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Elsevier pilots new research tool 'Reflect' in its premier life science journal Cell

Amsterdam, 13 November, 2009 Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced that the innovative research tool 'Reflect', winner of Elsevier's Grand Challenge 2009, will be piloted on the research articles in the November 12th issue of Cell. The 'Reflect' tool identifies the proteins, genes and small molecules mentioned in the Cell articles, and generates pop-up windows containing relevant contextual information, with additional links, about those entities.

The Cell-Reflect pilot is the next step in Elsevier's ongoing Content Innovation effort with the scientific community to determine how a scientific article is best presented online. This follows Elsevier's recent launch of an initial 'Article of the Future' ( prototype with Cell, where the traditional linear journal article is displayed in a much more useful format for life scientists.

IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Vice President of Content Innovation for Elsevier Science & Technology Journal Publishing, commented, "Whereas the 'Article of the Future' prototype focused on the internal presentation of an article, the Cell-Reflect pilot connects the scientific article to its external scientific context. Tools like these have the potential to revolutionize the use of scientific research."

Inside an article, 'Reflect' tags and colors gene, protein, or small molecule names on any web page, usually within seconds, without affecting the article itself or its web page layout. Clicking on a tagged or colored item opens a popup, showing a concise summary of contextually important features, such as sequence (for proteins) or 2D structure (for small molecules).

Emilie Marcus, Editor in Chief, Cell Press commented, "We are pleased that the readers of Cell Press journals will have the opportunity to evaluate this new semantic enhancement tool and we look forward to hearing whether they find such annotation helpful and informative . The feedback on this pilot experiment will help in developing new functionalities that improve the presentation of scientific articles."'Reflect' was initially developed at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.

Sean l. O'Donoghue, who is coordinating the 'Reflect' project said, "We wanted to design a system that would enhance the reading of scientific papers on the web. Reflect has already received a lot of positive user-feedback and its user-base is rapidly increasing."

Earlier this year, 'Reflect' won Elsevier's Grand Challenge 2009 (, a competition to find innovative tools to improve the process of creating, reviewing and editing scientific content; interpreting or connecting the knowledge more effectively, or measuring the impact of these improvements.


Contact: Cathleen Genova
Cell Press

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