by Barbara Quint Posted On April 17, 2008
Elsevier has announced that it will be launching some improvements to its ScienceDirect service [http://www.sciencedirect.com/], which provides access to the publisher’s STM full-text journals and ebooks. The changes will include navigational improvements in screen layout, four options for filtering existing search results, and access to article comments, ratings, and social bookmarking options supplied by Elsevier’s free 2collab service [http://www.2collab.com/].
The new navigational improvements include preview tabs on the results page and the table of contents that let searchers quickly view article abstracts, figures and graphs, and reference citations. No longer do searchers need to reload a page for each article that catches their interest. When viewing a full-text article, a toolbox feature lets searchers quickly click to key functions: Cited By, Download PDF, E-mail Article, etc.
An "inline" reference preview shows links to referenced articles as the cursor passes over them in the body of the article. If available and authorized, the links can take the searcher directly to the referenced paper. No longer do searchers have to go to the bottom of an article to reach the citations. Sidi pointed out that searchers can reach non-Elsevier content through link resolvers. They can also now view the number of times articles were cited in Scopus, which includes citations for the articles it covers as well as the abstracts.
In November 2007, Elsevier launched an online collaboration platform called 2collab. (For details, see Paula Hane’s NewsLink Spotlight, "Elsevier Creates Social Spaces for Researchers," [http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=40102]. Even on Sept. 17, 2007, during the beta phase, a 2collab product developer announced that one of the project’s first goals was "integration with other Elsevier applications—such as ScienceDirect, Scopus. … For example, on ScienceDirect we would like to display the comments, ratings, and tags posted by 2collab users for relevant articles."
The addition of social bookmarking for articles and opening discussions on ratings and tags added by researchers is still scheduled for "a phased release over the coming months," according to the upgrade announcement. When completed, each article page will carry comments, ratings, and tags added by readers. The services supplied by 2collab already exist in Scopus. They allow both private (invitation only) and public groups.
Barbara Quint is contributing editor for NewsBreaks, editor-in-chief of Searcher, and a columnist for Information Today.