Optimizing for Mobile Users: Cureus Rolls Out Responsive Design

Roughly 25% of our community accesses Cureus via a mobile or tablet device. We’re not in the business of ignoring our users, which is why we’re happy to announce our new responsive design rollout. What is responsive design? To put it in plain terms, a responsive webpage will look great no matter how large or small your screen. When viewed on a phone (or even just a small browser window on your laptop), the page design will rearrange itself to give you, the reader, the best viewing experience. (For a more detailed response, check out this great piece by John Polacek.)

Desktop view (left) vs. Mobile view (right)
Desktop view (left) vs. Mobile view (right)

Since submitting an article draft doesn’t translate well to mobile (and really, who wants to do all of that on their phone?), this will remain a non-responsive process, designed to be completed on a desktop or laptop computer. Reading and scoring articles, posters and abstracts, however, is a perfect fit for our mobile and tablet users – and it just became easier than ever with our newly released page designs.

Quickly hop into an article on your phone with no need to resize the page or struggle with small buttons or text. Now you can read, score and share whenever you have a moment. We know how busy you are – perhaps your evening train commute is the best time for you to be active in the Cureus community. Or maybe you prefer to check out the latest published articles while relaxing in your yard. Whatever the case may be, you’ll be able to do it on your phone or tablet.

We’ll be making more pages responsive just as soon as we can – so stay tuned for more updates! Questions or comments? Shoot us an email at info@cureus.com.

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Calling All Academic Departments: It’s Time to Share Your Hard Work With the World

Close your eyes and picture the following (it probably won’t be difficult):

Your academic department is full of hard-working researchers and practicing physicians. Cutting edge research and innovative clinical experiences are everywhere. Trusted veteran physicians and up-and-coming stars are working together. All of your department’s faculty and residents know that their collective work is making a difference. Worthy of praise, funding and patient referrals.

But does anyone else know?

By partnering with Cureus you can ensure that fellow physicians around the world are updated on the latest and greatest from your department. All Cureus channel partners receive their very own branded, quarterly email digests that are managed and sent by Cureus.

Featuring hand-picked, recently published articles from your department as well as author head shots, a Cureus quarterly digest is an excellent way to raise awareness surrounding your department, boost the profile of up-and-coming faculty and even gain patient referrals.

We invite each of our channel partners to customize their quarterly’s messaging to fit their department’s unique goals. With thousands of recipients and sky-high open and click rates, we’re confident that a Cureus quarterly digest is the best value for your department’s marketing budget. Take a look at the examples below, and contact us at info@cureus.com to learn how your department can reach physicians and researchers around the world.

Note: partial view of quarterly digest.
Note: partial view of quarterly digest.
Note: partial view of quarterly digest.
Note: partial view of quarterly digest.

Comments from an Invited Reviewer: How Cureus is Different

Here at Cureus we take author and reviewer satisfaction very seriously. We strive to respond to all questions, comments and complaints as soon we can, often within just a few hours. If you’re familiar with the Cureus mission, you know that constructing a publication process devoid of politics (and supporting the increased transparency that comes with it) are our primary goals.
With that in mind, we’d like to share a recent exchange between an anonymous Cureus peer-reviewer unhappy with the amount of time he received to review an article.

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Reviewer: Less than a week for an academic neurosurgeon to provide a review? Hmmmm.

Cureus: I was forwarded your recent email lament about the review period ending on a paper to which you were recently invited to comment. I wanted to reach out to you by email to firstly, thank you for responding, and secondly to explain a little bit more how the Cureus review process is designed to work, which as you perhaps noted is quite different than traditional journals.

As an academic neurosurgeon myself, I am all too aware that sometimes it can be impossible to find the time to review a manuscript just because one is just too darn busy. That is a given!! What happens in traditional journals routinely is that such busy academics plan to review a paper but for a range of reasons never get around to it. Therefore, the editor in chief and staff of most journals spend most of their time (and journal money) chasing down reviewers and as a result the process of review can last for months in many cases. We at Cureus have tried to do something quite different in our review process. We invite a number of reviewers to review but we fully expect most to be too busy and decline. If anyone is busy, it is quite ok to decline, our Cureus editorial team totally understands. However, the expectation is that a few of the invited reviewers will have both the time and the interest to perform a timely review……in fact, we are eventually hoping to achieve a review cycle of just a few days.

While this review cycle is better than nearly all other medical journals, it should be noted that NEJM does offer a turn around time in a week for some selected topics so this objective is not totally beyond current trends at the most selective journals. By resetting expectations for reviews, Cureus hopes to avoid the many month review cycles that are commonplace with JNS or Neurosurgery for example. The beauty of a faster review cycle is that the reviewed article remains fresh in everyone’s mind so that a lot of time is not wasted reacquainting oneself (both author and reviewers) with the article and any reviewer comments that emanate with each review cycle. Moreover, Cureus’ in-browser reviewing tool makes it easier than ever for a reviewer to comment on a paper and communicate their critique directly to the author. In the process hopefully everyone wins. The ultimate objective is to accelerate the process of publishing/documenting medical science, which I believe to be a net positive.

Clearly your first interaction with Cureus was less than ideal. I am hoping that after my explanation here you might give Cureus another try? In particular I would love you to perhaps even consider publishing your own article in our totally FREE open access journal, an experience first hand how a faster/easier review process can even make publishing peer reviewed papers FUN!!  I note that you are a DBS guy and by virtue of such you clearly must be comfortable with new ideas and technology. As Cureus seeks to innovate in the medical journal space, we especially welcome early adopters like yourself.

I am happy to answer any further questions should you have any or address any other concerns your might have.

