Lens, pioneered by eLife, to be piloted by six additional publishers on HighWire

Inside eLife
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Cambridge, UK & Redwood City, CA, USA – 6 November 2014

Lens, an open-source tool introduced by eLife to make reading articles online easier, is being piloted in journals from six publishers on the HighWire platform.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry, The Plant Cell, Journal of Lipid Research, and mBio® are among the journals introducing the Lens viewing experience to readers this fall. First introduced by eLife in 2013, Lens makes reading scientific articles on-screen easier by making it possible to explore figures, figure descriptions, references, and more – without losing your place in the article text.

“We’ve been very pleased by the response to Lens so far, and think it has great potential to improve the online reading experience for scientists in many areas of their work,” said Mark Patterson, eLife Executive Director. “Helping other groups use new technology and experiment with it is exactly the type of contribution eLife continues to make.”

Publishers taking part in the pilot currently include: American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), American Society for Microbiology (ASM), American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), and European Respiratory Society (ERS), all of which use the HighWire Open Platform to host their content. In the next several weeks, the American Physiological Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will join the pilot.

“Building partnerships which help our publisher clients serve their readers more effectively is at the heart of the HighWire mission,” added John Sack, Founding Director of HighWire Press. “Early comments from readers indicate they prefer the Lens reading experience to using PDFs; image-intensive reading is much faster and improved.”

The pilot is expected to run for three months. If successful, the Lens viewer will be made available as an option to all publishers on the HighWire platform in 2015. eLife continues to explore potential uses and to develop the Lens code base at https://github.com/elifesciences/lens/.

eLife Lens is available at http://lens.elifesciences.org. Lens may also be previewed with full-text articles at ten HighWire-hosted journals now:

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Journal of Lipid Research - www.jlr.org

Molecular and Cellular Proteomics - www.mcponline.org

Journal of Biological Chemistry - www.jbc.org

American Society for Microbiology

mBio® - mbio.asm.org

Clinical Microbiology Reviews - cmr.asm.org

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy - aac.asm.org

American Society of Plant Biologists

The Plant Cell - www.plantcell.org

Plant Physiology - www.plantphysiol.org

European Respiratory Society

European Respiratory Review - err.ersjournals.com

European Respiratory Journal - erj.ersjournals.com

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Media contacts

Jenny Mitchell

Communications assistant, eLife


+44 (0) 1223 855 373

Bonnie Zavon

Public Relations, HighWire


About eLife Sciences

eLife Sciences is a unique collaboration between the funders and practitioners of research to communicate ground-breaking discoveries in the life and biomedical sciences in the most effective way. The eLife journal is a platform for maximising the reach and influence of new discoveries and showcasing new approaches to the presentation, use, and assessment of research. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust. Learn more at elifesciences.org.

About HighWire

Through its innovative Open Platform, HighWire provides technology solutions to influential societies, university presses, and independent publishing organizations which produce high-impact journals, books, and other scholarly materials. Long affiliated with Stanford University, the now independent HighWire Press, Inc. offers publishers: digital content development and hosting services; a customizable peer-review manuscript submission system; strategic consultation services; and unique community networking opportunities. www.highwire.org| Twitter: @highwirepress