case study


Global web-based solution for book development and distributed authorship streamlines processes and creates efficiencies.
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Elsevier, one of the world’s largest publishers, needed a web-based contributor management solution to improve its editorial development process for large multi-author titles. Lacking a centralized system, their editorial process relied on email and spreadsheets to track hundreds of manuscripts and thousands of images.

Project goals:

  • Develop easy-to-use and intuitive solution for a large number of users with various levels of technical savvy.
  • Build a flexible workflow engine and review process configurable for each title and a single deployment to handle multiple titles.
  • Enable managing, tracking, and review capabilities for high-resolution images and figures.


  • Elsevier Publishing Interface Home
  • Elsevier Publishing Interface
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The contributor management system was developed and launched in less than six months, proving so successful with the initial launch group - a publishing unit responsible for developing 1,000+ page medical texts – that other units were eager to adopt it as well and features and functionality were expanded. Ultimately referred to as Elsevier Manuscript Submission System (EMSS), the system focused on providing an instructive interface, workflow, and rights and contact management.

  • Instructive Interface - Streamline the interface, expose actionable items as needed, and base author workflow on a single landing page while providing rich on-screen help with step-by-step instructions, eliminating training time.
  • Tracking Workstep – Build a file upload feature allowing for the collection of digital assets that ensures asset accessibility within the workflow in a dynamically generated archive. Implement built-in version tracking, reporting that ensures publishing milestones are met, and a task-oriented view showing editor’s and authors their individual projects, tasks, and requirements. Create a repository to house contributor credentials.
  • Rights and Contact Management – Create a portal within EMSS that facilitates communication between author and publisher while digitizing and organizing individual author contracts in order to more effectively manage the legal relationship between the parties.

Launch: 2010



books published


increase in annual adoption


authenticated users

EMSS has transformed the way our internal book editors do their work. What was once an endless series of checking spreadsheets and searching for emails and saving files to various folders is all taken care of in an elegantly designed Web-based system. Once our editors use the system, they never want to do it the old way.

Kirk Swearingen
Senior Manager, Editorial Systems

The new interface eased the transition from print to digital publishing and by creating efficiencies in and organizing the publishing process, drove system adoption across the organization's editorial groups. While the initial rollout grew from several books to dozens in less than a year, continued use and growth of the system has resulted in:

  • More than 40,000 users across multiple countries
  • Storage and management of more than 250,000 digital assets
  • More than 1,800 books and digital products published through the system

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