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Google Scholar Issue

An interesting issue came up with one of our publishers in Q2 2019. They were adding a significant amount of archive journal content to PubFactory, including many short articles without abstracts. When no abstract is present, PubFactory will automatically display the first two pages of the article unless the article is less than two pages long.

In this publisher’s case, PubFactory defaulted to displaying nothing rather than giving entire articles away for free. Unfortunately, there were so many new short articles being added that it tripped a trigger in the Google crawler that inaccurately determined we were trying to game the system. Consequently, we started noticing significantly reduced organic search traffic.

After conferring with Anurag at Google Scholar, we determined that the best solution was to mark the short articles as “do not index” to ensure that the Google crawler would skip them. We implemented this fix, Google recrawled the site, and search traffic returned to normal very quickly.

NOTE: This fix, and this type of fix, is part of the core platform and therefore will be available for anyone on Version 122 or later.

Platform Migration Update

Apparently the good folks at NISO noticed that we’ve been doing a lot of migrations recently and asked us to join a newly formed Migration Task Force that will produce a code of practice for hosting platform migrations equivalent to the Journal Transfer code of practice. The Migration Task Force began working in earnest in June 2019, and we have been in data-gathering mode through the summer. I provided a brief update on our work at our Sheridan PubForum User Group in September.

The Task Force is currently scheduled to issue a preliminary code of practice document in Q1 2020, with final acceptance expected by Summer 2020.

I also participated in a panel on platform migrations at SSP this past May. If you weren’t able to make it to the panel, the video is available here.

IE11 Support

This is a plea from us to you to help put pressure on your users to move away from IE11. Many of our publishers have relatively significant IE11 usage despite the fact that Microsoft released Edge years ago and has announced that it will no longer support IE11. Our support for IE11 takes significant time away from other platform enhancement efforts. It also means that we need to construct things in ways that make our pages less performant on other browsers. Anything you can do to encourage your users to move away from IE11 would be much appreciated. We will continue to support it as long as we have clients with significant usage, but would love to get to the day when we can drop it.


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