Redesigned PLOS Journals – now launched

On the eve of our tenth anniversary, we’re pleased to announce that the redesign of all PLOS journals is now live. The three goals of this initiative were to:

  1. Ensure that readers can quickly assess the relevance and importance of an article through a figure browser and highly visible Article-Level Metrics
  2. Improve site navigation to help users discover content more easily
  3. Launch a flexible platform from which to build out future innovations

This refresh offers users more effective ways to access and read content, updates the overall appearance of the sites and harmonizes them with our new PLOS look announced earlier this year.

Many of you will have noticed some ongoing enhancements to the journals this year, for example figures and Article-Level Metrics (ALM). You can expect similar developments to continue to roll out starting in early 2013 and into the future as we continue to adapt to meet user needs.

After extensive research into how researchers find and use content, we’ve focused our attention on refining and improving our article layout and functionality so that we can help you to locate relevant articles more quickly and enrich your reading experience. Here’s a short video, and a brief rundown of the new user features that you can see from today:

  • More prominent figures – featured throughout articles and search so that you can quickly determine if an article is relevant
  • Enhanced Discovery – Search now reflects our new expanded taxonomy of subject categories
  • Metrics Signposts – sub-sets of ALM data, provide at-a-glance measures of article reach and impact
  • Custom Saved Search – log in, enter your keywords and save, then receive new content that precisely meets your interests via email
  • Author data – clear presentation of affiliations/attribution for each author as well as grouped by institution
  • Abstract and Figure viewer – providing new ways for you to get around and find what matters
  • Faster navigation – persistent (so you never get lost) and floating (follows you down the page)
  • Clearer Tabs – easier to see and use, providing enriched article information

To find out more about our new features and get tips on navigating the new site please visit our updated Help page.

PLOS is taking advantage of the most powerful web technologies to improve our reader experience, promote Open Access and encourage conversation around the latest research to accelerate progress in science and medicine and lead a transformation in research communication.

We’re proud to have self-funded this project using revenue generated from our publishing business. It’s of prime importance for us as a non-profit that we give back to the researchers who publish with us and what better way to say thank you than with an improved journal experience.

Here’s what Kristen Ratan, PLOS’ Chief Products and Publications Officer, had to say about this project. “PLOS’ top priority is meeting the needs of our researcher community and the new sites focus on accessing and assessing the article content and data as quickly as possible. The enhanced publishing platform will also allow us to quickly deploy new functionality and take our reader experience to a whole new level.  We look forward to continuing to roll out improvements over the coming year and enriching our content still further”.

We welcome your feedback on our redesign in any one of a number of ways:  comment on this post; Twitter; Facebook; or just plain old fashioned email.

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12 Responses to Redesigned PLOS Journals – now launched

  1. Pingback: All PLOS Journals Have a New Look, Redesign Now Live | LJ INFOdocket

  2. On the PLoS ONE main page, one funtionality that I find missing from the previous design is the option to directly click on subdiscipline areas, e.g. “infectious diseases” or “microbiology” (my areas), in order to narrow down the articles of interest. I would find it useful if this functionality would return.

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    • Damien Meyer says:

      I totally agree what Matthias said. To be able to narrow search with direct selection of the field would be more than useful

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  3. Pham Van Ca, Ph.D., M.D., Assoc. Professor in Clinical Microbiology says:

    On the PLoS ONE main page, one funtionality that I find missing from the previous design is the option to directly click on subdiscipline areas, e.g. “infectious and tropical diseases” or “microbiology”, in order to narrow down the articles of interest. I would find it useful if this functionality would return.

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  4. Pham Van Ca, Ph.D., M.D., Assoc. Professor in Clinical Microbiology says:

    On the PLoS ONE main page, “infectious and tropical diseases” or “microbiology”, are the articles of interest.

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    • Pham Van Ca, Ph.D., M.D., Assoc. Professor in Clinical Microbiology says:

      I would find it useful if this functionality would say about infectious, tropical diseases and microbiology in the PLoS ONE main page.

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  5. Thomas W says:

    Im not 100% sure that this is an effect of the new look, but why are the email alerts for PLoS One now only sorted into few very general subjects. Is there any way to get the old ordering back, since I dont want to browse through 100s of irrelevant papers every week.

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    • Crawford R says:

      Totally agree with Thomas. The old version of the weekly emails was one of the best ‘filtering’ method available. For example, I tended to browse the “Computer and IS” section every week; around 20-30 articles depending on output. Now I only have the option of opening up one of 14 sub-themes (or worse – all 14!) as seperate web pages – and on which many of the same titles are likley to appear, or going down to the few 100 articles ‘sorted’ by publication date…

      The ‘old’ approach represented a much better balance between the ‘search vs browse’ tension in any on-going article monitoring task…

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  6. F. Hartig says:

    I find the new layout great, its very clean, easy to navigate and puts metrics and comments at a prominent place.

    One suggestion though: showing the number of citations and comments in the main navigation bar (the one with article, comments, metrics, … ) would prevent users to click on comments just to find out that there are no comments.

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  7. Audrey Geffen says:

    Navigation in the new layout is very cumbersome for browsing new articles. The increasingly narrow topic fields mean that we have to jump back and forth between tabs to try to find all of the relevant papers. In many cases the same papers come up over and over (to a greater extent than they did in the older version of topics). It is now more likely to miss something interesting

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  8. Pingback: PLOS journals sites win Interactive Media Award | The Official PLOS Blog

  9. Pingback: The Beauty of Scientific Papers, The End of PDFs | PLOS Tech

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