Reviewer: Many thanks for your email and clarification. I do agree that the review process is often too lengthy, especially with the journals you mention. Sadly, even with the best will in the world, the pressures of clinical work and other academic deadlines do not make it feasible for me to provide a thorough review on a paper within a week of receiving the request.

That said, now that I understand the philosophy behind the Cureus review process and I do like the idea. It is a clean and workable solution, but I fear it may work against the clinical scientist, especially in the surgical field where time is more limited.

I do find publishing fun … especially the debate with constructive reviewers. I will think of Cureus if I have any suitable material in the coming months.

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A fair argument? What do you think?

Raise Money with a Contribution Link on Your Cureus Article

Would you like to raise money for your research fund or a charity related to your research or clinical efforts? Now you can with a Cureus contribution link! Each contribution link features a custom image or logo representing a fund or foundation of your choosing. Clicking on a contribution link enables anyone viewing a Cureus article to quickly navigate to the donation page of that research fund or charity organization.

contributionlink

How are contribution links added to articles?
We’ve made it a very simple process. To get the ball rolling, just email us at support@cureus.com. Include the name of your previously published or soon-to-be published article as well as a link to the donation page of the research fund or charity website that you’d like to support. We ask only that the contribution recipient be somehow related to your work (it doesn’t have to relate to the specific article). For example, it could be your own research fund or a charity organization dedicated to fighting lung cancer.

As with all aspects of Cureus publishing, adding a contribution link is 100% free, so don’t miss this great opportunity to raise some money and do some good, whether it’s for a medical charity near and dear to your heart or your own research fund. Give your audience a chance to make a difference and contact us today.

We’re extending the deadline for competition articles!

Good news for all the innovative neurosurgeons out there! Summer is a busy time of year – with holidays, vacations, the new residency year, and the long hours demanded by the neurosurgery profession, we know that your time is scarce. That’s why we’ve elected to extend the entry deadline for our Intraoperative Fluorescence Publishing Competition!

We’ve had more than a few potential authors express concern regarding their ability to submit research before July 28th. After considering their requests, as well as the effects an extension would have on the competition, we’ve decided to push the article submission deadline back to Monday, July 28th. That’s a whole extra month to gather your research, write your article and submit it to Cureus. All of the upcoming dates are listed below:

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As a reminder, you can visit the competition page to find out more about the competition. Questions? Just leave a comment below or email us at info@cureus.com and we’ll get back to you right away. We can’t wait to see all the exciting new research submitted over the next six weeks. Good luck!

 

Cureus Team Building: Crawfishing in Pescadero Creek

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9S2A5710Our team has been hard at work creating the best possible experience for the Cureus community, and while hard work is its own reward, we were lucky enough to escape the office recently for a day of good old-fashioned team building. How did the fine folks at Cureus elect to spend the day? Hunting for crayfish (aka crawfish aka crawdads) of course!

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The gang packed up nets, bacon (for bait!) and picnic lunches before heading down the coast to Pescadero, California. Home to the appropriately-named Pescadero Creek, Pescadero is a wonderfully secluded and picturesque town just a few short miles from the Pacific coast. It was here, along the muddy banks of the Pescadero Creek, that the Cureus team went to work, baiting and trapping crawfish with the same verve and zeal normally reserved for design, development and customer support.

IMG_7151Utilizing skilled techniques passed down through generations of Barrettos (Chris Barretto, Cureus VP of Engineering), we set bait with mouthwatering raw bacon and proceeded to wait, and wait, and wait and finally poke and prod the delightfully plentiful crawfish into our awaiting nets. It was messy business, and there were more than a few cuts, spills and even one unfortunate crawfish attack, resulting in a well-deserved wound to the finger. But just as with web design and editorial duties, these trials eventually gave way to well-earned rewards. The final tally? 55 crawfish, 8 dirty but happy Cureus team members and 1 very nice dinner

IMG_7150The team made it back to work the next day, all in one piece and now the march continues as we work to bring you the very best medical journal on the web. We’re very excited about our recent channels and competition, and we’ll be ready to announce new features very soon. Thanks again for your continued support. Don’t forget to contact us with suggestions, criticism and the like!

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The Cureus Team toasts to a job well done before sitting down to enjoy the day’s catch.
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Crawfish!

Why Should You Care About SIQ?

If you’ve spent much time around Cureus you’ve probably (hopefully?) heard of Scholarly Impact Quotient, or SIQ. At Cureus we’re committed to reducing the barrier to publication for physicians and medical researchers and a big part of that is making it easy to assess the merit of published articles.

Backing up for a second, I think we can all agree that Impact Factor is showing its age. Long considered the be-all, end-all when it comes to measuring article quality, Impact Factor has devolved into the proverbial snake that ate its tail, with article importance determined by journal importance, when clearly it should be the other way around.

We created SIQ as a means to improve the way an article’s “impact” is deciphered. SIQ allows all registered users to assess the relative merits of a published article. Although the judgments of an individual, or even a limited number of peer reviewer(s), can be flawed, there is an innate “wisdom of the crowd” that is harnessed by SIQ. Furthermore, SIQ is grounded in statistical power; the judgment of “the many” can diminish the biased influence of “a few.” In this way, the Cureus review process results in a more accurate measure of article quality.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 4.39.04 PMSo now you’re probably thinking, “Ok, great – but how does that help me?” Well, as a published author with Cureus, it’s in your best interest to have a high SIQ score. Once you’ve published, the natural inclination is to lean back in your chair, exhale and maybe have a celebratory glass of your favorite beverage. And to that I say, “Well earned.” BUT – your work isn’t quite done yet! The hard part is definitely over, no need to worry, but by sharing your published article with your friends and colleagues (and urging them to honestly assess your article with SIQ) you will boost your article’s visibility and its perception amongst the Cureus community. So next time you publish with Cureus, take an extra 5 minutes and share your article with the world.