Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Elsevier's Journal of The Future

Journal publisher Elsevier has announced a beta project to re-think the journal article. In collaboration with their journal Cell, the company's innovation team has set up two beta sites that solicit feedback on how technology can improve the experience of both the journal contributor and the consumer.

is the world's largest publisher of scientific and medical content and its results from what they describe as the 'journal of the future' will be watched closely by subscribers and competitors.

The concept attempts to make impressive use of current technology to aid the navigation of the journal article content, to provide more graphical and multimedia content and enable better and more effective linking to related content.

In summary, there are some of the features the publisher notes on the Cell beta site:
  • A hierarchical presentation of text and figures so that readers can elect to drill down through the layers of content based on their level of expertise and interest. This organizational structure is a significant departure from the linear-based organization of a traditional print-based article in incorporating the core text and supplemental material within a single unified structure.
  • A graphical abstract allows readers to quickly gain an understanding of the main take-home message of the paper. The graphical abstract is intended to encourage browsing, promote interdisciplinary scholarship and help readers identify more quickly which papers are most relevant to their research interests.
  • Research highlights provide a bulleted list of the key results of the article.
  • Author-Affiliation highlighting makes it easy to see an author’s affiliations and all authors from the same affiliation.
  • A figure that contains clickable areas so that it can be used as a navigation mechanism to directly access specific sub-sections of the results and figures.
  • Integrated audio and video let authors present the context of their article via an interview or video presentation and allow animations to be displayed more effectively.
  • The Experimental Procedures section contains alternate views allowing readers to see a summary or the full details necessary to replicate the experiment.
  • A new approach to displaying figures allows the reader to identify quickly which figures they are interested in and then drill down through related supplemental figures. All supplemental figures are displayed individually and directly linked to the main figure to which they are related.
  • Real-time reference analyses provide a rich environment to explore the content of the article via the list of citations.
Here is the link to the beta version of the journal itself. (Cell Beta).


David Marlin said...


This is very cool - thanks for pointing it out. Do you know if the feedback will be publicly available?

Anonymous said...

I think the newspapers of the future are going to be hologram-like; the projector will be smaller than an iPod; won't need Internet; can read as projected text OR holographic images (can be scary - think of what goes on in this world); advertisers will make ads FUN ... what do you think? Publishers of any sort need to act on this technology now.