I have previously noted in a prior post that the journal Cell has started tromping around in Nature Publishing Group's traditional territory. Namely, pontificating mightily on the nature, state and future of scientific publishing. At the time, Cell was opining on the issue of least publishable unit.
Today I have learned via an email from some chap who signs himself as "Senior Consultant, Public Relations and Word of Mouth communications" working for Kaizo*, that Cell and their publisher Elsevier are up to some new tricks. They have proposed a new format for The Online Article of the Future (please read in that echoing big-voice from AM radio).
The root site for the Cell Beta Prototype article is here. The main idea here seems to be:
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.
Well, that and just trying to make the dang thing readable on the computer screen- something at which the pdf and traditional HTML versions of the article do not excel.
The site also offers two prototypes for your viewing pleasure DearReader.
I must admit I am impressed and intrigued. I like the tabbed browsing of sections and the figures which can be cycled from the same window.
*I just find the idea of a whole PR sub-industry designed to stir up buzz to be sort of interesting. Astro-turfing? or just using the Web2.0z do you think?