In 2018, when the collaboration between zsis) and HeadStarterz started, the short version of the name concealed the "Journal of Swiss and International Tax Law". It was a digital journal that could be accessed exclusively via the research portal Swisslex.
The journal increasingly lacked authors and content. As a result, naturally, the readership also declined. This resulted in a downward spiral that was difficult to stop. Where there is a lack of readers, it is difficult to attract authors. And conversely, without content, one build up a readership. For the publisher of the journal, the Institute for Swiss and International Tax Law, it was also not clear, due to the form of publication, what reach the contents of the journal achieved via Swisslex.
Together with the client, we defined the following goals for the project:
In short, it needed a new concept and a solid business case for a sustainable future strategy of the magazine.
HeadStarterz was entrusted with the strategy development, the graphic design and the technical implementation of the project. Since the launch, HeadStarterz has also been supporting zsis) in terms of editorial content and project management.
In a first step, the journal was transformed into a "centre". Since the beginning of 2019, zsis) has consequently stood for "Centre for Swiss and International Tax Law". This enabled the conception of a publication platform that goes beyond the classic journal character. At www.zsis.ch, a comprehensive platform for the publication of tax law content in various text and image formats was created within three months in an extraordinarily ambitious project. zsis) has been online since 1 April 2019.
The editor has consciously decided to invest in her own publication platform and to operate it as a self-publisher. This has many advantages and makes it possible to achieve the project goals mentioned above.
The content on the zsis) is published in 5 different formats:
The classic articles are thus ideally complemented and clearly separated for users. In the "Documentation" section, zsis) offers the high-quality materials from the editor's seminars. The detailed documents of the individual workshops from the seminars can be purchased by interested users. An offer that enjoys great popularity.
All content is also allocated to 1 or 2 tax law topics. The platform is divided into nine topics, which serve as a menu for users to navigate the platform. For example, experts in corporate tax law can quickly find the content relevant to them (see image above).
A central element in the strategy for zsis) was to increase its attractiveness for authors. However, the brand was not very well known and renowned authors preferred to publish with the competition. This problem was addressed in the strategy development as follows:
zsis) is a purely online publication. As such, it has to contend with issues of trustworthiness – especially in the legal market. The prejudice that online publications provide inferior content is countered on zsis) as follows.
HeadStarterz provides editorial support for zsis). We work closely with the editorial director Prof. Dr. iur. Luzius Cavelti from the University of Basel. In addition to working on the content of the articles, we support the editors in the strategic development of the platform, manage the technical maintenance, communicate with the authors, layout the articles and manage the online shop. zsis) is a project that has grown very close to our hearts.
The success of the platform shows that the product is on the right track. Here are a few current figures (July 2021):