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Re-launch of the refurbished STEM CELLS Portal

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Introduction

The STEM CELLS Portal has been around for a few years now so we thought we should bring it in for a ref-fit. Originally launched on 7th February 2010, the Portal aimed to provide the readership of STEM CELLS with an online forum for issues related to stem cell research. We always intended the Portal to be more than simply an “overflow” section for the main journal website and we wanted our readership to use it as a space where they could interact with other stem cell researchers to air their views or have questions answered. As before, we welcome input from all portal users whether they are stem cell scientists or simply persons with an interest in what is going on in the scientific world. Our new mission is to provide a hub for the STEM CELLS and STEM CELLS Translational Medicine Sister Journals, with an interactive, up-to-the-minute platform covering the latest research from bench science and developments in clinical applications.

What’s new?

The Portal can be accessed by clicking the links provided on the homepages of the journal websites or via our URL (http://www.StemCellsPortal.com/) and as you will see, there is a lot of similarity to the online version of STEM CELLS. Current users will recognize some aspects of the old format of the Portal, but we have made some additions that we hope will be of interest to our users. To start, we have made the toolbars more visually engaging. The title can either be clicked to take you directly to the content or if you scroll down the page you can find the relevant sections there. For example, you can click on the News button and be directed to the portal’s “press room” and news section where coverage of the latest news from various sources and updates from ongoing clinical trials can be viewed alongside information from organizations such as the NIH and CIRM. Also in this section, you will find press releases from STEM CELLS & STEM CELLS Translational Medicine. Added to these will be our regularly updated RSS feeds covering topics of interest to those pursuing stem cell and regenerative medicine related research. The next item on the toolbar is the “Journal Club”. This is an important addition to the Portal functions and is split into three key areas; first of these is the “Stem Cell Buzz” in which we will post brief highlights of topics that are the most exciting developments currently happening in the stem cell field. These could be interesting research papers or even a court or governmental decision that has a major impact on stem cell research. Similarly, if a major industrial breakthrough is made it will go in the Buzz. While most of the content in this section will be identified by our editorial teams, we welcome your suggestions for “buzz” topics and would be happy to review them for inclusion. Also posted on the Journal Club section will be “Article Scans”, which are brief reviews of recently published articles, organized by stem cell type, that allow users to post comments and questions. We will also present selected journal articles, with a resume of the paper so Portal users can discuss the published data. This section will be titled “Journal Club Discussion” and our aim is to allow users to interact not only with the Portal but with each other to create an online resource where interesting data can be discussed. The “Features” section will cover topics of special interest such as lab features, industry developments, the STEM CELLS & STEM CELLS Translational MedicineYoung Investigator Awards, and the Editor’s blog. “Sister Journals” and “Resources” link respectively to the journal homepages and a range of useful links such as funding opportunities, meeting reports, stem cell related meetings, and our monthly Regenerative Medicine Weekly newsletter.

It’s simple!

We always wanted the STEM CELLS Portal to be a friendly, approachable, and above all easy-to-use resource. This is not always a simple goal given the vast and increasing volume of data related to stem cell research, but we hope we have improved the Portal sufficiently to encourage our existing users to make more use of the facility and to make it easier for new users to get involved. We look forward to hearing from you all soon!