It’s been a year in the making, and now it’s here: the brand-new, integrated Science.org! For the very first time, you’ll find everything Science in the same place—not just research articles and news content but also blogs, custom publishing, information on careers, awards, and prizes, and more.
Designed by the Atypon Design Studio in partnership with the design team at AAAS, the new Literatum site features fully zoomable and accessible visuals, an integrated site search, and greater visibility for all the content that makes Science one of the world’s top 2 journals! For AAAS, the primary mission is communicating science, and that mission has been the focus of the partnership with Atypon from the very beginning.
We sat down with Chris Reid, Director, Product and Publishing Development at AAAS, to talk about the new Science site, the migration process, and working with our teams at Atypon. This blog post is based on that conversation as well as on conversations with Atypon colleagues involved in designing and building the new Science.org.
“Showcasing our content”
Our partners at AAAS are most excited about two aspects of the new Literatum site: the way it’s set up to showcase everything they publish, and the flexibility and control they now have over their content and how it’s displayed. “Historically,” Chris told us, “all this content has been tucked away in hidden corners, so it’s exciting that we’re showing it off and bringing it into full view. We can also show off what makes each journal special.”
In addition, there’s a significant benefit to AAAS staff in terms of simplifying their workflows: with all their content on just one platform with one set of credentials, where changes and updates are easily handled in-house, there’s no longer a need to learn a variety of interfaces or to make redundant changes across several platforms.
As part of the migration process, AAAS carried out extensive and successful user testing. Preparing for migration also offered an opportunity for AAAS to review long-standing workflows and processes and work with Atypon’s experienced team to optimize them for the realities of 2021, including removing dual posting of some news articles and distributed teams.
Straight to the version of record
Users note that the new site is beautiful as well as easier to navigate. One big concern for AAAS was to eliminate the disconnect between the high quality of their print publications and some elements of previous online versions. On the new site, visual elements can be zoomed and panned, and interactive visuals and videos are fully integrated with other content. Literatum also makes features easier to find, thanks not only to consolidating and integrating all the different types of content on one platform, but also to Literatum’s AI-powered capabilities—which will also make linking and highlighting interrelationships between pieces and types of content richer in the future, such as using related news articles to promote a journal article, and vice versa.
Another benefit for users: Whatever their route of entry to a news article, they will now find a single version with a single DOI, rather than having to choose from several links to different versions. Readers in China—a significant and growing audience for AAAS, and the most likely group to use site search—will especially benefit from the new site’s reinvigorated search function.
“In a word, fantastic!”
We asked Chris what it was like to work with Atypon on designing and building the new Science.org site. “It’s been a really great experience,” he said. “You need a very strong partner to work with on a migration of this size and complexity, one with experience and expertise, and that’s what we found in Atypon.”
He stressed that the experience has been “much more like a partnership than a vendor relationship,” and noted that the design process was very much a partnership between the Atypon Design Studio and in-house design team at AAAS: “They worked very well together and have the same overall design philosophy.”
AAAS also worked with a range of other teams at Atypon during the design, build, and migration process, and found the same sense of partnership and collaboration. “Fundamentally,” Chris told us, “we had a pretty high ask and a short timeline to achieve it, during a period of great disruption, and we did it. That’s a testament to the partnership and the hand-in-hand work with Atypon.”
We asked Himanshu Jhamb, VP, Strategic Accounts, for an Atypon perspective on the AAAS migration. “As far as challenging migrations go, this one was right up there,” he told us. “In addition to the tight timeline, the Atypon and AAAS teams were also under a lot of pressure to deliver a high-quality site for such prestigious publications. We could not have achieved this goal without the close working relationship between our teams, particularly during the last few high-pressure weeks of the project.”
Looking forward to the future of Science
For Chris and his colleagues at AAAS, some of the main benefits they anticipate come not just from the move to a common new platform but from their partnership with Atypon and the wider community they’ve joined in the process. “Scholarly publishing is increasingly challenging for smaller publishers,” Chris noted, “but we can all thrive through collaboration and partnerships.”
For authors in AAAS journals, the paramount consideration is How do we best communicate science? The new, integrated Science.org offers authors “an opportunity to really show off what they’ve done,” as well as maximizing the discoverability of their work—both for readers already on the site, via linking relationships and site search, and on the wider internet—and ensuring that it’s accessible to all kinds of readers. Visitors to the site will not only find all elements of an article (text, images, video, data sets, and so on) together, but can also locate all content on their topic of interest through a single search, whether that content takes the form of research articles, news articles, blog posts, videos … or something else we haven’t thought of yet!
To quote Jacob Wilcock, Director of Sales at Atypon: “The most interesting results of this partnership? We don’t even know what they are yet!”