In January 2016, Optometry and Vision Science transitioned to online-only content delivery. Since then, we have been working to make journal content easier to access for members of the American Academy of Optometry. Nevertheless, delivering journal content via a website is a very different challenge from delivering hard copies of printed material to thousands of subscribers around the world. Physical delivery of printed material is a distribution feat that publishers have honed for more than a century. Online content delivery is less than 40 years old. The first online news service began in 1980 when the Columbus Dispatch delivered a version of their newspaper digitally to more than 3500 subscribers via CompuServe. Since then, we have witnessed multiple transformations of content delivery, from text delivered over telephone modems to video streaming on mobile phones or individually customized news read to us over smart home devices. As the options for content delivery evolve, scientific publishers will continue to face a myriad of changes that will challenge them as content providers and us as content consumers to find the best way to discover and engage information that is relevant, useful, and interesting.
Reader surveys conducted by the publisher and editors last year reiterated how important it is to make it easy for users to access journal content. That was no surprise, and we continue to work on ways to improve access to the full library of Optometry and Vision Science content published over the last 92 years. Because there are numerous ways to access the journal and its content, I will share a few tips and tricks that may help some readers or perhaps inspire additional exploration and experimentation by others.
The primary repository for the journal's content is the publisher's website: http://www.optvissci.com. The site can be reached directly or through the American Academy of Optometry website: https://www.aaopt.org/. You can identify yourself as an American Academy of Optometry member by first logging into its website. This will provide easier access to the journal's contents. If you are a member of the American Academy of Optometry but not logged into its website, you will find links to Optometry and Vision Science in the banner at the top of the American Academy of Optometry homepage. Choosing the Optometry and Vision Science link will prompt you to sign in and then take you to the journal's website. There is even a telephone number posted on the journal's website that you can call for help if you have any trouble logging in. We are working to make this even simpler.
Once logged into the publisher's website, you will find the current table of contents, announcements regarding upcoming feature issues, trending articles (most viewed, most e-mailed), collections, and a way to sign up to receive the table of contents as new issues are published. The Optometry and Vision Science homepage features four links on the main menu bar (Articles & Issues, Collections, For Authors, and Journal Info).
The Articles & Issues tab will link to the current issue and the full library of past issues (back to 1926), and any articles that have been recently accepted will be available as pre-publication articles.
Collections are currently limited to manually curated content. These collections contain groupings for past feature articles (the monthly spotlight), past editorials, past feature issues (e.g., myopia, contact lenses, and others), as well as previous award lectures from prominent figures in the society. We will be expanding these collections in the coming year to include subject collections to make it easier to find content that you may be interested in. This will be a great way to browse recent content in broad subject categories such as glaucoma, refractive error, low vision, public health, and more. In addition to subject categorizations, we will also provide filters to help sort content by article type (clinical trials, case reports, etc.) and other features. Keyword and more advanced search capabilities will still exist, and these will be improved significantly in this coming year. As part of this revised article classification scheme, we will be asking authors and reviewers to update their personal subject classifications so that we can continue to match author submissions with the best available reviewer expertise and to help classify and categorize published content.
The online display of article content has also been updated in the past year. This new display format makes it easier to browse specific articles, download them, share your finds via social media, and see what sort of attention a publication is getting from blogs, news outlets, social media, scholarly citations, and other sources.
Publishing in the digital world is still about distribution. Although content is important, its accessibility and discoverability are equally important today. Optometry and Vision Science is pleased to bring our content to the members of the American Academy of Optometry and to a community of clinical investigators, basic vision scientists, and scholars around the world. Although the world of academic publishing continues to change, our mission to provide quality scientific content worldwide remains the same and we are continuing to adapt and offer new ways to find, use, and interact with the content we publish.