Start of the BMBF follow-up project OS-APS_STEMO

OS-APS_STEMO is the acronym for the "Extension of the Open Source Academic Publishing Suite (OS-APS) for complex STEM publications and optimised online presentations". The University Library of Erlangen-Nürnberg received the BMBF funding decision at the end of July 2023 and the project will soon be launched in practice. It will build on existing preliminary work.

With the Open Source Academic Publishing Suite (, a free open source software toolbox was created as part of the previous BMBF funding, which enables FAU University Press and other university presses, small publishers and journals to set up XML-based workflows for media-neutral publishing in their corporate design for open access publications. During the first project period, however, the publishers expressed further wishes that went beyond the scope of the funding at the time in the course of the changing open access publishing landscape:

These requests included better support for complex manuscript features (including formulae, tables) from the technical and scientific STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). In particular, this includes MathML support and LaTeX import options.

In addition to these import requests, there were also inquiries for additional export formats: JATS and BITS-XML formats in particular are becoming increasingly important in the publishing industry and for FAU University Press, as they contain the relevant metadata of the publication in addition to HTML. JATS is also required for indexing in specialist databases such as PubMed or JSTOR and for feeding into distribution platforms such as DeepGreen or the Jisc Publications Router; smaller university publishers are currently usually unable to provide a correspondingly complex full-text and metadata system in the JATS standard.

However, the support of XML reading formats also raises the question of online readers for readers. The follow-up project is therefore developing a reader for the optimised online presentation of dynamic XML content.

Finally, the new Accessibility Act is a major challenge for smaller publishers and journals. OS-APS_STEMO provides for new publisher-based testing and optimisation workflows to improve the accessibility of the publications produced for visually impaired people. If successful, our project will make life much easier for the publishing open access community.