“Enabling our authors to share their high-quality, peer-reviewed articles and providing them with the best service is at the heart of what Dove Medical Press, as a part of the Taylor & Francis group, offers. We are therefore always searching for new methods to help our authors reach new audiences and increase the impact of their research. Launching our new WeChat function is the latest in this offering and we are delighted to see its launch.”

Angela Jones, Dove Medical Press General Manager




This case study will discuss how Dove Medical Press Ltd uses Charlesworth’s proprietary platform WeChat Gateway to deepen its author experience and increase communication and satisfaction levels amongst its Chinese authors, while delivering efficiencies for the publisher. 


Learn how Dove has harnessed Charlesworth’s WeChat Gateway to benefit:


  • Authorship: With over 52% of all Dove submissions being from Chinese authors, providing an excellent service using WeChat is a necessity in order to communicate with these authors, drive author satisfaction levels and turn current authors into advocates for Dove. 
  • Brand engagement: Since end 2018, Dove has seen a growth rate of 107% in the number of Chinese academics following their WeChat account and engaging with their brand. The WeChat Gateway allows publishers to understand how followers engage with their brand and content, and how they can shape their content strategy to deliver follower growth.  
  • Workflow efficiencies: Authors can now receive notifications about their submitted article in WeChat or self-check; authors know their article’s status at every step of the submission journey. The Charlesworth WeChat Gateway delivers customer service efficiencies by handling inquiries directly through a chatbot in the WeChat environment. The bot now handles in excess of 2,500 monthly inquiries from authors regarding their paper status, reducing the workload for Dove editors and customer services staff. 


WeChat: The Chinese Super-app


With over 1.15 billion active users, the WeChat super-app presents a tremendous opportunity for STM publishers looking to grow or extend their China footprint. It provides a channel to communicate with their author and reviewer community, allowing them to push personalised notifications 24/7 directly on to this community’s mobile devices. 


WeChat usage is an integral part of the academic author’s daily routine, and the ability to promote your brand and communicate directly to your followers through WeChat is critical to Chinese academic market penetration.



WeChat Gateway Services – deepening communication and introducing customer service efficiencies 


In September 2018 Dove integrated its proprietary manuscript submission system into Charlesworth’s WeChat Gateway platform. With 52% of all Dove submissions coming from Chinese authors, the main driver for this integration was to provide a better service to Dove authors post article submission. By focussing on providing an excellent service as part of their returnee author strategy, Dove seeks to ensure that the author returns and submits their next paper to them. The integration allows Dove to better support their Chinese authors by providing paper status updates 24/7 directly to their personal mobile devices via the WeChat Gateway chatbot, which enables an immediate two-way communication stream, creates positive engagement throughout the peer review workflow, and negates the need for their authors to contact customer services.  


The WeChat Gateway was developed by Charlesworth as a stand-alone SaaS product. The Gateway acts as a data ingest hub capable of connecting with multiple external systems via API. The Gateway then transmits this third-party incoming data via API to messaging apps, currently WeChat. 


The Gateway receives article status data via API from Dove’s Content Reactor manuscript submission system, personalises the data and then transmits it to Dove’s WeChat account, which can then be viewed by the author on their mobile devices. Gateway is a flexible tool which allows the selection of multiple paper status milestones; during implementation Dove selected four key milestones that they wanted to communicate to the author in the form of push (system pushes the message out) and pull (author makes inquiry) messages. 


Angela Jones, General Manager New Zealand, Dove Medical Press Ltd, comments, 


“The implementation demonstrates our ongoing commitment to enriching communication with our academic authors based in China. Our marketing team can now assess how our WeChat followers engage with our content, which better informs our customer service strategy in the region. Growth of our WeChat followers and growth in the number of our authors using our new paper status update function is a long-term investment for us.”


The ability for Dove authors to now use WeChat to self-check paper status in real time was promoted via an announcement on Dove’s Chinese website, via email to their Chinese opt-in database, and by posting the service launch on Dove’s WeChat account. 



Positive Benefits within Dove peer-review workflow 


Since launch, Dove have seen positive benefits for their Chinese authors in the areas below: 


Customer service and workflow efficiencies: 

  • The ability for authors to self-check the status of their paper in real time on WeChat represents a marked reduction in the number of queries being received into Dove’s customer service and editorial department. 

  • The Gateway has provided a more effective and faster communication system than previously, as authors no longer have to wait for a customer service email response. 

  • The average number of monthly paper status inquiries via the WeChat Gateway is now in excess of 2,500 per month.



Deeper follower engagement and satisfaction throughout the peer review process: 

92 Dove journals are connected to WeChat Gateway, and across all these journals the number of inquiries (pull notifications) on paper status has exceeded 30,000 with just under 2,000 inquiries made in December 2019 alone. 

  • Dove carried out an author survey to gather feedback; the results of the survey were extremely positive, with authors appreciating the ability to check the status of their paper instantaneously.


Angela Jones, General Manager New Zealand, Dove Medical Press Ltd, comments,


 “If our authors are being provided with a quicker, easier way of getting updates about their paper that is my objective fulfilled.”



Follower growth: 


  • A 107% growth in Dove WeChat followers from September 2018 to January 2020 since introducing the title status check feature.


Informed data on follower engagement: 

  • Dove title status inquiry user statistics are collected via API by WeChat Gateway and accessed through the Gateway’s WeChat Publisher Analytics dashboard. Additionally, the WeChat Gateway publisher dashboard displays WeChat content engagement, user profile and behaviour statistics data sets. 

  • Current data capture on Tencent’s WeChat app is limited so developing WeChat Gateway to capture historic data provides Dove with the tools to quickly analyse data sets, helping to inform their China strategy.   


About The Charlesworth Group WeChat Account Management and China Marketing Services

The Charlesworth Group are the only China-based full-service digital marketing agent that specialises in STM publishing in China. With over 20 years of experience, we offer sales representation, bespoke marketing consultancy projects, standard and tailor-made digital marketing packages, including WeChat set-up and account management, and offline marketing. Charlesworth is also a leading provider of language editing and author services through its Charlesworth Author Services division. 

For further information on Charlesworth China services, please visit: https://www.cwauthors.com/publisherspartnership

LinkedIn: The Charlesworth Group

Facebook: Charlesworth Author Services 


About Dove Medical Ltd 

Dove Medical Press Ltd is part of the Taylor & Francis Group, the Academic Publishing Division of Informa PLC.

We specialize in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine.

Dove Medical Press was founded in 2003 with the objective of combining the highest editorial standards with the 'best of breed' new publishing technologies. We have offices in Manchester and London in the United Kingdom, representatives in Princeton, New Jersey in the United States, and our editorial offices are in Auckland, New Zealand. 


For further information visit: www.dovepress.com.



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