Elsevier gives RSS an editorial spin

Elsevier gives RSS an editorial spin
Elsevier gives RSS an editorial spin

Elsevier is replacing its OncologyStat portal with a multidisciplinary news and research aggregator called PracticeUpdate that offers an editorial perspective on categories including oncology, cardiology, primary care and eye care (ophthalmology and optometry).

PracticeUpdate, which is paid for by advertising dollars, blends RSS features and editorial discretion. Members of the editorial board make their case for what should be featured (not limited to Elsevier content), and add a takeaway that explains the piece and why it was chosen.

Elsevier specialty products VP Allison Risko said that while there's no limit on how many articles can go on the tool's must-read list, editors still must defend each choice to the board.

PracticeUpdate also stands out in the publisher's portfolio in that it is one of several new projects the company is infusing with a responsive design spin.

Risko told MM&M that using responsive design made sense from the start, because “it allows us to be able to quickly and easily go to web apps or native apps,” and that they wanted to give users “the biggest bang for the buck.” Risko said one model was the Boston Globe, which is “a really good example of a site that came out in HTML5.”

The more modern framework is also shaping the marketing approach. Risko said that while Elsevier will use traditional print ads to promote the product, Google+, Facebook and Twitter are integral parts of the mix.

Readers can choose what specialties they want to read about, and how often they want to receive information. Options include a daily digest of top news items, weekly expert insights and a top-10 “stories of the month” listing. The listings include an abstract if available, and link to the source journal.

Risko said PracticeUpdate will continue to refine how it tags and organizes information, based on clinician feedback and habits. The “eye care” category is an example of this because practitioners from ophthalmology and optometry read many of the same articles. There are no new category mergers currently being developed, but Risko said insights like these could prompt new ones, such as in urology and oncology where there can be overlap.

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