Next stage development of

its publishing infrastructure

17 February 2022
Jean-Sébastien Caux
Institute of Physics
University of Amsterdam

Plan of the talk

What is it?

A complete publishing portal
(from preprint to metadata curation)

Who runs it?

Professional scientists
(is and will remain grassroots)

What does it offer?

  • Journals
  • Commenting
  • Metadata services


  • Openness
  • Quality

What does it aim to achieve?

A complete reform of publishing at all levels

  • Implement Genuine Open Access
    two-way: free for readers, free for authors
  • Implement a healthier business model
    • strict editorial/financial decoupling
    • no profit-making on the back of scientists
    • consortial model; not based on APCs
  • Modernize the refereeing procedure
    • open; more credit to referees
    • streamline post-publication feedback
  • Reform impact assessment


  • SciPost Physics
  • SciPost Physics Core
  • SP Lecture Notes
  • SP Proceedings
  • SP Codebases

1100 publications
as of now

Best practice examples

  • Peer-witnessed refereeing
  • Cost-slashing consortial business model
  • Community-driven
  • Open infrastructure

Editorial workflow

SciPost's business model


(though I prefer metals)
  • no APCs, no subscriptions [Platinum]
  • fully not-for-profit operations [Palladium]
  • costs: about €600 per publication 
    A fraction of the current norm!
  • consortial model: donations
     (inspirations: arXiv, ...)


Latest Virtual General Meeting (2022)

SciPost's infrastructure

Based exclusively on Free Software

Tech stack:

All our systems are built from scratch.

We leverage and contribute to FOSS.

  • Django [Python web framework]
  • Postgresql [database engine]
  • Vue.js HTMX [frontend tech]
  • Bootstrap [frontend styling]
  • MathJax [LaTeX javascript engine]
  • GitLab [hub @]
  • ... lots more, see


Browsable API

Software repo hosting




Community discussions


Project SciPostPI

(🙏 NWO)

  • improve navigation and UX
  • enable broader user base
  • improve and automate workflows
  • improve comms facilities
  • improve links with external services
  • expand API services
  • improve search

Job opening

Know anybody? Get in touch!

Quick demo of current developments

Final thought

Open Access Publishing is like Linux

Parallels are evident:

  • It's the better OS, but "less easy" to use
  • It's competing against huge corporations...
  • ... who are experts at customer "lock-in"
  • It's a fragmented community
  • It's only adopted by a minority, despite the compelling technological, privacy, flexibility, customizability, and... cost advantages

The SciPost Team

J-S CauxFounder; developer
Joost van MamerenSecretary
Jasper van WezelTreasurer
Paula PerezAdmin (editorial)
Sergio E. Tapias ArzeAdmin (editorial)
Jan Willem WijnenSponsors
Thijs de GoedeAssistant (editorial)
Ana SilvaAssistant (editorial)
George KatsikasProduction