Many publishers hope that tablet renditions of newspapers and magazines will revive the fortunes of once-mighty but now financially stressed publications founded in print. Nature’s fortunes over the years have been relatively positive. Its print circulation has declined since its peak in 2002, but not as markedly as those of many other publications. Meanwhile, the online readership of Nature is more than 3 million unique users every month, and growing significantly year on year.
However, there is a world of difference in user experience between Nature on a desktop computer or laptop and a digital rendition that captures the feel and easy portability of the weekly print issue with the added features that an online platform allows. Although Nature has had an iPad version since January 2011, a version is now being released that includes the weekly edition in its traditionally structured form. Existing personal subscribers to Nature have full access to the tablet edition. New subscribers can choose to buy only the iPad version at a comparatively low price (see go.nature.com/pvfvqy).
Nine journals from the Nature Publishing Group are included in this app: Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Medicine, Nature Physics, Nature Genetics, Nature Reviews Genetics, Nature Reviews Microbiology, Nature Communications and Scientific Reports. Also included are News articles and papers published online but not yet available in print. More journals will follow next year.
At present, the accessibility of these diverse strands of content varies. Access for much of it is unrestricted. All of Nature’s journalistic output is freely available. Scientific Reports is a ‘gold’ open-access journal — in other words, its papers are freely available, in their final published form, to anybody from the moment of publication. Nature Communications has about half of its content openly accessible. All of the rest is from now on available in the new iPad app, although so far only to personal print and iPad subscribers. We aim to provide access arrangements for readers who work at institutions with an online-only site licence by the middle of 2013.
The journals iPad app has been designed to deliver a reading experience that has all the clarity and convenience of print while surpassing print in its various functions. Alongside the issue-based navigation and tables of content, the new version allows the following: sharing; accessible bookmarks; saved searches (synced with nature.com); downloading of PDF files of articles; variable font sizes; figures at a glance in a figure-viewing panel; downloading and offline access to the journals; active links for references; and enhanced navigation from within the article.
We hope that those who value Nature will find its tablet edition even more stimulating and useful than the more traditional renditions.
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Announcement: A new iPad app for Nature readers. Nature 492, 154 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/492154a