ScienceDirect: New Visual Learning Tools Change How Readers Consume Information

Recent studies on learning styles have revealed a number of growing trends, including some fascinating facts on the way we consume information. Scientists have learned that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, with visual signals being processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

Transforming How Readers Learn: Virtual Microscope

The Content Innovation team at Elsevier strives to offer alternative ways to present information that meets the needs of different learning types. One recent example is the Virtual Microscope, a visual learning tool for books and journals. It was first introduced on ScienceDirect in June in the following journals:

  • Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology
  • Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology


















Close collaboration with editors and feedback from researchers was critical in refining the Virtual Microscope tool which solves the problem of how to show high-resolution digital pathology slides online.

The Virtual Microscope is now available on two popular books in ScienceDirect, allowing readers of these books to view any high-resolution slide image while zooming, panning and rotating images for fast, convenient access to slides at their highest resolution.

  • Atlas of Hematopathology – Morphology, Immunophenotype, Cytogenetics, and Molecular Approaches,  Edited by Faramarz Naeim, P. Nagesh Rao, Sophie Song and Wayne W. Grody
  • Comparative Anatomy and Histology – A Mouse and Human Atlas, Edited by Piper M. Treuting, Suzanne Dintzis, Denny Liggitt and Charles W. Frevert

Virtual Microscope

How Authors Can Contribute to Content Innovations on ScienceDirect

Developing tools that enhance and enrich ScienceDirect data without distracting the researcher is paramount for the Content Innovation team. After a new content innovation is discovered, it is evaluated and assessed for use across ScienceDirect journals and books. For example, the 3D visualization apps are currently being piloted within a ScienceDirect test environment, and the Interactive Maps innovation for books will soon be live.

Diverse innovations are in development for use across all ScienceDirect disciplines and will be announced to the author community as they become available. Additionally, we will continue to report on new visual learning tools in upcoming issues of Author Connect.

In the interim, a formal innovations submission process is in development for book authors, with complete steps coming soon to EMSS (Elsevier Manuscript Submission System).  For now, authors can submit the appropriate files or links to their assigned Elsevier editor and we will take care of the rest.

Try the Visual Microscope and Tell Us Your Thoughts!

Elsevier understands that discoverability and multimedia go hand-in-hand. Recent ScienceDirect usage reports reflect a higher degree of reader interaction when visual content is presented. As we rapidly work towards new video and audio enhancements on ScienceDirect, we encourage the author community to try our new Virtual Microscope. We’re anxious to hear your thoughts, please submit any feedback or comments to

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