This week JAMA and The JAMA Network launch a new online platform at http://jama.com. We have cocreated the sites with you—our users—combining data about how the sites are used with extensive input from clinician and author colleagues to redesign every page focusing on our most-trafficked article pages. We have aimed to make the platform more usable, discoverable, and faster on any device. Here are some highlights.
Article abstracts are the only article component many people ever see or read, but in an era of social media posts and mobile screen notifications, they are often long and too detailed for many readers. We now supplement abstracts with briefer content summaries that contextualize the content. Key Points function as mini-abstracts, summarizing in 100 words an article’s Question, Findings, and Meaning. Links above the abstract give users ready access to multimedia article summaries and author interviews for their workout routines or hands-free commutes. Links above and beneath the abstract give users equally quick access to Editorials that explain why an article is important, why it was published, and what questions it leaves unanswered. The changes are unobtrusive but provide users alternative ways to consume summary content quickly within 0 to 2 clicks of the abstract (Figure 1).
Users have easier access to summary content above and around the traditional abstract. Key Points and links to Editorials and summary multimedia interpret articles and place them in context.
Standard journal article page design places tables, figures, multimedia, and references within the flow of articles, making long-form reading—always difficult online—even longer. We have dismantled that linear format for longer-form research and review articles and introduce a split-screen presentation that presents article text (on the left) alongside tables, figures, multimedia, and other related material in tabs (on the right) that users can directly access from text links and scroll through independently (Figure 2). On desktops and laptops the article presents as if 2 browser windows are open at the same time, placing more article elements into a single view and minimizing the number of window enlargements and minimizations and browser Back button clicks users typically need to explore article links. Perhaps most useful, users can now view the full-text article and its tables and figures side-by-side without clicking or scrolling; the tables and figures come directly into view when a user clicks call-out links from within the text.
Full-text research and review articles now present as if 2 browser windows are open at the same time, placing more article elements into a single view. Tabs on the right provide direct access alongside full text to navigate links, figures and tables, multimedia, supplemental content, references, and related articles.
Amazon, Netflix, and other media giants have set contemporary standards for “precision publishing”— the right content for the right user at the right time. The new website gets JAMA and The JAMA Network into the game for medical content. Each article now has “You May Also Like” article links based on clinical topics of articles you have previously visited on the site. The article topics will be as broad or as narrow as your interests and introduce you to articles and reviews from JAMA Network journals you might not regularly read.
We have made other improvements you told us are important. We made the site faster by eliminating unnecessary code so that each page loads quickly. Audio and video, a mainstay of electronic publishing and an increasing investment at The JAMA Network, are now easier to find and play, and each file has its own dedicated webpage and will appear in on-site and general search listings. All articles are now published to be more discoverable through Google search. The site is designed to perform well on your smartphone and tablet devices. And we have reorganized JAMA Network–wide collections into a more focused, clinically intuitive set, which you can access from any article page by clicking on topic (key word) “balloons.”
The effort to modernize http://jama.com required a sustained investment of time, thought, personnel, and capital. We hope the many changes in the new platform signal that the too-prevalent notion that electronic publishing is an effortless by-product of traditional print publishing (“It’s just putting the articles online, right?”) is an artifact of the past. Publishing online requires accounting for search, indexing, analytics, and other ecosystems that simply do not apply to print publishing. Whether readers, authors, institutions, or funders support the costs of publishing, publishing to a contemporary online standard—making medical science discoverable, mobile, consumable, and social—is a complex, full-time, and ongoing program that should be a part of conversations about the standards and costs of how to make science more accessible and open.
We have thought through every pixel of every page of the new platform. We believe we are delivering a better experience but may have gotten some things wrong or overlooked others. Websites, like cars, depreciate rapidly the instant new proud owners take possession of them, so we are committed to a plan-do-study-act quality improvement process: having planned and launched the site, we will now closely watch what is working and what is not, listen to and solicit comments from our many users, and revise the site continually and appropriately. We encourage users and readers to give us feedback at email@example.com.
Corresponding Author: Michael Berkwits, MD, MSCE, The JAMA Network, 330 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: October 10, 2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.15075
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.
Additional Information: This editorial, or a similar version, is being published simultaneously in all JAMA Network journals.
Gee P, Kelly C, Berkwits M. Announcing the New JAMA.com. JAMA. 2016;316(18):1877–1878. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.15075