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Beta test of the Open Source Academic Publishing Suite (OS-APS) and SciFlow Publish

So far, our authors had to format their manuscripts on their own based on our format specifications and templates. After receiving the manuscript, FAU University Press checked compliance and, in several correction rounds, we jointly develop the final Portable Document Format (PDF) file for the e-book and, in the case of a desired print run, for our printing houses.

With the Open Source Academic Publishing Suite (OS-APS) and SciFlow Publish will streamline and automate these steps. Authors can submit their original Word manuscript, for example the A4 format for dissertations. The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is extracted from this file using the two tools and the final formatting of the PDF is generated from the XML in a single-source publishing workflow in accordance with the publisher's specifications using typesetting templates, that control page margins, fonts and font sizes, line spacing and more.;

In addition to PDFs, other publishing formats such as Electronic Publication (EPUB) and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) books can also be created. This benefits readers who want to read academic books on a tablet or smartphone, as EPUB and HTML books dynamically adjust to the size of the screen. This is also a great advantage in terms of digital accessibility.

We are currently beta testing the Open Source Academic Publishing Suite (OS-APS) and SciFlow Publish. Not all Word manuscripts can be fed in and processed perfectly yet. For example, complex manuscript structures such as rotated, full-page tables or nested tables with images in cells are difficult. LaTeX files can also only be supported in the future.


We are looking for suitable manuscripts that use standard Word features as rigorously as possible. Here are the most important criteria:

  • Please use only modern Word formats (e.g. docx), no Word 97-2003 documents, as otherwise the XML cannot be extracted; we are also currently unable to support LaTeX, although this is planned for the future (see OS-APS_STEMO follow-up project, in German only).
  • Please use the standard Word functionalities and format templates throughout instead of manual interventions. All text elements such as headings must be labelled using the standard Word style sheets. For example: heading 1, heading 2, heading 3; not just “bold and large”. When labelling images and tables, please always use the Word functions and do not simply insert a sentence directly below the image or table. The usual Word functions should also be used for formulae and footnotes.
  • No large nested tables. Such tables are also generally problematic for digital accessibility, see, for example, information on this from an accessibility centre (in German only).
  • No grouped images; these would then have to be combined "into one" image, saved as such, and replaced in the manuscript.
  • If you want to take part in the beta test, please remember to bring time for coordination. We first need to familiarise ourselves with the new production workflows and possibly make some changes and adjustments on our end or in consultation with SciFlow.


Benefits for you as an author:

  • Digital readability and distribution through publication in various formats: E-books now also as EPUB and / or HTML in addition to PDF, and at no additional cost.
  • Save time and effort compared to traditional reformatting processes.
  • Better support for accessibility.
  • Readers of your book can newly use end devices on which PDFs are difficult (e.g. with frequent "zooming in" and scrolling) or impossible to read.

Further advantages:

  • Contribution to the professionalism and efficiency of FAU University Press: we can complete more book projects in less time. Ultimately, this benefits the authors as well.
  • Benefits for the community: With the further development of OS-APS, free open source software will be made available to the entire publishing community. In particular, non-commercial open access publishers and university presses with smaller resources and budgets will be able to compete more effectively with large commercial publishers.