Evaluating Project Proposals

This section includes considerations for projects utilizing Manifold’s Iterative conception. Projects following the Open-Access or Enhanced paths will, by and large, track with the publisher’s standard production process, though likely exceptions will be noted here.

Iterative projects will enjoy two distinct workflows in the iterative and dissemination phases, respectively: The iterative phase aligns with a project’s development, which normally occurs beyond the view of the reader or publisher, and the dissemination phase aligns with the processes the publisher currently employs in the publication of final print or electronic works—the versions or record. See the workflow map for a visual outline. Because the dissemination phase is a known quantity the workflow of the iterative phase will take the focus here:

Iterative Phase Considerations

There are no expectations that early iterations or draft materials be polished. While some editorial discretion is suggested during this phase, especially as regard the kinds and amounts of materials to be included, this time in the project’s life is experimental, reveling in the messiness and potential of creation. Work with authors to firm up a sense of timeline and how often materials should be expected. Now is also the time to ensure all parties have a good sense of expectations for the rights required to post materials, in keeping with the publisher’s standards, as well as the nature and quantity of metadata both parties hope to provide (see the text and resource metadata sections for more).

The general expectation is that as a project evolves through various iterations it will naturally reach a point when it is ready for a publisher’s standard peer-review and production processes. Discuss with your author what the project will look like when it is ready to make that jump. It is worth noting that Iterative projects at that stage will benefit from the same levels of editorial development and evaluation as the publisher’s established publishing program.


Manifold is not designed to allow for minor or continual revision of texts (i.e., “versioning”). While the platform is capable of supplanting one text for another and maintaining fidelity with existing annotations and the placement of resources through “reingestion,” such adjustments are not to be done lightly, with texts meant to illustrate distinct stages of development.

It is also important to recognize that Manifold is not a custom solution for each new project. While Manifold has a very robust set of capabilities, there are limitations, resulting from both decisions made about the system’s underlying architecture as well as from each publisher’s editorial viewpoint. Publishers and authors should be sure to discuss expectations early to ensure everyone is on the same page.


The author proposal form provides authors a list of items to respond to. As part of that discussion it will also be useful to make sure it is clear to all parties who will be responsible for the following:

  • securing resources and authoring associated metadata
  • clearing rights for materials in copyright
  • placing and curating resources through system interfaces