The set-up. Co-Action Publishing—a global pioneer in scholarly Open Access publishing—has experienced exponential growth. Its publications had expanded from a handful of journals to now 35, spanning a wide range of academic disciplines. All journals are created and managed on OJS.
Like many organizations experiencing rapid growth, information had been cobbled onto existing website frameworks—quick-fix remedies to help best serve online users. The result? Information was buried. Brands dissolved. Research wasn’t reaching the very people searching for it.
And the OJS framework—inherently—can be tricky to customize, beyond colors and logos.
The battlecry. Co-Action recognized the time had come for a overhaul of its own brand—and the sub-brands (each journal) that fall under its umbrella.
And while they were at it, they thought—can we re-engineer OJS to better serve the journal users? Rework the search functionalities? Surface the article content in new, engaging ways—that interface with the Co-Action website and newsroom? They were on a quest to find a partner to drive home these goals.
A match! Co-Action awarded the contract to Fresh Tonic—drawn to its creative marketing and technical experience working alongside academic institutions such as Georgetown University, the American Institutes for Research, Johns Hopkins, to name a few.
Zoom out, then in. By first understanding Co-Action’s over-arching business goals and objectives, we set to work crafting detailed functional and technical requirements for the new website and journal websites. Information architecture and wireframes were critical to the OJS “recalibration”—finding new ways to re-engineer the content based on deep understanding of their users’ digital behavior—and to surface sought-after information.
Fresh Tonic forged a new brand identity for Co-Action—designing a new logo, color palette and brand guidelines for all journals to follow. Its messaging—who they are, what they stand for—was also completely reimagined.
From here, we designed unique OJS templates that would enable each journal to easily customize its own brand (logo, messaging, content) yet that would coexist beautifully with the Co-Action “umbrella” brand.
Information can be fluidly exchanged from the journal websites and the Co-Action website (and newsroom)—ensuring freshness of content and a time-savings for internal staff.
The results? Website traffic and usage has doubled since the site launch—one of their key success metrics.
Looking for OJS customization for your organization or journal?