going to turn it over to my colleague, Jamie, for the demonstration.

JAMIE: Thanks, Emily. Hi, this is Jamie Brinkman. I’m a Senior Solutions Consultant at Typefi and I’m here today to show you how you can take XML content and run it through Typefi to get different designs. These specifically will be for journals, in this instance.

First of all, I’m going to start a few jobs running, so that we can have those going.

Typefi Server web interface

Now, let me tell you what we’re looking at here while those get started. What we’re looking at is the web interface for Typefi Server.

Typefi can be integrated with a content management system if you’re using one, and that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re not, then you can use our web interface to manage things.

You can see it’s just got kind of a basic file structure. The names for these folders, they can be whatever you want them to be. It’s completely customisable and you can control what it’s named, you can have folders nested in folders, all of that good stuff.

Typefi workflows

Meanwhile, in this folder called Workflow, we have what we call Typefi workflows. A Typefi workflow is what allows you to take that content that you’ve put up in the file store and have it interact with Typefi to create your different outputs.

In this case, this workflow is a series of steps that starts out with the JATS XML file, and then it transforms that into what we call CXML, which is a special brand of XML that has all of your paragraph style names and things like that for InDesign. Then it also brings in your fonts.

Then, the next step takes that CXML file and actually runs it through InDesign. In this case, it’s running it through a one-column InDesign template and then it lays out a PDF.

You’ll note that I also ran another workflow just a second ago, and this workflow takes the exact same XML file and runs it through a different InDesign template. It’s going to give us a two-column layout. So, we’ll be able to take that same XML file and get two different designs out of it.

You could also, if you wanted—depending on how you like structuring your workflows and what kind of things make sense for you in your overall workflow—have one workflow that actually takes your XML file and runs it through first the two-column, and then also we could have it run through the one-column as well.

It could all be in the same workflow so that you could just click Run the one time and have it run that file through. And you could have it also do additional types of outputs or other designs, if you wanted to make it all be in one workflow, or you could have multiple workflows—just however you wanted to set that up and whatever made more sense to you and for how you work.

One-column and two-column journal layouts

While we’ve been talking, the first file has finished, so I’m going to go ahead and open that up. You can see right here, we have a PDF and an InDesign file, so I’ll open the PDF.

Here we go, this is a one-column journal and it’s got some math in it, some graphics. It’s pretty straightforward, I think. And so that is the one-column layout.

Now the two-column is finished, so I’m going to open that one. You can see it’s the same content, The Phenomenon of Elastic et cetera, but it has been run through a two-column template, so now you can see we’ve got the two-column output. We’ve still got the math and the graphics and all of that.

You can even see, in the two-column, we have some column balancing going on in the last page to bring this up, so you don’t have one long column and then one line of text or something up at the top over here, because that wouldn’t look good, so we have that taken care of automatically too.

Complex element handling: Math, graphics, tables

Now I’m going to actually open up the InDesign file that I just generated. This brings up a nice opportunity because I can show you one of the two different types of math workflows that you can use at Typefi.

When you’re laying out your math, some people like to have a workflow that uses images, and we can support that.

We also have this workflow, which actually takes your MathML and then lays it out as live text in InDesign. So, you can see these equations, when I put my mouse over them, I could actually, you know, delete something if I wanted. Although, of course, now I’ve just made that equation not make sense.

But, because this is live text in InDesign, basically it’s just taking that MathML and it’s actually structuring this live text, and it’s using a plug-in called movemen MathTools to do that, which is fully integrated into Typefi in this workflow.

We also have another math workflow, which this file just finished, so perfect timing because I can show you. This file uses our other math workflow which, as I mentioned before, that’s if you do your math and you have equation graphics. You can use the equation graphics and we can also support that just as well.

This file, again, it’s just a journal, it’s a two-column layout. We’ve also got some tables in here, some graphics, of course, and you can actually see we’ve got some landscape graphics and also some landscape tables.

So, you can see that Typefi can handle lots of different tables and different formats there, or different design requirements there as well.

That’s pretty much everything that I was looking to show you today. You’ve just watched XML content be flowed through Typefi to produce multiple designs, including even the same XML file and getting two different designs. So, thank you so much. Emily, I will turn it back over to you.

EMILY: All right. Thank you, Jamie.

Q&A (16:41)

How does Typefi determine the placement of figures and tables?

JAMIE: Looking at that same file that I just ran a little while ago, you can see some of the figures that were placed.

In your InDesign template that you’ll have created, we have what we call layout rules. Basically, you can create a series of rules that apply to these different elements, and can control how the engine will lay them out.

