We helped Hindawi rebuild their peer review system using modern technologies.

The challenge

Founded in 1997, Hindawi publishes 200+ peer-reviewed open access journals under its own brand. In 2021, Hindawi was acquired by Wiley, a leading global publisher, a partnership which is set to drive innovation in research communication for generations to come.

Referred by a former client, Hindawi started their partnership with Thinslices in 2017. Their endgame was to migrate the existing platform architecture to the new system, allowing them to not only scale and grow their existing business, but also bring to market a new product: providing easy and frictionless support for co-publishing partnership agreements.

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Our approach

The successful partnership between Hindawi and Thinslices, started with a 6-week product design phase. The prototype team gathered requirements from Hindawi, designed the look and feel of the prototype, and conceptualized the architecture of the platform.

The team delivered mock-up designs, a high fidelity prototype, and a full product backlog. The design phase led to a 9-month build process, where the TS team worked closely with Product Managers from Hindawi to develop the MVP of the platform.

Hindawi launched a first journal on the platform in 2018, establishing the success of the MVP phase. Over the following 18 months, Hindawi and TS grew the team to 25+ people, who continuously improved the platform and implemented new features. In September 2020, just over 3 years from the start of the engagement, Hindawi completed the migration of the final title from Hindawi’s legacy system to the new platform.

6 weeks
product design

9 months
MVP build

300%
growth in content volume

50k
articles per year supported by the platform

Our partnership with Thinslices was an incredible success. Working together we built a great product, but more importantly an incredible team, who continue to drive our technology strategy and introduce new innovations to research workflows to this day.

Andrew Smeall, Vice President, Workflow Solutions, Wiley

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Technical specifications

The platform is Javascript-based, built on Node, React, and Postgres. The modular components of the platform communicate using an event-based architecture, and the events generated by the components form the basis for platform analytics and reporting. The entire platform is deployed on Amazon Web Services. 

The platform saw several major technical evolutions over the course of the project. It began as a technical collaboration between publishers building on the open source PubSweet framework. As the complexity of the project expanded, the platform gradually moved beyond the PubSweet core towards increasingly complex custom components, while remaining true to the open source missionEarly in 2018, the team implemented GraphQL. In 2020, the team moved entirely to Typescript.

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British Medical Journal

We kickstarted a long and healthy relationship by redesigning the entire architecture of BMJ’s flagship journal, bmj.com, decoupling the input of content from its presentation.

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Canopy

With a large user base ready to scale, the client needed fast results. We needed to help them rapidly discover the existing product bugs and product blockers, fix the critical issues and facilitate a release of the improved product in two weeks.

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DFS

We brought Deutsche Fintech Solutions to life by making paper digital. By the end of the project, we translated the paper process into a modern web application following the implementation of an old 1990-2000s style desktop application.