Public Release:  ASPB journals migrate to new Web platform

Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell have new features on HighWire Press's H2O

American Society of Plant Biologists

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- The two premier plant biology journals published by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) -- Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell -- completed their migration to HighWire Press's new electronic publishing platform, H2O, on March 9, 2011. HighWire, the online hosting platform for more than 1,000 scholarly journals, has rebuilt its platform from the bottom up, creating a standards-based hosting solution that is putting ASPB's journals at the forefront of online publishing.

H2O embeds features and tools that facilitate innovation and interaction via the social web; the Plant Physiology and Plant Cell sites essentially become platforms for the development of ideas, and the architecture is flexible enough to handle new requirements as they emerge. Because the technology is standards-based, journal sites are, in HighWire's words, essentially "future proofed." Such standards-based content can easily appear on a variety of devices--the iPhone and other smart phones, the iPad, Kindle and other e-readers, and yet-to-be-seen new technologies.

H2O user interface features designed to streamline research include

  • Abstract preview: Mouse-over pop-up abstract preview when the table of contents or search results pages are on screen - no need to leave the page.
  • Figure expansion in place: Figure and table thumbnails can be enlarged within the article, rather than in a new window.
  • Tag-along navigation: The navigation box follows alongside as the reader scrolls down the article page.
  • Feature hideaway: Author affiliations, related links, and other article enhancements can be expanded or hidden. Readers' preferences are remembered when they next visit the site.
  • Related articles search: One-click search within an article for related articles by author, keyword, or subject classification.
  • Quick scan: Views easily flow from the title and abstract to previous/next article links, allowing users to quickly scan the content they need.
HighWire's director, John Sack, puts it this way: "The journal is a conversation. This conversation is now taking place thru the Internet, with social networks, blogs, tagging, and taxonomy....The article is not what users want--information is. But information [has been] locked in the 'article information box.' H2O lets the information out of the box."

ASPB Director of Publications Nancy Winchester said, "With the new platform, Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell now have cutting-edge websites that let readers take full advantage of the groundbreaking scientific research published in the journals."

Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell have been published online with HighWire Press since 1998. HighWire is operated by a nonprofit division of the Stanford University Libraries.

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ASPB is a professional scientific society, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, devoted to the advancement of the plant sciences worldwide. With a membership of nearly 5,000 plant scientists from throughout the United States and more than 50 other nations, the Society publishes two of the most widely cited plant science journals: The Plant Cell and Plant Physiology. For more information about ASPB, please visit http://www.aspb.org/. Also follow ASPB on Twitter @ASPB.

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