Platform Migration: A Model Case Study for Societies

The American Association of Immunologists moved more than 100 years of journal content from Highwire Press to the Silverchair platform following a well-organized and orchestrated plan that involved a network of third-party providers working with a small in-house team and a professional project manager. Maverick was selected to provide ongoing project management support of the migration and, in that capacity, coordinated the work of the other stakeholders to ensure it progressed on schedule and with no disruption to service.

For the 7-month duration of the migration, Maverick worked with the members of the team to ensure a timely launch of the platform:

  • Silverchair Platform transition team interacted on a regular basis to progress the plan and also respond to individual issues that arose.
  • Data Conversion Labratory (DCL) assessed the archive during initial negotiations and converted the files for migration.
  • Knowledgeworks Global, Ltd., facilitated the development of the file format and content transfer.
  • AdButler online advertising server ensured that ads could be served and viewed on the new platform.
  • AAI in-house team was a small but mighty force including editorial, IT, and management.

AAI emphasized the need for a strong focus on data, with bonus points for having someone on staff who knows XML:

“We got a head start on data conversions by engaging Data Conversion Laboratory to begin archive assessment while platform negotiations were still underway.”

Throughout the process the team checked in weekly to assess progress and identify potential issues. The result was a successful migration, on schedule, with no down time (and minimal angst). Here are some key takeaway points:

  • Choose your partners carefully; working with a professional project manager is a must—it promotes accountability and keeps the project on schedule.
  • Keep your team of decision makers small to allow for quick turnarounds.
  • Set realistic expectations to avoid getting derailed.
  • Avoid customization to help steer clear of expensive overruns.
  • Make your list, and check it twice…

A very complex migration can be streamlined by building in milestones that ensure a smooth transition. Other small societies considering a journal platform could benefit by following these recommendations.

For more information, contact: Catherine Wattenberg, Director of Publications ( or Rebecca Rinehart, CEO, Maverick Publishing Specialists (