This case study describes how collaboration in Cronycle increased productivity and quality in a professional curation team.
“Cronycle has provided the Europa team with the ability to effectively collaborate as a collective, and has enabled us to work much more efficiently.”Iain Frame, Senior Editor, Europa Directory Research
About Taylor and Francis
Routledge is a publishing imprint of the Taylor and Francis Group, the academic publishing division of Informa plc. Taylor and Francis produces unique, trusted content and spreads knowledge and promotes discovery by providing academics and professionals with a platform to share ideas and realise their potential. A 35-member team of editors and researchers, based in the UK and India, all of whom use Cronycle, work on Routledge’s Europa suite of products. In print, these include: The Europa World Year Book (first published in 1926), which is renowned as one of the world’s leading reference works and covers political and economic information in more than 250 countries and territories, and the complementary nine-volume Regional Surveys of the World series; The International Who’s Who (first published in 1935), which is the source for hard-to-find biographical details on over 25,000 of the world’s most prominent and influential personalities; and The Europa World of Learning (first published in 1947), which is unique in offering information over the entire spectrum of academic activity and covers not only universities and colleges, but also research institutes, learned societies, libraries and archives, and museums and art galleries. All three products have online counterparts www.europaworld.com, www.worldwhoswho.com and www.worldoflearning.com, which share Europa’s traditional commitment to an objective and rigorous approach to content and style.
Informa plc is a leading business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and events business, operating in the Knowledge and Information Economy. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100.
A challenge with collaboration
Prior to adopting Cronycle, the Europa editors and researchers had a variety of different ways in which they would discover, store and share information. These methods were often inconsistent, with many smaller teams or sub-groups of researchers operating independently of others. It was difficult to effectively collaborate as a collective, especially given the geographic separation and time difference between colleagues based in the UK and India. In many cases, content that was potentially useful to more than one colleague was not being shared at all. We had thousands of different sources, accessed through varying methods and stored in different locations/systems, and very few colleagues would have had an idea of which sources other team members were using.
Furthermore, we became aware as a team that while between us we were pulling in a lot of information, much of what was being discovered was not necessarily being acted upon, or indeed being read by the colleague to whom it was most relevant. We also needed to become more targeted, and indeed more selective, in the information we were seeing and Cronycle has enabled us to do just this.
Team work & greater relevance
“Our researchers are now presented with fewer articles to look at and which provide information of greater relevance to their work.”Iain Frame, Senior Editor, Europa Directory Research
In terms of fitting into our workflow, Cronycle has made things very simple for us, and allowed us to apply a consistent method of working across our wider team. Researchers can check their Feeds each morning and by pinning articles to Boards this enables everyone to share and store information much more easily (and more quickly).
Tagging and commenting on articles provide effective ways to convey important details about pieces of news to any other member of the Europa team without the need to maintain separate systems, or to get bogged down using other methods of communicating (such as email). This is particularly helpful as for at least half of the working day our teams in the UK and India would not overlap in office hours. Being able to sort or filter both Feeds and articles pinned to Boards by a number of different criteria also helps our users to improve the relevance of the content that they are looking at. For example, instead of reading 100 separate articles and only finding two that are useful, our researchers are now presented with fewer articles to look at and which provide information of greater relevance to their work.
Higher curation productivity and quality
As a result of spending less time looking at information that isn’t relevant to them, our researchers and editors have more time available to update the content in our products, which in turn makes the products more attractive and useful to our customers. There has also been a noticeable upturn in both our productivity and the quality, and currency, of the information contained within all three of our major products.
“There has also been a noticeable upturn in both our productivity and the quality, and currency, of the information.”Iain Frame, Senior Editor, Europa Directory Research
Cronycle has provided the Europa team with the ability to effectively collaborate as a collective, and has enabled us to work much more efficiently. The platform has given us the tools to improve our information gathering and sharing, and has empowered our team members with increased awareness and insight into their colleagues’ sources of information and areas of research interest.