Emerald Publishing announces progressive digital research platform for the social sciences

Emerald Publishing will launch a completely new Emerald Insight digital research platform. Developed in collaboration with twelve leading international universities, it is designed to make social sciences research easy and enjoyable to discover.

Emerald Insight – the home of over 300 journals, 3,000 books, 1,700 case studies and a growing collection of open access content – has been entirely reimagined and rebuilt. The forward-thinking design offers an engaging and rewarding user experience; showcasing researchers’ work, paving the way for rapid evolution and meeting future research needs.

Emerald Publishing’s Marketing Director, Harriet Bell, said: “We wanted to build a platform that makes researchers’ and readers’ lives easier, whether they are a student, in academia, in policy, practice or the wider public. We are committed to making research that benefits society as visible and easy to discover as possible – for the widest audience. As the new platform takes shape, every decision is being tested and validated in partnership with our communities.”

“The technology and processes behind the new Emerald Insight allow us to respond quickly to researcher and reader needs and the changing dynamics of scholarly communication. Our July launch is just the very first step on an exciting and progressive journey. Our ambition is to deliver a platform that connects impactful research with the people who use it, for the benefit of all” she added.

Jennie Winterburn, one of the development partners from Leeds University, believes the new platform will be an invaluable tool for academics and librarians. “The site is logical, pleasant to use and easy to navigate, providing contextual detail and further sources of information,” she said. “It enables me to better support the research community through signposting of recommended journals and guidance for authors.”

Meanwhile, Emerald’s development partner at the University of Houston explained: “There’s a much cleaner look, and key details like article date, author and concept have been given greater prominence, while activating the PDF link is also a lot easier. Effective communication and requests for feedback allowed beta users to feel like they were part of the process and enabled them to see the impact their responses were having.”

They added: “I appreciate the care and concern which the Emerald team has exhibited when seeking feedback, particularly from end users such as faculty personnel and students.”

Emerald’s internal developers have partnered with software development consultancy 67 Bricks to create the new platform.  The teams work together with a wide range of users, following an Agile process, to create prototypes and understand how features are used, and will continue with this methodology to implement new tools and services in the future. Powering the build is proven content and data management technologies from leading software providers Alfresco and MarkLogic, configured to meet user needs. The new platform represents a significant investment by Emerald, at no additional cost to customers, to provide the best environment for the showcasing and discovery of impactful social science research. 

“67 Bricks is proud to be partnering with Emerald to help them deliver this flagship digital platform,” said Sam Herbert, Client Services Director at 67 Bricks.  

“It is inspiring to work with an organisation that has big ambitions to deliver fantastic digital services. Emerald have a clear approach to choosing industry-leading, modern, scalable, flexible and robust content technologies to deliver on this ambition and do its very best for its customers.”

Migration to the new platform will happen by July 2019, with the current site (hosted on Atypon’s Literatum platform) closing by the end of August 2019. Existing Emerald Insight users will be supported through the transition process, enabling them to gain seamless access to the new platform. 

Emerald is committed to continuous development of the platform towards a future of increasingly open, rapid and widely disseminated social science research which reaches throughout and beyond the academy, to beneficiaries of that research in policy, practice and the public. This major investment positions Emerald to co-produce future services with research and practitioner communities.