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PLoS Journals upgrade to Topaz 0.9.2

Tonight, we upgraded the PLoS journal websites to Topaz 0.9.2. This release is chock full of user interface changes and enhancements. We’ve completely redesigned the article page to accommodate new features and give a better visual experience to the user. Since this is a significant design change for the article layout, we’d like to hear from our users. Email us or reply to this blog post and let us know what you think about the changes.

The article page now has three tabs:

  1. Article: Much of the content in the right hand column has been moved into the other tabs to make way for new features. Links to the appropriate issue or collection appear in the right hand column of the article page. In PLoS ONE related subject categories have been added to the right hand column to allow easy access to other related articles. We’ve also designed the right hand column to allow for some new feature growth in the future (e.g. user tags).
  2. Related Content: Data from external sources is provided on the this tab. Sources include the number of citations from PubMed Central and Scopus; the number of bookmarks from CiteULike and Connotea; and the number of blog posts linking to the article from Postgenomic, Nature Blogs and Bloglines. More sources will be added in the future.
  3. Comments: All of the comments, minor corrections and formal corrections are easily viewed in one location.

Many other features were added to this release:

  • Competing interest statements were added to all notes, comments and ratings.
  • The creation of retraction annotation types.
  • The Most Recently Published homepage block can be configured to display a set number of articles, articles from within a published date range and an article white list (e.g. display only research articles).
  • Articles can be ordered within an issue and in the table of contents.
  • Formal corrections and retractions are now displayed in the table of contents next to the appropriate article.
  • Support for NLM DTD 2.3.
  • The administration portal was overhauled to provide a better workflow for creating volumes and issues.
  • The administration portal was updated to allow manual ordering of articles within an issue.

This is the first release that the PLoS development team has used SCRUM for software development. We’re believers! We have a lot of lessons to learn from our first sprint, but the overall consensus is that SCRUM allowed us to quickly (in just six weeks!) developer a healthy amount of new features for the Ambra platform. As we continue to improve on the process, we’ll be able to push out new features in rapid succession. The hopes are for a new release every four weeks.

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