Magazines aren't dead! Those who look forward to a weekly package of material that they can read whenever and wherever it suits, and without the need to connect to the Internet and charge batteries, remain safe with Nature in print. Trees die in order for us to sustain this habit, and so we all hope that versions supplied over the Internet will allow us eventually to abandon print on paper. But the format of a print magazine, whatever the medium on which it is read, has its own value, which is no doubt why more than 1 million PDFs of articles in Nature are downloaded every month. (A similar number are downloaded in full text.)
Readers can also access the print-originated format in a new and highly readable digital edition (see http://nature.com/rediscover — registration needed). And an iPad app for Nature is in the pipeline.
This week's issue demonstrates our commitment not only to sustaining Nature as a magazine, but also to renewing it. In recent months, observant subscribers will have noticed small changes. Today, we present a new look, a clearer structure and new types of content. The online navigation, landing pages and information for authors have also been redesigned.
The underlying goal is greater clarity in the reading experience. Nature's readers get ever busier, so they need to know as quickly as possible where to find the content they want and what a particular item is offering. All of the changes we have made are to this end.
The magazine is now structured in a clearer way. The introductory material has been reduced to the Table of Contents, plain and simple. A new section, called This Week, contains Nature's Editorials as well as summaries of recent developments in and around science. It also includes a new page — World View — in which external authors give prompt personal perspectives on live issues.
More analytical and reflective content, presenting developments in the world of science in greater depth, appears in the section of journalism, which is made up of News in Focus and News Features. The Comment section provides a forum for essays, debates, reviews and correspondence.
The Research section includes accessible summaries of the latest research articles available online, News & Views, review articles and the primary-research content of Nature — its Articles and Letters. The Careers section, offering guidance to young scientists pondering the job market, and Futures — our back page of science fiction — complete the package.
Within these sections we have tried, in the redesign of our layouts and key elements, to ensure that a reader easily gains a clear idea of why he or she should be reading an article. We've created space for more descriptive headlines and other display elements that allow a reader to get a quick sense of what an article has to say and who its authors are. The new design also emphasizes the use of charts and graphics that offer a quick summary of the key data underlying an opinion piece or news story. It allows for more inventive, attractive pages as well.
Both in print and online, these changes have been developed with intensive market research, and with much positive feedback in the process. We have listened and we have changed. We hope that Nature's subscribers will look forward to their weekly magazine all the more.