A New C&EN

This week’s issue marks a milestone in the evolution of Chemical & Engineering News. With the Oct. 31 issue, we completed the first phase of the C&EN Production Automation Program (CPAP). Production of C&EN has been completely transformed and the technology behind that production is now state of the art.

CPAP is a suite of projects that has been ongoing behind the scenes for more than two years. Some elements of CPAP have already come into existence. The C&EN Archives—the digital collection of all issues of C&EN from its introduction in 1923 through 2009—for example, debuted in November 2010; all 2010 issues were added to the C&EN Archives in the first quarter of 2011.

We introduced C&EN Mobile, another CPAP project, in August of this year. All issues of C&EN are now available for free to ACS members on their smart phones and tablets, an important new member benefit.

The most visible manifestation of the completion of CPAP 1.0 is the redesign of C&EN Online. Regular users of C&EN Online will notice the changes immediately. If you aren’t a regular user of C&EN’s online edition, please check it out at cen-online.org.

The C&EN Online homepage has been overhauled in response to numerous user comments to make it less dense and more user friendly. Site navigation has been streamlined to make it more intuitive. Access to various features like the C&EN Archives, specialized collections of stories, and the SCENE news channels is straightforward. There is a greater emphasis on Latest News, which now accounts for nearly 40% of C&EN Online page downloads, and the CENtral Science blogs.

One of the most important new features of C&EN Online is the ability for readers to comment on any C&EN story. I hope readers will continue to send us letters to the editor about our coverage. Now, however, readers can immediately respond to a story with additional commentary, links to related material, or criticism. The first time a reader comments on a story, the comment will be reviewed before it appears. After that, comments will post directly. We trust that ACS members and other readers of C&EN Online will use the new commenting feature in a constructive and respectful manner. C&EN editors will be monitoring the comments and will respond to them when appropriate.

Much of CPAP 1.0 isn’t visible to our readers. The commenting feature and other new elements on the redesigned C&EN Online are possible because the online edition is now being delivered by a dedicated online delivery system (ODS) that has been put in place. All of 2010 and 2011 C&EN Online content is now housed in the new ODS; migrating earlier content is a central element of CPAP 2.0, which begins as soon as the C&EN Online team and their ACS Washington IT colleagues recover from the effort that went into launching CPAP 1.0. And behind the new ODS is a completely new digital workflow tool that renders all of C&EN content in XML (extendable markup language). Launching C&EN Mobile, for example, was completely dependent on the successful implementation of this XML workflow.

It is impossible to thank everyone who made major contributions to this effort. C&EN Online Editor Rachel Pepling and her team—Tchad Blair, Luis Carrillo, Ty Finocchiaro, and Pam Rigden Snead—have put in many long days and weeks working on CPAP 1.0. C&EN Managing Editor Robin Giroux, Assistant Managing Editor for Editing & Production Kim Twambly, Design Director Rob Bryson, Composition Manager Renee Zerby, Display Advertising Manager Meltem Akbasli, and Journal News & Community Senior Editor Lila Guterman and their teams have been instrumental in implementing CPAP 1.0. From Washington IT, CPAP Program Manager Stephen Armah, ODS Project Manager Chandrashekar Ramanan, and K4 Workflow Project Manager Madi Nassiri and their numerous colleagues have been wonderful partners in this transformation of C&EN’s production technologies and processes.

Implementing CPAP 1.0 required a major expenditure of human and capital resources by ACS. It demonstrates our commitment to continue to deliver a state-of-the-art news magazine to ACS members and other C&EN readers.

Thanks for reading.

Author: Rudy Baum

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