Around the world with eXtyles: What happened at #XUG2020

On October 20 and 21, 2020, we hosted the 16th annual eXtyles User Group meeting (XUG), the very first XUG Online!

As well as being shoes-optional, this year’s XUG took place not only in Boston but also in Maine, Ontario, Virginia, Oxfordshire, and California … and that’s just the Inera team!

Read on to learn what happened at this year’s XUG and how you can access slide decks and video presentations from the online meeting.

And one more thing before we get started on our recap: ???? Happy 20th birthday to eXtyles! ????

Centering customer voices

This year’s XUG lineup included 13 guest speakers from 9 eXtyles customers on 3 different continents.

On day 1, in addition to a series of 5-minute “flash talk” videos from Brepols, Cell Press, Editora Cubo, the Norwegian Medical Association, and Pensoft, we heard from Bobbie Hanks and Anna Glover of USGS about managing a geographically distributed XML-based publication workflow.

Day 2 featured talks from Byron Breedlove of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Jacob Kendall-Taylor of JAMA about their (sometimes) different experiences of handling the surge in COVID-related article submissions that began in early 2020, while simultaneously transitioning to full-time remote work. We also heard from Serge Juillerat of ISO about a different kind of workflow transition, from publishing standards in ISOSTS to adopting NISO STS.

What’s new, what’s next, what’s in the details

It wouldn’t be XUG without all the latest news about eXtyles features, improvements, and upcoming innovations!

Liz Blake kicked things off with a big-picture overview of the last 20 years of eXtyles, including snapshots from the eXtyles UI of yore (not to mention the web design of in the year 2000). Liz’s talk also covered what’s new in eXtyles in 2020, including preprint citations, data citations, and Cleanup dialog enhancements; how development of eXtyles Arc drives development of “original recipe” eXtyles; and what’s coming up: enhanced Document Audit functionality, eXtyles Arc in the cloud, and eXtyles for 64-bit Office!

Jenny Seifert and Robin Dunford followed up this quick overview with a deeper dive into those new and upcoming eXtyles features, some of which you can also read about in our blog posts on preprint citations, data citations, improvements to the server version of eXtyles, and de-tabling of non-table content via the improved Cleanup dialog. Thanks also to everyone who, over the course of the meeting, suggested new and interesting potential uses for enhanced Document Audit!

Finally, we heard from Bill Fox about the latest Edifix developments, and from Veronica Showers at Atypon about our exciting collaboration on end-to-end workflow automation!

Practical tips for the eXtyles end user

While sessions on managing a distributed team and coping with surging submissions addressed big-picture workflow challenges, two concurrent sessions focused on the day-to-day use of eXtyles.

In her talk, Joni Dames outlined Inera’s top 5 tips for avoiding XML export errors. Our Support team also offers an in-depth half-day course on this crucial topic! Contact us to discuss setting up online training for your team.

On day 2, Sylvia Izzo Hunter led attendees on a whirlwind tour of 5 ways eXtyles can help you create accessible content. Check out our accessibility reading list for more!

We’ll be planning more user-focused webinars in the coming months. Have you joined our webinars mailing list?

Wrapping it all up

Nobody doesn’t like Bruce Rosenblum’s Industry Updates roundup, whether Bruce is behind a podium or on a Zoom screen.

Of course, this year’s talk covered the usual suspects: updates on JATS, BITS, and NISO STS; the new and exciting reference processing challenges of 2020; and the latest Unicode and JATS4R news. But for Inera as for the rest of the world, 2020 has been a year like no other, and Industry Updates was no exception.

Topics ranged from the lighthearted—Google Scholar’s reference parsing of cafeteria lunch menus, the state of the Unicode face-with-a-mask emoji ????—through the deeply personal. Bruce also described some of our collaborations with customers, since the advent of what was not yet known as COVID-19, to get new research published more quickly, more accurately, and more accessibly.

XUG Online: The bottom line

With travel and accommodation costs out of the picture, we hoped for an increase in attendees this year. What we didn’t expect was to see registration double from past XUG numbers and live attendance hover around 90% throughout the meeting. Online as in person, it turns out, our customers are engaged, thoughtful, and full of ideas! (We never doubted it.)

To everyone who attended, contributed, and/or gave us feedback about this year’s XUG: Thank you, as always, for helping us make XUG great!

P.S. It’s not too late!

If you registered for XUG, whether or not you attended the live event, you can access closed-captioned video recordings of all the sessions. (Edited chat transcripts are coming soon…) Check your inbox for an email with the link to our Vimeo channel, and if you haven’t received it, please get in touch with us!

If you didn’t register for XUG … you still can! Visit our On-Demand Video Registration page to sign up.