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Topaz Release Candidate 0.8

In the past, I used the title “PLoS ONE Release Candidate.” But with this release candidate, the Topaz framework allows multiple journal websites to use a single repository. So the release candidate isn’t specific to just PLoS ONE. Why is this important? Enabling multiple journals on one repository allows articles to be viewed across all sites accessing the repository. The interactive tools of PLoS ONE will be available for all journals hosted on Topaz. This will include articles originally published in PLoS Clinical Trials and articles soon-to-be published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Features implemented in Topaz RC 0.8:

  • Enable multiple journals using a single repository.
  • Skins for multiple journals.
  • Filter search results by journal using OTM.
  • TrackBack linkbacks for articles. TrackBacks are used primarily to facilitate communication between blogs – a TrackBack allows a blog author to see who is linking back to a blog post. We’re using this same feature, based on the Six Apart specification, to see who is linking back to a published article. To create a trackback to a PLoS ONE article, you can use a trackback URL similar to – you just need to change the “0000000” to the actual article number.
  • Citation download of the article. Many users have requested this feature and now you can download the citation for an article in the RIS file format (compatible with EndNote, Reference Manager, ProCite, RefWorks) or BibTex (compatible with BibDesk, LaTeX). Test the feature out by downloading the citation for the article on Protein-Tyrosine Kinase Activity Profiling in Knock Down Zebrafish Embryos.
  • A fix to a rating display issue in IE7.
  • Allow multiple email addresses for “E-mail this Article.”
  • Administrative modifications to annotations.
  • Administrative interface for multiple journals.
  • Migration to the Struts 2 web application framework. Struts 2 is a merger of Struts and another popular J2EE framework, WebWork. This release offers many enhancements and refinements while retaining the same general architecture of the original Struts framework.

Props to Russ, Susanne and the entire Topaz development team!

  1. The trackback feature is a great addition. Is this available already for PLoS ONE ? Will the trackbacks appear alongside the other comments to the papers ? Any thoughts on how to deal with spam (whitelist, moderation, etc)?

  2. According to the web site of the framework, Topaz _will_ be an open-source software. What is the release timeline of the sources ? Is it still scheduled ?

  3. Trackbacks have gone live on PLoS ONE. A link to the trackbacks appears in the “Commentary” block to the right of the article. That column is getting a bit large, so the designer opted to link to another page with the actual article trackbacks. You can see trackbacks on this PLoS ONE article

  4. In my overview of collaborative IT (my ”WebDAV” blog has grown dusty) I try to maintain a sense of “best practices” and such.

    So when I note such as not having preview function for PLoS comments (I see that functionality here on your blog) … my MIL-SPEC FMECA instincts shudder into action.

    Because I’m interested in design processes, I find myself wondering if that sort of lacuna shares etiology with the fact that a) the Topaz homepage has not a single active link on it and b) comments about that (I’ve written 2) have not been responded to (one a couple of weeks ago, the earliest being spring ’07).

    Deployment is a cultural thing; engaging “early adopters” sets the stage for later participation.

    best wishes


  5. Hi Ben,

    We have had users already bring up the point about needing a preview feature. We’ve added this to our feature list and hope to have some functionality in place within the next few months. We’re currently working on features required to migrate PLoS Genetics, Pathogens and Computational Biology onto Topaz by the end of February, so this feature will be pushed out afterwards.

    The main reason that the Topaz website has languished is that the team is working hard on enhancements to the OTM layer of Topaz and don’t have the resources to dedicate to the website. Before they can push the Topaz code out as Open Source, they need to make the publishing application a bit more generic, simplify the code and simplify the configuration. This should be completed in the next few months.

  6. Hi Richard,

    Why does the team _need_ to delay the availability of the code? Probably curious people can handle looking at slightly un-generic and un-simplified code. Release early, release often?


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