After a short hiatus in its publishing schedule earlier this year, Euroabstracts – the European Commission's 42-year old periodical – has just come out with its June issue. Alert readers will notice an immediate change at the ‘front of the book,' namely the redefined section divisions on the Contents page that better reflect the scope of Euroabstracts' reviews. Certain old headings, such as ‘human factor', ‘enterprise environment' and ‘technological change' have been replaced with or merged into: ‘Knowledge society', ‘Environment' and ‘Technology'.
|Euroabstracts has returned with a sharp new lookand fine-tuned section divisions|
© European Commission
These classifications not only reflect more closely to the EU's broader policy orientations, but they also capture more effectively the crucial interplay between business and industry, on one side, and research, innovation and environmental policy, on the other. For instance, the June issue six-page feature is on sustainable business and how the Union's Lisbon Strategy is being overhauled in 2005 to produce a more realistic blueprint for achieving the strategy's goals of sustainable growth and job creation.
The June issue carries plenty of reviews to interest an S&T readership. For instance, ‘Boosting the European knowledge factor' summarises the findings and recommendations of a report produced by EIROforum, which brings together seven of Europe's top research institutes, on how to increase the Union's R&D capacity. Books covering e-government, as well as space, energy and transport research are also reviewed concisely and engagingly.
The forthcoming August issue's feature will focus on the UK presidency and its efforts to promote innovation among SMEs in Europe.
Mixing tradition and innovation
Being one of the EU's oldest publications, Euroabstracts has a distinguished ancestry. Since its launch more than four decades ago, it has both been a review of innovation and an innovator in its own right.
It was first published in 1963 with the title Euratom Information. To begin with, it covered only publications emanating from the work of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). The title was changed to Euroabstracts in 1970, signalling the expansion of its coverage to include research-related publications of interest to a wider audience. For the next three decades, it served its target audience – primarily, researchers, national policy-makers and programme managers, and their librarians – as a catalogue of scientific and technical publications resulting from European research.
In recent years, the scope has been widened further to include entrepreneurship, economics and innovation in its widest sense. Although Euroabstracts is funded by the Sixth Framework Programme for Research, it has been managed by the Enterprise DG ever since the DG was created in 2000.
With the advent of the internet, Euroabstracts went in for a makeover. In addition to snappy one-page reviews, it contained a topical six-page feature, including an interview with a leading figure. In addition, all its articles were made available on its own website which has recently given way to the powerful and versatile Articles on Innovation news service.
Although Euroabstracts' layout and sections have been redesigned to give it a fresher look and more streamlined content, more change is on the way. The next round will arrive with the August edition which will see the magazine's visual identity further refined. Since Euroabstracts provides such a winning formula for its readers, the change will not be a radical one. But the articles should be quicker to scan and digest as a result.
With each passing year, more information is migrating into cyber-space. Indeed, a growing number of organisations make information available only on the Internet. For this reason, Euroabstracts will be carrying more web reviews.