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Magazine of the Year Case Study: The Scientist
 

Magazine of the Year Case Study: The Scientist

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Mary Beth Aberlin, Editor in Chief of the 2011 ASBPE Magazine of the Year award, discusses the magazine: The Scientist. The presentation was delivered at the 2011 ASBPE National Conference in Chicago. ...

Mary Beth Aberlin, Editor in Chief of the 2011 ASBPE Magazine of the Year award, discusses the magazine: The Scientist. The presentation was delivered at the 2011 ASBPE National Conference in Chicago.

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  • Begun 25 years ago
  • Controlled circulation magazineOur website reaches many more people who visit it not just for the magazine, but for up-to-date news coverage
  • While the mission of the magazine is essentially the same, how content is delivered has changed.
  • Here’s the evolution of our editorial team. Couldn’t resist.
  • Small staff that is expert at multitasking
  • Pretty standard
  • Sometimes an infographic is the best introduction to a topic.This spread introduced the feature section of a special-issue topic
  • This is the final image that was chosen by me, the editor, and the art director.We consider art selections our prerogative, not that of the author. But our authors are scientists and we usually run final pdf by them to make sure it is scientifically accurateThe downside: these authors reacted badly. Here’s the one we thought was final.
  • Still a lot of the same and a few new thingsNext few slides show some of the out-of-the lab and how-to columns our reader value.
  • In the feature well 6 times per year feature surveys and competitionsNot on slide is the Labby awards for best lab website or multimedia presentation. In September issue our 2nd annual.
  • Out of the lab advice of a practical natureEditor who wrote this had a baby right around this time
  • Another practical column: Interviews with users of technologyPros and cons of products
  • As I mentioned lots of web trafficThis is where readers comment
  • Used to cull comments on websitefor print, but we were always a month late.Decided to change the way we feature comments
  • On our newly redesigned website—launched just in June—we now present provocative “Featured Comments”Here’s what it looks like and an example.The comments all link to the article from which they are drawn.
  • Special anniversary issue in OctoberAnd on to another 25 years of engaging with the life-sciences community

Magazine of the Year Case Study: The Scientist Magazine of the Year Case Study: The Scientist Presentation Transcript

  • The ScientistA Case Study
    MARY BETH ABERLINEditor-in-Chiefeic@the-scientist.com
    5 August 2011
  • THE SCIENTIST MISSION
    Started as trade newspaper for scientists (October,1986)
    To report the latest news on outside-the-lab issues
    - policy
    funding
    jobs/salaries
    ethics
    technical advances
    book reviews
  • WHO READS THE SCIENTIST?
    A highly educatedgroup of …
    • Scientists
    • Academics
    • Industry leaders
    • Intellectuals
    Highest Degree Earned
    JD/MBA 3%
    BS 12%
    MS 10%
    PhD 60%
    MD/PhD 10%
    MD 5%
  • STATISTICS
    Print edition
    12 issues/year
    72-84 pages/issue
    56,000 copies/month [800 paid]
    Website
    • 300,000 visitors every month
    • 600,000 page views every month
    • News stories; 3-6,000 views every month
    Daily E-mail
    > 260,000 e-mails sent each weekday
  • EVOLUTION OF DESIGN
    1986 Newspaper Format
    2000 Newspaper FormatGlossy, 2” shorter
    2002 Magazine Format
    2006 Magazine Redesign
    2011 Current Issue
  • THE SCIENTIST EDITORIAL TEAM
  • THE TEAM
    Editor-in-Chief
    Editor in Chief
    Mary-Beth Aberlin
    • Balances editorial budget
    • Commissions and edits print columns
    • Top edits all print stories
    • Manages editorial flow
    • Writes monthly editorial
    Senior Editors
    Bob Grant
    Edyta Zielinska
    • Write, commission and edit news and print stories
    News Editor
    Jef Akst
    • All of the above, plus manages news
    Correspondents
    Megan Scudellari
    Tia Ghose
    Associate Editor
    Richard Grant
    • Write newsand print stories
    Editorial Intern
    • Writes newsand print stories
    • Proofs print copy
    Art Director
    Lucy Reading-Ikkanda
    • Balances art budget
    • Designs print stories
    • Art directs illustrations
    • Illustrates infographics
    • Coordinates photoshoots
    • Prepares art files for website
    Production Assistant
    Cristina Luiggi
    • Prepares adverts for the print magazine for website
    • Writes news, print stories
    • Commissions and edits stories
    Senior Editors
    News Editor
    Correspondents
    Associate Editor
    Editorial Intern
    Art Director
    Production Assistant
  • EDITORIAL PROCESS – Content
    PRINT
    Features
    • 3 Features/month (2 by leading scientists)
    • 6 Surveys/Competitions per year
    ONLINE
    Daily E-mail
    • 3 short Nutshell item—highlights breaking science news
    • 3 longer stories—combo of science news and latest TS issue
    • Multimedia items (videos, slideshows, infographics)
    PRINT
    Departments
    • 2 Profiles/month (1 established scientist;1 young scientist)
    • 4 Notebooks (700 words; behind-the-scenes looks)
    • Critic at Large
    • Thought Experiment
    • Modus Operandi (new and novel technical development)
    • The Literature (hot papers)
    • Bio Business (6/year)
    • Careers (6/year)
    • Lab Tools (user opinion of new technology)
    • Book essay; 4 capsule reviews
  • EDITORIAL PROCESS – Story Arc
    • Editor-in-chief plans monthly content in consultation with editors
    • Commissioned stories assigned to editors
    • Editor works with author / art director
    • Story to editor-in-chief for top edit
    • Text to copy editor/fact checker
    • Final text to production
    • Pdf passes to editor
    • Pdf pass to editor-in-chief for read
    • 2nd editor reads
    • Checklist
    • Proofreader / spellcheck
    • Final
  • LAYOUT & DESIGN – Feature
  • LAYOUT & DESIGN – Feature
  • PROCESS – Infographics
    • Sometimes the author provides a sketch(not always!)
    • AD crafts a sketch which is sent to the editor and author for approval.
    • Captions are provided by the editor; composition is pinned down before assigning to an artist.
    • Sketch is assignedto an artist.
  • LAYOUT & DESIGN – Infographic
  • FEATURE PROCESS – Prelim Art Plan
    • Preliminary layout; Ideas for graphics sketched by AD; sent to the author / editor for input
  • FEATURE PROCESS – Graphics
    • The AD works with the Editor and author to solidify the graphic sketches
    • One approved, the AD commissionsan artist
  • FEATURE PROCESS - Opener
    • Opener options provided by the AD
    • Opener chosen
  • FEATURE PROCESS - Final Tweaks
    • Final tweaks to graphics, opener (and title!)
  • VALUE TO THE READER
    1986
    • Begun as trade newspaper for scientists to reportthe latest news on outside-the-lab issues
    2011
    • Still cover the same issues
    • Offer 2 scientist-written reviews in each issue
    • New column offers infographic explanationof innovative new technique
  • ANNUAL SURVEYS
    Best Places to Work
    - Industry
    - Academia
    - Postdocs
    Salary Survey
    Top 10Innovations
  • CAREER ADVICE
  • LAB TOOLS
  • READER INTERACTION
    Website
    300,000 visitors every month
    600,000 page views every month
    News stories; 3-6,000 views every month
    Daily e-mail
    > 260,000 e-mails sent each weekday
  • READER INTERACTION – mail
    Eliminated letters section from print magazine in April 2011
  • READER INTERACTION – website
    Many stories—both print online—bring in >20,000 page views and dozens of comments.
  • LOOKING AHEAD