Back in July of 2009, I wrote a blog post about The Article of the Future (ta-da!) that Cell Press and Elsevier were working on. I thought it was time for an update. The Article of the Future is available as a prototype now, and Cell and Elsevier have won an award for it. Here are some examples of the changes they’ve made.

I thought about this because I just received an email from IEEE, a major engineering publisher. IEEE is touting their pilot project, called The Next-generation IEEE Research Article. (I love these grand names!)

I think most STEM publishers are trying to make the HTML versions of their articles more robust. Most of them now offer links to:

  • the sections of the paper,
  • supplementary data,
  • multimedia (if available),
  • related works,
  • and citing articles.

Open Access publishers have especially embraced this new format. See these articles at WileyOpenAccess, PLoS, and BioMed Central for examples.

If the HTML version of an article is more ‘alive’ than a PDF, will researchers start using the HTML version more often? Will researchers start keeping hundreds of bookmarks to articles, rather than storing hundreds of PDF documents on their computers? Given the number of questions the librarians here receive about products like Papers and Mendeley, the PDF is still king.

Do you think researchers will move to the new (ta-da!) style of research article?

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