Standard Bearer

With around three million research articles published every year, it is critical to ensure the process of publication is as straightforward as possible, that it maintains the highest standards and is on top of the latest technology developments.

To make sure the process of publication is as simple as possible yet maintains the highest standards, STM works with publishers to set universal standards and best practice for processes such as article submission and data sharing.

At STM, we have a dedicated Standards and Technology Executive Committee (STEC), chaired by IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg from Elsevier where he is responsible for new technology initiatives to safeguard the integrity of both content and the content-based products that Elsevier offers to the research community.

STEC keeps track of important standards and technology developments in the wider publishing industry, provides input for standardisation efforts and consultations, tracks the publishing participation in various standards bodies and prompts members and the STM Board on important developments in this area.

Key topics currently on the agenda of the STEC are:

  • Research data and linking to publications
  • User data privacy
  • Permanent identifiers
  • Identity management
  • Resource access
  • Cyber security

STM is actively involved in various projects aimed at encouraging uniform approaches to publishing.


STM Research Data

Our action plan revolves around the concept of Share, Link and Cite

  • SHARE: Increase the number of journals with data policies and articles with data Availability Statements (DAS)
  • LINK: Increase the number of journals that deposit the data links to the SCHOLIX framework
  • CITE: Increase the citations to datasets along the FORCE 11 data citation guidelines

We have been sharing best practice, organising meetings for the exchange of experiences and working with individual publishers on their programmes. Visit our dedicated website



Launched this summer, SCHOLIX provides an easy and universal linking mechanism between scholarly publications and research data. SCHOLIX runs via hubs at Crossref, DataCite and OpenAire and is available to all publishers who wish to link their publications to available research data.



STM is involved in several projects designed to streamline access to scholarly content. As an example, Seamless Access is a service designed to help foster a more streamlined online access experience when using scholarly collaboration tools, information resources, and shared research infrastructure. It promotes digital authentication leveraging an existing single-sign-on infrastructure through a researcher’s home institution, while maintaining an environment that protects personal data and privacy.

GetFTR, on the other hand, provides swift access to publisher content by highlighting which articles their institution has subscribed to.



STM has established a working group to standardise the definitions and terminology used in peer review. A peer review taxonomy that is used across publishers will help make the peer review process for articles more transparent, and it will enable the community to better assess and compare peer review practices between different journals.


Other projects

STM is also actively involved in evaluating the role of Blockchain technology for use in academic publishing and creating standards for reproducibility of research.

Individual publishers are also developing standards which help researchers with their submissions. Some provide a formatting service which ensures submitted articles conform to the publisher’s formats, whilst others have developed guidelines for peer reviewers to ensure consistency in evaluation.