From Print to Digital

Stepping into a new era

"...we really want potential authors to see what we can now do for them in the digital environment with all that means for enhancing, and building functionality around, the article.” — David Clark, Senior Vice President, Physical Sciences

As a continuation of the discussion raised in the March 2010 issue of Editors’ Update, concerning the trend from print marketing activities to online journal marketing, we would like to update you on recent developments. As Elsevier publishes more than 95% of its information online, and with the increasing use of smart content and APIs, the move from print publishing to digital dissemination is firmly rooted within the research community.

It is therefore a logical step for Elsevier to reflect this trend across all areas of the scientific publishing process. In the Marketing Communications team for Science and Technology (S&T) journals, a decision to focus on marketing journal content digitally has led to the removal of print sample copies at exhibitions. Instead, this team is channeling its efforts into improving journal visibility through online methods.

Stepping into a new era

“We have developed many online features to enhance our digital marketing campaigns such as CiteAlert, and community-wide announcements on publication speeds and Impact Factor results,” explains Nicoline van der Linden, Vice President Marketing Communications. “We have been using RSS feeds for some time now and recently we have been strengthening our presence on research and scientific blogs; social media channels; search engine optimization and search engine marketing to make our journals even more visible than in the print era.”

The first issue of a journal published each year continues to be freely accessible via SciVerse ScienceDirect. At exhibitions where Elsevier is present, laptops or iPads are used to demonstrate this feature to potential and existing authors. Visitors are also shown how online articles can be ordered directly from the exhibition booth and sent via SciVerse ScienceDirect. “Many visitors make use of this digital and environmentally-friendly service,” notes van der Linden.

More recently, developments in technology such as smart phones and iPads have enabled Elsevier to experiment in the field of mobile applications. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) launched the JACC iPad edition at the end of 2010, offering everything researchers had come to expect from their weekly issue, but enhanced with editor-selected resources from CardioSource and other integrated features. Elsevier’s Personal Selections application allows researchers to keep up-to-date by accessing the latest 25 articles (abstracts and full texts) based on their selection of keywords.  “These and other developments confirm how Elsevier is committed to continually serving the research community innovatively,” adds van der Linden.

Exceptions to the rule

According to David Clark, Senior Vice President Physical Sciences, “while there may be times when having a specific journal issue at a meeting can be useful, we really want potential authors to see what we can now do for them in the digital environment with all that means for enhancing, and building functionality around, the article”.

The author of the future

There seems to be little disputing that addressing authors’ needs, both current and future, remains a challenge that all STM publishers face. Embracing and enhancing new trends, though at times experimental, can lead to breakthroughs in how we connect with the author of tomorrow. As an editor there are a number of ways we can work together with you on your journal to ensure it remains at the forefront of your community. Your marketing communications manager or publishing contact can inform you further of the marketing plan in place for your journal.

We want to hear your thoughts

  1. What techniques do you already use to digitally promote your journal within the community?
  2. Are you active in scientific or research blogs? If so, which ones?
  3. Do you use social media in your role as a journal editor?

Please take a few moments to post your comments.

Author biographies

Nicoline van der Linden
Nicoline van der Linden

Nicoline oversees the marketing efforts for our S&T journals and scientific conferences. She started her career as a Molecular Biologist, followed by various publishing and management positions at Elsevier where she handled a variety of portfolios in Health Sciences, Life Sciences and Engineering. Nicoline was educated at the Universities of Amsterdam and Basel, as well as the Rotterdam School of Management.

David Clark

David Clark
David oversees our program in physics, mathematics, computer science and materials which includes both some of the newest and longest-standing Elsevier journal titles. Previously he was a publishing director for physics and mathematics, publishing director for economics and a publisher for economics and for geography. David was educated at Oxford and London Universities.

Archived Comments

Peter J. Blau says: July 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

As a senior researcher in tribology I try to keep up with developments. The press of current research, fund seeking, and writing is sufficient to occupy my time.  Thus, I do not favor distractions like social networking or blogs unless they provide valuable, quality content not otherwise available.  I’m concerned that cursory, rapid messaging is supplanting the richness of face-to-face participation, especially in professional groups. Depth and quality (e.g.,through smart content) is a good step and more important than expanding the number of social networking options.

comments powered by Disqus