A Blog Around The Clock

TOPAZ Upgrade and other Big News from PLoS

It was a heroic (and sometimes nerve-wrecking) couple of months for the IT/Web team at PLoS, but the fruits of their labor will shortly be visible to all. PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics and PLoS Pathogens will soon migrate onto the TOPAZ platform. You are familiar with TOPAZ already as PLoS ONE, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases and the PLoS Hub for Clinical Trials are already on this platform. The remaining two journals, the two biggies (PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine) will migrate later this year as well.

Mark Patterson explains in detail what this will mean for you: authors and readers of these three journals – the process will be easier, faster and will help these journals attain financial self-sufficiency. The five journals and one hub hosted on TOPAZ will be better integrated with each other as well. And the interactivity features will enable readers and authors to communicate with each other on the papers and to continue the discussion and review of the work after its publication. For bloggers: you will be now able to send trackbacks to articles in these journals whenever you post about them.

Richard Cave, head of our Web team provides a detailed summary of changes in the TOPAZ platform, made in preparation for the migration of the three journals. After this time, if you open any article in the five journals and one Hub hosted on TOPAZ you will see some differences. For instance, what used to be called a ‘discussion’ will then be called a ‘comment’ – a much more common term that everyone is familiar with. What used to be called an ‘annotation’ will then becalled ‘note’, a shorter, sweeter term (and it reminds you of a Post-It Note, I hope). Furthermore, there will then be more than one types of Note. You will still be able to make a regular note, displayed as a blue mark on the text of the article. But there will be two additional options: a minor correction, displayed as a red mark on the text, or a formal correction displayed on the top of the article. Both will require a review by the editors and will make corrections faster to implement and also make sure that the corrections and the articles are literally on the same page.

Richard describes several more improvements to TOPAZ in his post, but one many people will probably like the most is the vastly improved Search. Go check it out.


  1. #1 Mary
    February 27, 2008

    I went over there to look for something yesterday and got the “down for maintenance” notice or whatever it said. Glad to hear about the giant upgrade!

    If I could just remember what I was looking for yesterday now…

  2. #2 Coturnix
    February 27, 2008

    Yup, the site had to be down for a few minutes for the upgrade. I hope you remember that what you intended to do last night – and can do now instead – was post hundreds of comments, ratings and notes on ONE papers 😉

  3. #3 Jason
    February 27, 2008

    Congratulations to the PLoS web team on their hard (and I’m sure somewhat tedious) work paying off. I’ve been really impressed with the way they’ve managed to maintain the positive aspects of “traditional” paper journals, while integrating new and very useful interactive web components.

  4. #4 Mary
    February 27, 2008

    D’oh…so here I am going back now…(assuming it must have been something in Computational Biology I needed)…and I can’t get there.

    Geez, I have rotten luck.

New comments have been disabled.