Enhanced Manuscript Data Transfer and Export with MECA 2.0

The Manuscript Exchange Common Approach (MECA) initiative is a cross-organizational effort that strives to facilitate and standardize multiple types of manuscript exchange within and between platforms, including preprint servers, peer review management solutions, Author applications, and production tracking services. Led by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), MECA was published as a formal Recommended Practice in 2020. Aries Systems has recently introduced an enhancement to Editorial Manager® (EM) and ProduXion Manager® (PM) to conform to MECA version 2.0 standards.

Following rejection, Authors often re-submit their manuscript to one or more publications in a similar field, which can then result in the previous Reviewers being re-selected to review the same manuscript by a subsequent journal. The repeat of submission and peer review processes by Authors and Reviewers results in loss of time and frustrating delays. To avoid duplicate efforts and save valuable time, MECA enables a seamless transfer of key manuscript and peer review data between systems. EM/PM import and export methods have been recently updated to comply with MECA version 2.0 for enhanced manuscript transfer and export.

This enhancement produces JATS-compliant XML files that will validate against the standard DTD. The MECA Transfer and Export methods write submission metadata to a JATS-compliant XML, which is included as part of the .zip package that is transferred or exported. The new NISO MECA v2.0 Transfer method, which can be configured in AdminManager, can be used for EM-to-nonEM transfers. The new NISO MECA v2.0 Export transmittal method, which can be configured in PolicyManager, can be used to SFTP the MECA package to another ProduXion Manager site, external vendors, or preprint servers.

Aries Systems has taken an active role in the development of MECA since its inception in 2017. We are pleased to collaborate alongside the following organizations currently on the NISO MECA Standing Committee: American Chemical Society, Elsevier, Taylor & Francis Group, Highwire Press, Green Fifteen Publishing Consultancy, Overleaf, Jisc, Pubmill, PLOS, National Library of Medicine, IEEE, Public Knowledge Project (PKP), California Digital Library, River Valley Technologies. Not only does MECA improve system interoperability and user experience, it also promotes true partnership and collaboration against a common goal for the better of the entire scholarly publishing community.