For the past several months, subscribers to the Christian Science periodicals and visitors to spirituality.com have been asking for more details about the upcoming Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and Herald Online (JSH Online) subscription, described in the March 2011 Journal article “Next Tuesday, a Year from Now.” This News@CSPS column will be dedicated for the next few months to answering these and ongoing questions to provide you with more details about the core features and functionality of the new JSH Online subscription, to debut early in 2012.
First we want to assure all our current print subscribers and readers that The Christian Science Publishing Society’s (CSPS) decision to offer an online subscription is not part of a plan to replace print periodicals. Quite the opposite. The Publishing Society is totally dedicated to providing print periodicals. In fact, we’re encouraging every subscriber to the print magazines to also become a subscriber to the online product. The JSH Online subscription will be a new separate subscription, extending the features and accessibility of the print periodical, in the same way eBibleLesson or my Bible Lesson extends the features and accessibility of the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons, Study and Citation Editions.
One of the major features of the JSH Online subscription is searchable access to all 129 years of the archive of the print Journal, Sentinel, and Herald (JSH). You might think of it as Bound Volumes online. The online archive will include:
• Nearly 250,000 Journal, Sentinel, and Herald (German, French, Portuguese, and Spanish) articles, starting with the first Journal published in 1883, right up to the present issues.
• Each newly published print issue of the Journal, Sentinel, and Herald, presented in a digital format.
• All digital Sentinel Radio programs from January 2000 through December 2011.
• New online original audio and online content published daily on the website.
• spirituality.com original content, including Sentinel chats and the Question of the Week, from October 2001 until the close of spirituality.com when the new JSH Online site is launched.
As you can see, the archive will grow every day as new content is added.
To make the new digital archive really come alive as a handy research tool, a robust search capability will allow you to browse, search, and find content across the entire collection. You’ll be able to thumb through a single issue, a year of issues, or a decade of issues. Using the “simple search” function, you’ll be able to query by topics, concepts, and themes, using words that may appear in the title or anywhere in the text. With the “advanced search” you’ll be able to use filters to narrow your query to a specific periodical, author, date or date range, title, or article type. In other words, you’ll be able to find whatever ideas, articles, testimonies, audio programs, and chats you’re looking for in past and current JSH content.
Another JSH Online Concord-like function will link quoted references in the online articles directly to Mary Baker Eddy’s writings, the King James Version of the Bible, and the Christian Science Hymnal, as csjournal.com and cssentinel.com do today.
In addition to reading, listening, and researching online, as a subscriber you’ll be able to share content with others by printing an article, e-mailing a link, or sending Facebook or Twitter posts. Or simply by showing an article or playing an audio portion to a friend on your smartphone or tablet. When you share an individual article online with nonsubscribers, they’ll be able to read the full article you shared, as well as explore a sampling of recent content in the non-subscriber area of the website.
The process of transforming all previously published content from print to online text is called digitization. Every article from 1883 will be consistently formatted for an optimal online reading experience, and will allow readers to adjust the font size to meet their individual need.
While we have taken extensive steps to ensure that quotations are consistent with how they appear in the print periodical, the digitization process is not 100 percent accurate. Online readers may on rare occasion find a misspelled word or other typos. A feedback form on each article page will allow users to report any instances of inaccuracy so that they can be quickly corrected.
We hope this has been helpful in answering some of the questions you have had about the new JSH Online subscription. We’ll continue to share more about content, timing, and pricing as we move forward to the launch of this new CSPS product. Feel free to share your questions and comments by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Sparkman is Managing Publisher, Journal, Sentinel, and Heralds.