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Scholarly journal publishers were among the first to move toward digital content delivery. This first-mover status has placed journal publishers in a unique position of having created a reader community that is comfortable reading content on web platforms, or alternatively downloading the existing file distribution method at the time, PDF. For the vast majority of scholarly content consumers, reading of electronic journals predominantly takes place on computer screens or on printed versions of page facsimiles, not on reading devices.
The growth of mobile distribution forms is not something that should be over looked. Many large publishers have moved quickly toward the application development route for distributing their content. I have written about the fool-hardiness of creating device-specific apps , but is EPUB 3 the answer to these concerns for most journal content providers?
The main purpose of these services has been to allow readers to access journal content on their e-book reading devices such as Kindle, Nook, etc. PDF remains one of our core publication formats, but we wanted to address the growing need for more mobile access to content. The reason is fairly simple — most readers of scholarly journal content prefer PDFs and have for years.
The reading experience of PDFs is not ideal for a variety of reasons. The most basic reason is that almost no device has a standard page-size screen that matches the page-image-replication functionality of PDF.
Therefore a PDF image file will never fit perfectly onto a device screen and users are forced to either scroll left to right, read impossibly small text, or switch to horizontal screen presentation that displays only a few lines of the text at a time and thus requires a lot of virtual scrolling.
A second problem with PDF is that the types of embedded image and their functionality are limited.
PDF is a poor vehicle for the more interactive, data-intensive, and interlinked forms where content is moving. While there are methods for embedded linking and metadata within a PDF file, few publishers take advantage of these functionalities.
A third issue with PDF is accessibility for the print disabled. While the capability for such accessibility is available — if the file is properly formatted — it is not trivial to enable this and is so rarely done that in most cases, PDF files are nearly useless for the print disabled community.
There are other more advanced rendering features that exist with PDF, but they are also not generally implemented. Since content is originally created in some other software and then converted to PDF, incorporating these functions can be difficult and not all PDF readers or platforms support all functions.
In , Alyssa Goodman and several physics colleagues published a paper in Nature that made use of advanced 3D viewer capabilities within the PDF format. Brian Hayes in his post PDF vs. And I have never seen any other kind of interactive graphics embedded in a PDF. Could EPUB improve the reading experience for those that are currently downloading PDF as well as for those wishing to include interactive content?
Almost certainly. This leads to another important question: Are journal publishers — or more importantly are authors — going to embrace the multimedia content forms that would take advantage of the functionality that EPUB offers?
Discussions around non-textual content and the impending flood of interactive data or multimedia content have been ongoing for years but such rich content has yet to really take hold among researchers and authors. There has been significant movement toward data distribution, but often outside of traditional publisher distribution channels.
Creating multimedia is a challenge for researchers who are not expert on video, visualization tools, or audio mixing.
Those publications that do include this content also invest heavily in its creation and support for the authors to do so. Support for advanced markup like MathML , however, is critically important in some fields and is accommodated in the EPUB 3 specification.
E-book content distribution is usually something that is untethered from the network. Readers will generally download an entire book file and read it at their leisure. Madison followed the secretary - forties, professionally coloured hair, maroon trouser suit - down the pale green corridors of the Settle Police Department Headquarters.
She was familiar with the building but she had never been in the suite of offices and meeting rooms on the first floor, and she'd have been pleased to keep it that way. The secretary rapped twice on a door and showed Madison inside; seven people turned to look - only one of them wore a uniform, she noticed. Pete Richards, Office of Professional Responsibility, gestured to an empty chair at the long table. It was a smart room in shades of oatmeal; on one wall, a picture of Chief Torres next to a picture of President George W.
Pitbull Richards, Madison thought. Everyone in the department knew him by that name, chances were even his family called him Pitbull, and with very good reason. He looked like a wrestler with a buzz haircut and deep-set eyes the colour of lead.
Now that we're all here we can start. Officer, a few introductions. Five men, two women. The uniform was Captain Lowell - Madison knew him by sight. The others, whose names she hoped her brain had somehow retained, were other O. Richards introduced everyone and then sat back in his chair at the head of the table.
Sure thing, Pitbull, which is why Jenny there is taking notes. You're assigned to Patrol, is that correct? A couple of people looked up from their paperwork. You're still a probationary officer? What we are interested in here, today, is those fine distinctions that sometimes don't make it into a report.
We hope you can help us with that.
Your record at the Academy and during your training has been exemplary, and there are great hopes for your future in the department. Madison bristled quietly but hung on to the manners her grandmother had taught her. What we need from you are "shading in" details,' Richards said.
You were on first watch, East Precinct.
By the time you rotate shifts again you are so used to being wide awake in the middle of the night that it's impossible to even lie down before 2 a. If you're working first watch you have few friends and no social life. Madison didn't mind, her badge was so shiny and new it practically glowed. She arrived early and was happy to stay as long as needed. Her partner was Sgt. Carrie Weston, who had twelve years in SPD, all in Patrol, and Madison knew she had lucked out: Weston was capable, experienced and, best of all, a great teacher.
The night of January third the Shift Commander beckoned Madison as she reported for duty. Frank Walsh had fourteen years in Patrol; Madison knew him, that is to say she knew of him. Walsh before? Acquaintances maybe? Clinton Lavelle had filed a complaint against Sgt. Walsh for use of excessive force during an arrest.
Pitbull Richards had handled the complaint - the third against Walsh over ten years, the second one he had handled - and, in spite of his best intentions, he had failed to make a case for dismissal. In spite of the stories, nothing had ever stuck, Madison reflected as they made their way to their car.
She hated rumors and had no time for office politics; in the end the man would show her his character on the street because that's the only place where it mattered. He might be cutting the deck in Joey Cavizzi's basement in Vegas, waiting to double up on a good hand of Texas hold'em. Madison didn't know and was glad not to care. Norton, former Gunnery Sergeant and current firearm instructor at the SPD, had a mighty good day when he found Madison in the batch of new recruits - the kind of day the swim coach had the first time Michael Phelps splashed feet first into a pool.
Madison shrugged - a hopelessly juvenile gesture she was doing her best to eliminate.
Walsh was early forties; he could have been a farmer in early s photographs - tall and skinny but with a kind of wiry resilience.
Madison kept quiet as they drove along and Walsh scanned the street. She was getting to know the East Precinct night after night: she had lived in Seattle since she was thirteen but always in the South West neighborhood of Three Oaks. The East Precinct at 3 a. Madison didn't need to consult her notebook, the whole night was etched on her skin.