No one is more familiar with a journal's content than the editor, who has often curated each manuscript from arrival to acceptance.
On the new Editors' Choice website, journal editors highlight the five most interesting, novel or important papers they have featured in their journal that year, explaining why they recommended them.
The website marks a new direction for Editors' Choice, which began as an app for conference attendees in 2012. Editors whose journals were being exhibited at an upcoming event were invited to choose five articles they wanted to share with the researchers attending. They were also asked to provide a short explanation about why they had chosen those particular papers. Each selection was accompanied by a photo and bio of the editor in question. Conference attendees could download the app to access the information.
Because of the app's popularity, the program is now expanding. The information will no longer be delivered via an app but via a mobile website. Also, it won't only be journals exhibited at upcoming events that will be featured; editors of all Elsevier journals will be given the opportunity to showcase five of their journal's articles per year. The articles will be highlighted on the mobile website, the journal homepage on Elsevier.com and Health Advance, subject webpages on Elsevier.com, and relevant Elsevier social media channels. They will also be promoted at exhibitions relevant for that journal.
The articles will be freely accessible to all readers.
How Editors' Choice started
Liz Holmes, a Global Project Manager in Elsevier's Marketing Communications and Researcher Engagement Department, is behind the project.
Several years ago, as a marketing communications manager, she was responsible for shipping boxes of sample copies of her journals to events. However, her editors wanted the opportunity to highlight particular articles, so she created ring binders containing the relevant article PDFs with the words 'Editors' Choice' printed clearly on the front cover.
"I noticed people were choosing to take the ring binder away with them, even though it was a lot heavier than the sample copies," Holmes said. "Knowing that the articles had been personally chosen by the editor was clearly important to them."
With the publishing industry increasingly favoring digital delivery of information over the traditional print format, she realized there may be an opportunity for "Editors' Choice" to follow suit.
Among the options she considered was providing the articles on a CD Rom, but apps were on the rise and the two seemed a natural marriage.
Holmes said the new set-up will be user friendly while helping editors share important articles.
The mobile website and the dedicated pods on each journal homepage will make the articles clearly visible to visitors. The website has been crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience — easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices, from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors.
Equally importantly, authors will be notified that their article has been chosen and they will be encouraged to spread the news through their social media channels.
One of the next steps will be to show the impact that social media promotion by Elsevier – and the article author – has had on the Editors' Choice article.
At the point editors submit their chosen articles, they are asked for their feedback on the process. If anyone else has suggestions for improvements, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elsevier Connect Contributor
As Senior Researcher Communications Manager for Elsevier, Linda Willems (@willems_linda) oversees the Editors' Update website, a resource center designed to keep editors in touch with the latest developments in journal publishing, policies and initiatives. The site also hosts the quarterly Editors' Update newsletter, for which she is Editor-in-Chief. Willems, who is based in Amsterdam, is also on the team behind the Elsevier Journal Editors' Conferences program.