Putting on the Ritz

Aug 17, 2010
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This blog post is about two weeks late!

I know, I know! If blogs don’t get updated regularly readers lose interest and then what is the point of the blog? And yes it has been months since our previous, indeed our first post on this blog. Our only excuse is that we have been busy. Very busy. Just how busy will become clear over the next weeks to months because there are some large changes coming to the way we present Protocols, both the look and the functionality. Today (well two weeks ago) set live the first step.

This first step is an overhaul of the way that Protocols from Nature Protocols appear on our site. From the beginning of August our articles have started appearing in a swanky new template. To see what I’m talking about go over to the table of contents of issue nine of our current volume (volume 5) and take a look at any of the Protocols there.

So what’s new?

Well the first thing you will see is that instead of having the whole protocol visible to you in one big chunk all the sections of the Protocol are presented as expandable sections on the page. If you want to see the Anticipated results just click on it and it will expand out for you. We hope this will make navigating around our Protocols much easier and to help with that further there is a navigation bar at the top of each section.

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With the Procedure of the Protocol, which after all is the really important part, we have taken this one step further so that all of the various sections within the procedure are themselves expandable. You can expand the whole Procedure or just the part of it you need at any one time.

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There is plenty more in this new template too.

The references for example are not only linked to from their citations in the text but in the reference list the context in which they were cited is shown with a link back to the text.

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There is a new figure and table viewer

There are new elements on the right hand side of the screen showing things like the most popular of our Protocols.

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The user comments attached to the Protocol are much easier to see.

The improvements to our presentation isn’t finished yet. We will be adding some additional functionality over the next months but we’ll tell you about those when they happen. There are also things that aren’t perfect yet, for examples the boxes currently are treated like figures rather the section of text that they should be; that will change. However it would be great to here what you think about this first step in our redesign. That’s what the comments to this blog are for. What other functionality would you like to see?

Nature Protocols aren’t alone in undergoing this change, all the Nature journals are beginning to use this style. If you haven’t see it yet it is well worth going over to Nature Chemical Biology to see what they have done displaying chemical compounds.

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Would you like to see that on Nature Protocols?

Again, in the coming months we will be putting not only our new Protocols in this template but updating our archive of over 1,400 Protocols as well.

As I said, please let us know what you think and what more you would like to see.

Next time: “_Is it a Method or is it a Protocol?_”:http://blogs.nature.com/natprot/2010/08/recipes_for_research.html

Chris Surridge

Chief Editor, Nature Plants

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