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Elsevier Launches new Article of the Future Prototypes


Discipline-specific, three-pane article design in line with the needs of the research community

Amsterdam - Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today the launch of a variety of new Article of the Future prototypes. The new discipline-specific, three-pane article design sets a new standard for both the presentation and the content of the scientific article. The prototypes, available in seven disciplines, are based on feedback from researchers with whom Elsevier cooperated throughout the development of the Article of the Future format. The improved format will begin to be applied to SciVerse ScienceDirect towards the end of 2011.

An earlier version of the Article of the Future format was introduced for Cell Press journals in 2009. The format was highly appreciated by the users, leading to the 2010 PROSE Award for Excellence in Biological & Life Sciences. In order to further improve the format beyond Biological and Life Sciences, Elsevier partnered with 150 researchers in a variety of disciplines to get insight into their information needs and preferences. Based on their feedback, three guiding principles for the new design emerged: readability, discoverability and extensibility - a layout that accommodates discipline-specific content and features as well as future changes and additions, while considerably improving online readability.

“Based on the feedback that we’ve received from users during the test phase, I’m delighted to be able to say the new format is an enormous improvement,” said IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Vice President Content Innovation. “The redesigned article page has three panes side by side, and what is contained in each pane will differ depending on the subject matter. The middle pane integrates the full text with new and interactive content, the left one displays a table of contents for easy navigation, and the right pane contains more applications and discipline-specific tools. This design allows authors to add their own discipline-specific and rich content such as interactive plots, chemical compounds, or interactive maps. And while adding new valuable content elements, we also wanted the articles’ readability to be perfect, all in a format that is very intuitive to researchers.”

Professor Mike Stephenson of the British Geological Survey and Editor in Chief of the journal Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology was closely involved in the development process of the new format. He said: “The Article of the Future format contains all that’s normally found in a published article of today, but with immensely more content, functionality, interactivity and appeal. Furthermore, an article can be used as the centre of a ‘web’ of other connections that a researcher can follow. This concept of easy and well connected links, combined with improved content, readability and navigation, truly enhances the reader experience.”

The improved Article of the Future format is one of several enhancements Elsevier is introducing to SciVerse ScienceDirect. APIs have been released to allow for applications to be built using ScienceDirect content among other products within the SciVerse suite, and considerable developments have been made to search and discovery functionalities across article content. All of these enhancements are made to enhance the research workflow, with the Article of the Future project specifically focusing on improving the content and presentation of the individual article.

More information about the prototypes is available on

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About SciVerse ScienceDirect
SciVerse ScienceDirect contains over a quarter of the world’s full text scientific, technical and medical (STM) peer-reviewed articles - managed by renown editors, written by respected authors and read by researchers from around the globe. Elsevier’s extensive full-text collection covers authoritative titles from the core scientific literature with more than ten million articles available online. Coverage includes over 2,500 journal titles published by Elsevier with dynamic linking to journals from approximately 2,000 STM publishers through CrossRef. Additionally, SciVerse ScienceDirect contains an expanding library of online major reference works, handbooks, book series and over 10,000 eBooks in all fields of science seamlessly interlinked with primary research referenced in journal articles. SciVerse ScienceDirect is part of the SciVerse suite of search and discovery offerings.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions include SciVerse ScienceDirect, SciVerse Scopus, Reaxys, MD Consult and Nursing Consult, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite and MEDai’s Pinpoint Review, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).


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