News Release

GigaByte wins the ALPSP Scholarly Publishing Innovation Award

The scientific journal GigaByte wins the ALPSP Innovation Award for their interactive articles and tools aimed at fulfilling the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

Grant and Award Announcement


GigaByte Wins ALPSP Award

image: GigaByte wins the 2022 ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing view more 

Credit: ALPSP

GigaScience Press is pleased to announce that their journal GigaByte has won the 2022 ALPSP Award for Innovation in Scholarly Publishing. Presented every year at the meeting of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, now in its 50th year, this award recognizes the best innovators in professional publishing communities at a time of rapid change in the field. The award was given in recognition of GigaByte having out-of-the-box solutions to address the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Recommendation on Open Science, and thus, to open engagement of research and to promote the inclusion of traditionally marginalized scholars. To achieve these goals, GigaScience Press partnered with River Valley Technologies to develop a unique XML-first publishing platform that allows extremely rapid, low-cost article publication. The technology underlying these articles enables the inclusion of a variety of features that let readers interact directly with the data used in the research. In addition, the content and the interface can be presented in any language, making article access highly inclusive.

In November 2021, the UNESCO ratified its Recommendation on Open Science, specifically addressing UNESCO’s aim for “fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives for open science”. The UNESCO directives cover not only scientific articles, but also scientific data, tools, infrastructure, etc., making them available to everyone, including groups that have typically been ignored in the decision processes in international research and use of all available scientific information.  

GigaScience Press has looked to the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science to serve as a roadmap to identify areas that are essential to include in scientific publishing and communication processes. While the Press has made many inroads in achieving these directives in their first journal, GigaScience, now in its tenth year, it is their partnership with River Valley Technologies that has opened the way to begin tackling many of the more challenging goals. The publishing and article hosting platform is built-for-purpose, and includes the ability to easily accommodate a host of dynamic interactive tools within the paper, allow the articles to be present in different languages, and more.

Scott Edmunds, Chief Editor of GigaByte, highlighted the significant role of River Valley Technologies for achieving those goals:  “XML-first publishing workflows have been talked about for a long time, but it’s fantastic for ​​GigaByte to be acknowledged as the first to demonstrate not only that the system works, but that it has real-world benefits, such as reducing costs and increasing accessibility and interactivity in scientific publishing. An excellent example of its use is that this system, due to its high speed and low cost, enabled the recent publication of a series on Vectors of Human Disease, sponsored by the World Health Organization. More than half of the submissions were from Latin America, and our ability to publish these articles in our multilingual format further broke down barriers, allowing Portuguese and Spanish speakers to better comprehend the implications of important work relating to the public health of their communities.”

The publishing platform is practically automated, thus drastically reducing publication costs. The cost savings can be passed on to the researcher, opening the door for many researchers around the world previously unable to afford publishing costs. The current article processing charge (APC) for GigaByte is $350 USD (with waivers provided for researchers where appropriate.) The industry average APC is some $2,000 USD, with some journal APCs costing more than $10,000 per article.

GigaScience Press Publishing Director Laurie Goodman said: “Although the publishing industry is working hard to become more inclusive, language and cost barriers remain substantial. International journals are typically presented only in English, impacting a large percent of scientists in non-English speaking countries, even in an open-access environment. In addition, high APCs, even with discounts, make it extremely difficult for researchers in less-well-funded laboratories from publishing their work and their achievements.”

While GigaByte articles can still be downloaded as an industry-standard PDF, the article publication focus is on the XML version of the paper. This XML links to the research data and the code, to interactive views of the results, to different languages and views, and to all of the dynamic features. As well as improving the readability for machines, the platform allows integrated language support and options for human readers to select how they want to view papers including, for example, the ability to view the article in a dyslexic-friendly font.

River Valley Director Kaveh Bazargan said: “It has been a pleasure working with GigaByte.  Their openness and their appetite to push the boundaries of publishing has allowed us to deploy our unique XML-first technology to embed complex and interactive objects such as immersive 3D content, and simultaneously cutting time and cost of publishing. Articles are published within 24 hours of acceptance and are fully accessible.”

GigaByte shared first place with Charlesworth Gateway, which provides a more efficient means of communicating between editors and Chinese authors during the submission and publication process. David Sommer, Chair of the judging panel and co-founder at Kudos said of the winners and goals of the award: “This year’s winners highlight how our industry is responding to the changing needs of authors and researchers together with the move towards making the scholarly record accessible to a broader audience worldwide.”


Media contacts:

GigaScience Editor-in-Chief:

Scott Edmunds,, Office: +852 3610 3531 Cell: +852 92490853


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About GigaScience Press

GigaScience Press is BGI's Open Access Publishing division, which publishes scientific journals and data. Its publishing projects are carried out with international publishing partners and infrastructure providers, including Oxford University Press and River Valley Technologies. It currently publishes two award-winning data-centric journals: its premier journal GigaScience (launched in 2012), which won the 2018 American Publishers PROSE award for innovation in journal publishing, and its new journal GigaByte (launched 2020), which just won the 2022 ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing. It also publishes data, software, and other research objects via its database. To encourage transparent reporting of scientific research and to enable future access and analyses, it is a requirement of manuscript submission to all GigaScience Press journals that all supporting data and source code be made openly available in GigaDB or in a community approved, publicly available repository. See


About GigaByte:

GigaByte provides a way to rapidly and cost-effectively share research, making the scientific process more inclusive and accessible to the broader community. It uses an exclusively XML-based publishing system that automates the production process and makes it effortless to change views, languages and embed interactive content. Enabling readers to directly interact with the underlying data and software allows immediate use of published research, improves reproducibility, and increases trust. Upon acceptance this system converts manuscripts to online - and PDF-ready articles within hours with minimal human intervention, dramatically reducing production time and cost to provide an equitable solution to publish open science.


About River Valley Technologies

River Valley’s mission is to accelerate the communication of research through automation and easy-to-use publishing platforms. These help societies and publishers manage and deliver their content more efficiently and more cost-effectively. Developed in-house from the ground up, River Valley’s platforms address the pain points felt by all stakeholders, from researchers preparing their manuscripts to publishers requiring perfect XML and immediate access to underlying data. River Valley was established in 1988 with the mission of delivering cutting edge solutions to academic publishers. Some 10 years ago, the company pioneered the first fully XML driven online authoring system and today boasts a number of publishing platforms. Together they deliver a fully automated end-to-end solution, including submission and peer review, XML-based authoring, and content hosting. With head office in London and offices in India, River Valley supports clients across EMEA, the USA and Asia. Clients include The IET, IOS Press, American Physical Society, The Sphere Association,  IOP Publishing and GigaScience Press.

ALPSP is the international trade association which supports and represents not-for-profit organizations that publish scholarly and professional content, and those that work with them. Membership of ALPSP is for the whole organization so all employees can take advantage of the benefits on offer. ALPSP is proud to have nearly 300 member organizations across 30 countries.

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