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David P. Argue, Karl J. Clark, Andrew M. Petzold, Stephen C. Ekker - Mayo Clinic

Scientific publications are becoming more imaging and multimedia intensive. Although the publication format for scientific research papers has transitioned from printed magazines and journals to digital formats in recent years, the widely used PDF digital format lacks imaging support for high-resolution images and multimedia. Papers in PDF format available on the Internet have dramatically increased the accessibility of scientific information. However, communication of complete research data is not being realized due to the technical limitations of the PDF format. Supplementary materials are untethered and often encompass more information than found in the primary document. We have created a simple, standard next-generation paper (NGP) digital format for reading and digitally archiving scientific research papers to offer better imaging, data sharing and an improved reading experience. Our recent SCORE Imaging (Petzold et al.) paper was submitted to our publisher using this format to take advantage of its superior technical capabilities.

The NGP format is designed to retain traditional elements (i.e. Abstract, Introduction, etc.). Papers are viewed using any web browser running on any computing platform, including mobile devices. An intuitive button menu system provides easy navigation between pages. The NGP format provides a more streamlined reading experience by providing as much information to the reader inline as possible, without requiring the user to skip between pages. To accomplish this, pop-up figure and reference details provide additional information without disrupting the flow of the paper. Clicking on standard figure data reveals full-resolution images, and live web links can be optionally followed from pop-up citations or inline links for additional information. Multimedia, such as hi-definition video or audio clips, is easily embedded within the new NGP format. The reader may also customize their reading experience by selecting alternative text and background color themes. The NGP format was created using non-proprietary open-source software including HTML and Javascript, and can be packaged to run offline independent of a live Internet connection. Data are fully captured and communicated utilizing the latest technologies available.

NGP provides an exciting new format to consume and archive scientific research papers, while dramatically improving the reading experience across multiple platforms and devices.

To see a prototype of the NGP format user interface, go to:

Dave Argue,
Jan 24, 2011, 10:18 AM