For instance, this particular image element has two rules set up for it, one of them aligning to the top of the text frame and one to the bottom. If I click and open, you can see you can control vertical and horizontal alignment, you can set limits, you can put all this information into the template.

When the job is running, it will automatically, as it comes to each element, use these rules in order to lay them out. If you have multiple elements on the same page, it will use the rules that you have set up to determine how those elements place related to each other as well. It will do that for every page.

Can Typefi handle complex tables that span multiple pages or spreads? If so, how does that work?

JAMIE: Yes. If you have tables that need to spill across multiple pages, if those are just inline tables, then they can just flow with the text in InDesign and that’s perfectly fine.

But if you need those tables to be floating, that’s if they have text wrap applied and sit on the layer above the content, similar to how some of those graphics that we just looked at were done, then Typefi can just have a script that runs which automatically continues the table from page to page.

You can also have ‘continued’ text set up that’s automatically placed, saying ‘continued on the next page or the next column’ or whatever it needs to be.

What is the training and implementation like for setting up Typefi?

JAMIE: In most instances, once we begin work on your project, we would build the first template for you. That’s what we usually end up doing.

Then we would do a training session, and we would train you on all the ins and outs of that template and also how to create additional templates if you need additional templates. The training usually adds up to several days, but we can split that out into smaller chunks.

The goal is that when we’re done, you would then have the skills necessary so that if you need to create additional templates, you would be able to do that. You would understand how the whole system works and you would be able to handle all that yourself.

If someone has multiple articles that they want to combine into an issue, can Typefi handle that kind of combination and automate things like tables of contents?

JAMIE: Yes, we can. If you needed to have multiple articles, then you could just have your workflow set up to have multiple inputs.

As far as how those are output, you could have them output into an InDesign book, which, if you’re not familiar with how that works, then that’s basically a containing structure in InDesign, a containing file. All of your articles would be in individual InDesign files that are linked together by that book, and then you could make a PDF out of them.

Can Typefi automate the creation of accessible formats and how does it handle things like alternative text?

JAMIE: Yes, we can handle accessible formats. It really just depends on what your requirements are, because we can do it in a lot of different ways.

If you wanted to take a PDF and make that pass different accessibility checkers, then that’s one thing that we could do, but we can also support things like DAISY, for instance—different formats specifically for accessibility.

If you wanted to make an accessible PDF, for instance, we would know that when we started the project and we would just make sure to design it with that in mind.

As far as alt text is concerned, the way that’s handled is the alt text is indicated in your XML, and we would set it up to pass through into InDesign, and it would then come into the PDF. So it’d be very simple, as long as you have the appropriate tag in the XML.

Is it a requirement that alt text be available at the beginning, or could it be added at a later point?

JAMIE: It could be added later. I always recommend, if you have it at the beginning, that’s easier because you can get all your setup done at the one time, but if you don’t have that available and that’s something that comes up later, then we can definitely do that.

So, you could start off with not making an accessible PDF and then down the road decide that you wanted to. It would just be some adjustments that we would need to make to get everything working, but we could still do that. It’d be perfectly fine.

Do you have customers using BITS for the automation of books who have seen similar types of time savings?

EMILY: I mentioned before that FASS is a journal publisher and they were able to reduce the time it took them to produce their content by half.

We also have worked with customers like the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and, using BITS to produce their books, they were able to reduce the amount of time from about a year down to just a matter of months to produce some of their big publications. So we have seen time savings on that side, as well. Absolutely.

Conclusion (24:15)

EMILY: Well thank you all for joining us today for this webinar. Let us know if you need anything, otherwise have a wonderful day. Thank you.

JAMIE: Thank you so much.

Your webinar presenters

Emily Johnston

Emily Johnston

Business Development Director | US

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Juris Doctorate (JD), Emily’s first job was as a project manager at Apex CoVantage, a publishing services company, where she coordinated production of publications for the American Bar Association. She continued to work in publishing services for 15 years before joining Typefi, and has an in-depth understanding of the challenges that publishers face every day.

Emily works closely with a variety of publishers and organisations in North and South America and Asia to understand their unique needs and recommend solutions that will optimise publishing workflows at all stages of the production process.

Jamie Brinkman

Jamie Brinkman

Senior Solutions Consultant | US

Jamie joined Typefi as a Solutions Consultant in 2014, bringing 10 years of experience as a Senior Content Editor with a multinational mass media and information firm. She is highly skilled in layout and design, and has extensive experience in copy editing utilising AP, Chicago, and company-specific style guidelines.

As a Typefi Senior Solutions Consultant, Jamie works closely with customers to develop and implement automated publishing solutions, as well as providing ongoing training and support.