Elsevier’s “Article of the Future” seems to be the blogging topic du semaine. Take a look at their press release and the two prototypes demonstrating the concept. According to the press release, key features are:
*A hierarchical presentation of text and figures – readers can elect to drill down through the layers based on their current task in the scientific workflow and their level of expertise and interest.
*Bulleted article highlights and graphical abstract – readers can quickly gain an understanding of the paper’s main message and navigate directly to specific sub-sections of the results and figures.
*The graphical abstract encourages browsing, promotes interdisciplinary scholarship and helps readers identify more quickly which papers are most relevant to their research interests.
Another planned feature is a short audio interview of the primary author with the journal editor. This is all very eye catching and whiz bangy. Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb asks whether this is “ground-breaking stuff or yesterday’s news repackaged.” He links to various blog opinions, which range from “another key development in an interesting transitionary period for both the publishing and media sectors” to “a collection of everything that is possible to do now, but for which there is no commercial demand.”
Kent Anderson of The Scholarly Kitchen says it “looks like an article from the past, with some embedded hyperlinks, some AJAX tabs, two basic social media elements, and not much else.” Paul Carvill at the Online Journalism Blog calls the prototypes “underwhelming, cumbersome and shortsighted.”