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Weekly News Digest

December 13, 2012 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

PubReader: A New Way to Read Articles in PubMed Central

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) developed a new presentation style called PubReader, an easier way to use your web browser to read articles in PubMed Central on your desktop, laptop, or tablet computer. Like a printed paper, PubReader breaks an article into multiple columns and pages to improve readability and navigation. PubReader can expand a page to whatever fits on your screen, with multiple columns on a desktop monitor or a single column page on a small tablet. It will even switch to two columns if you rotate the tablet to a landscape view. When you adjust the font size or change the size of the browser window, page boundaries and columns are adjusted automatically.

The PubReader presentation offers a variety of common options for moving between pages:

  • Use the PageUp, PageDown, RightArrow, LeftArrow keys on a keyboard
  • Tap or click in the right or left margin to turn a page
  • Use finger swipes on a touch device
  • Use a progress bar at the bottom of the screen to jump across the page range

There is an image strip at the bottom of the page with thumbnails of all figures and tables in the article so that you can pop up an earlier figure/table and then close it in an instant without losing your place in the article. This same feature works with inline figures, tables, and citations as well. PubReader has a number of other features to improve your reading experience, which you will discover as you use it in PMC. You can read more about the PubReader view at or you can try it directly by clicking on the new PubReader link for an article in a PMC search result list. The PubReader presentation only works in relatively recent versions of web browsers. See the list of supported browsers.

Here are the technical details. The PubReader view is implemented in the same way as the traditional PMC article display, only using features and functions that are available in the latest versions of the underlying technologies, HTML5 and CSS3. To create the PubReader display, we start with the XML version of an article and use XSLT to convert it to an HTML document. Then we add in CSS and JavaScript to implement the formatting, paging, navigation, and text reflowing. The entire article is loaded into a web browser as a single HTML page. The browser handles paging and other functions locally, giving the flexibility described above without sacrificing efficiency and speed.

The CSS and Javascript code used to create the PubReader display is available from the NCBI repository on GitHub. Anyone can use or adapt this code to display journal articles or other content that is structured as an HTML5 document.

Source: NCBI

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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