On 22 February 2021, we launched the new digital platform for The Pharmaceutical Journal, providing us with a new set of tools to deliver our high-quality editorial content and present you with an entirely new digital experience. The launch has been the culmination of a seven-month project and more than two years of preparation.
In the weeks leading up to launch, we have tested the overall performance of the website; analysed how fast pages load; and checked that tens of thousands of images and pieces of editorial content display as intended. We only proceeded to launch when we were fully confident that everything would work properly on both desktop and mobile. With almost 1 million people visiting the PJ website each month, we wanted to ensure that we didn’t disappoint members and our wider audiences.
But what you will find isn’t just a website; rather, it is a content management system that enables us to create and produce editorial content, as well as manage existing content. There is a media library, an ecommerce system and a search tool, as well as a learning management system to deliver question modules as part of CPD, all collectively referred to as a ‘platform’.
As with any new platform, we are prepared for technical bugs to emerge as more people use the platform and more content is accessed from the array of individual devices and settings that are out there. In the unlikely event that you identify an issue, please do get in touch. There will always be a member of the PJ team available during business hours to help fix any problems.
You can email email@example.com with any queries, and we will be sending an email to all members and subscribers with relevant links to support, guidance and email addresses to ensure you have your questions answered.
Yet, while the new platform represents a major improvement on the old, there are still changes to be made and new features to add that are only possible now the website is live. It takes a little time for us to gather those data to deliver the ‘personalisation’ part of our plan, for example. We are also keen to include a greater variety of question formats as part of the testing module within CPD articles beyond the ‘single best answer’ format, a style that will be recognisable to anyone familiar with the pharmacy registration exam. Soon, we will challenge readers with open-field questions against a model answer and rank answers with explanations for wrong answers. We also want to break up the 15-question test to ask single questions peppered throughout the body of CPD and learning articles.
Other things we plan to deliver over the coming weeks include improvement to the search tool so results can be filtered according to time of publication, a comments section and the ability to bookmark articles on your account. We will also have the ability to better understand how you read and share content to inform our commissioning plans and ultimately better serve our members and wider readership.
As an organisation, we are acutely aware that becoming a digital-only publication and retiring the monthly print edition constitutes a significant change to how many members read the PJ. We are keen to support anyone who would like to use the digital edition and feels that they would benefit from a demonstration, with tips on how to use it. We will offer webinars on how to use the new website, which will also provide an opportunity for us to gather feedback. We would also encourage you to sign up for our array of newsletters — daily, weekly and monthly — to ensure you don’t miss any content. You can do this on the ‘Preference centre’ under ‘My account’.
As publisher, I am hugely grateful to the leadership of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for the strong support it has shown in bringing the new digital PJ to fruition, and to the Assembly, our highest governance body, for making sure that we delivered to members what was promised as part of the plan. I would also like to thank my many colleagues across the organisation for working so well together to deliver a new state-of-the-art platform, which we can all be proud of.
Tony Scully is publisher of Pharmaceutical Journal Publications