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Open source publishing

Our client

Hindawi is one of the world's largest publishers of peer-reviewed, fully open-access journals. Built on an ethos of openness, they are passionate about working with the global academic community to promote open scholarly research to the world. With the help of academic editors from institutions around the globe, they focus on providing a great author experience while preserving robust publishing standards and editorial integrity.

The challenge

Hindawi wanted to rebuild their peer review system using modern technologies, facilitating workflow improvements, integrations with external services, and open science applications. The project started with a 6-week product design phase, during which the plan for development was agreed and goals were set. The design phase led to a 9-month build process, where the Thinslices team developed and released an MVP system.

On top of building the new product, Hindawi wanted to ensure they were contributing to an open-source framework under development by The Coko Foundation. While this was a constraint, it also generated value for the project. Contributing to the open-source community exposed us to new ideas that helped us refine our solutions.

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The solution

The new platform is open source, developed as part of Hindawi's collaboration with the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation community. The first release, in September 2018, was an end-to-end system that supported a single journal following a traditional workflow. The system contains the necessary roles and email notifications for a manuscript to travel from submission to acceptance, as well as an API and data model that allows integrations with external systems, such as Hindawi's quality assurance system.

With this open source solution, Hindawi is giving something back to the community that they hope will be adapted and reused by other publishers.


Hindawi's system was launched in September 2018, becoming the first complete peer review system to come out of the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation community. Gathering feedback from editors, reviewers, and authors, Hindawi plans to extend the system to serve multiple journals running more complex workflows and editorial models. Other publishers, societies, and institutions are already investigating reuse of the software and adapting the platform to new uses.
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Working with Thinslices has been great. From the beginning, we wanted to partner with a team that would be able to represent Hindawi within the Open Source community while building a sophisticated, scalable system to help us transition our journals onto a new peer review system for the future. Thinslices have provided valuable insight at every step of the journey, as well as excellent documentation and visibility on how things are progressing. I don't feel like Thinslices are an external development team, they feel more like an extension of Hindawi, and that was the intention & atmosphere that we wanted to create. I would recommend Thinslices to anyone looking for a hard-working, clever, fun group of people to help deliver that next project!

Matt Green, Hindawi