Industry

Publishing, science

Technology

AWS:

Lambdas, DynamoDB, OpenSearch, Fargate, S3, SSM, CloudFormation

JavaScript (Node.js 14.x)

Serverless Framework

Services

  • Dedicated nearshore team
  • System integration service
  • UI development
  • Back-end development

Customer’s Location

flagThe Netherlands

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About the project

STM is the leading global trade association for academic and professional publishers with 145 members in 21 countries. The STM Integrity Hub was founded by STM members committed to research integrity. Its architecture is designed to evolve and grow as new data, standards, and resources, consistent with applicable laws, data privacy, and competition law, are added.

As the enabling infrastructure, the Hub covers:

  • Technology and screening infrastructure.
  • The secure, protected environment that protects data privacy and is consistent with competition laws.
  • Policies + frameworks.
  • A modular platform to safeguard research integrity for all connected STM members.

The challenge

The STM Integrity Hub aims to provide a cloud-based environment for publishers to check submitted articles for research integrity issues, consistent with applicable laws and industry best practices and fully respecting the laws and ethics of data privacy and competition/anti-trust laws.

When the customer contacted us for the first time, the startup was in need of software development expertise and flexibility to scale the team up and down according to the project’s needs.

architecture
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The solution

STM Solutions decided to hire a dedicated, nearshored team of developers at ELITEX. The team is responsible for enabling infrastructure, integration with publishers, and the actual screening tools provided by third parties.

The enabling infrastructure is an API-first set of AWS (micro)services glued together by Lambda functions. This means our developers write and maintain those Lambda functions. DevOps engineers are responsible for the various services' configuration and deployments, such as API Gateway, Cognito, DynamoDB, SQS, and others. This setup is serverless and, therefore, highly scalable.

The ultimate goal is for publishers to integrate their backend systems with the Hubs API themselves. However, ELITEX is also responsible for the intermediate solution where connectors sit in between publishers' systems, such as editorial/peer review systems, a publisher configuration environment, then connect to the Hub API. That means our developers work with publishers' IT staff to integrate all systems and bring the required data feeds in place. At the other end, participating members and/or third parties bring into the mix the actual screening tools or Applications, which also need to be integrated into the Hubs workflow.

Functional tools

Although the Integrity Hub is primarily API-driven, in practice, a User Interface is needed as well. So part of our delivery is also the UI for publishers, for STM to manage the Hub, and a dedicated UI for Papermill detection, which combines several different screening tools but acts as a single Application.

The complexity of the Hubs dataflows is exciting, especially if we combine legal and data privacy-related policies. A significant part of the hours spent by our team is on this sensitive topic.

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The result

The STM Integrity Hub is more a System Integration project than Custom Software Development, although some development is needed as well. We are proud as the “spider in the web” to connect all stakeholders together.

ELITEX team is excited to be able to act as a tech partner for STM in this project and collaborate with so many different publishers to solve their integration challenges.

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