A new look

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Science  23 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6186, pp. 781
DOI: 10.1126/science.1255999

With this issue, you will note a new look of Science, in both print and online, to make the journal clearer, easier to navigate, and more inviting to the reader. Change can elicit strong reactions, and for that reason I would like to walk you through some of the changes and their rationale.

The tradition for the Science cover has been to avoid typography except for its name, its publisher (AAAS), and the date. The motivation had been esthetic: to allow stunning scientific visuals to be unmarred by words. But the lack of scale and context could leave the observer wondering whether a particular cover shows a hyperspectral image of a tectonic terrane or a stained cell. I used to tell my students that a scientific paper should never be written like a mystery novel; it should state the important discovery immediately. In the same vein, we are adding a descriptor that connects the image to the discovery that made it worthy of display on the cover of Science. The cover will also highlight other exceptional content, giving readers more reasons to explore the journal.

The contents page is now easier to read, with fewer subheadings: just “News,” “Insights” (formerly “Commentary”), and “Research.” For a quick overview, each research paper's title will have an overline that generally describes the topic of the paper. The choice of these words is unconstrained and can range from interdisciplinary descriptions to specific geographic sites or events (such as “Japan tsunami”).

The Research section now opens with “In Science Journals” and “In Other Journals,” brief descriptions of research that were previously published as “This Week in Science” and “Editors' Choice.” The goal is to provide a roundup of notable research in the current issue of Science and in the Science family of journals that week, as well as in other science publications. We hope that this survey draws readers into the research portion of the journal. The names for these sections are also more intuitive: “Editors' Choice” was somewhat “inside baseball” and did not make its intent immediately clear to a reader. For online readers, be sure to check out the “Article Usage Statistics” for each article. This tool is a quick way to track downloads, media, and social media attention.

An additional page called “Working Life” is the home for personal essays, commentaries, and other writing that highlights everything from practical issues in the everyday work life of a science-related career to how to go about preparing for and finding a job.

A more consistent design now better accommodates the images and graphics that enhance the main points in News, Insights, and other portions of Science. Visualization has become increasingly important in telling the stories of science. Our goal is to evolve print and online platforms to bring the best visual experience to our readers.

Science's home page and News section online reflect only a “facelift” for now. We will be launching a new Web site for Science in the near future, with functionality that will not only augment your awareness and exploration of what Science has to offer daily and weekly, but will also, hopefully, elevate your exposure to the sciences overall. Stay tuned, and in the meantime let me know what you think of the new design by commenting* and/or taking our survey.

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