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All My Eye

Wherein the IngentaConnect product management and engineering teams ramble, rant, and generally sound off on topics of the day...

Updated: 2018-03-06T09:07:34.769+00:00


Join our Client Management Team!


We are on the lookout for a new full-time Client Manager in our Oxford office to act as primary contact for a number of our publisher clients. It's a busy role with plenty to keep you interested and the opportunity to work with a wide variety of publishers and a friendly team of colleagues.

If you have excellent customer service skills and a head for business then drop us a line. Details (along with other current UK vacancies) can be found here:

Latest news: Publishing Technology helps customers maximize investment in online content with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightsconnect


Copyright Clearance Center and Publishing Technology will integrate Rightsconnect licensing functionality with IngentaConnect. Publishers can offer their users instant permission to license and reuse their content right where they view it, all in a matter of minutes. Users simply click the "Get Permissions" button and they can instantly search, price and pay for permission to use and share content. CCC handles royalty collection and automatically distributes cheques back to the publisher.

For more information:

At the 2009 STM Spring Conference


The 2009 STM spring conference is being held at Cambridge, Massachusetts from 28th to 30th April. I am attending the conference and will present a talk on the 30th about "How Publishers could use Semantic Web Technologies for enriched content and enhanced delivery". As part of the presentation, I intend to show examples of applications that have been built using Publishing Technology's Metastore. The conference programme looks very interesting and I am looking forward to it!

Publishing Technology at UKSG


Publishing Technology will be exhibiting at the UKSG Conference in Torquay next week. Drop by our stand (54) to find out more about IngentaConnect mobile, how IngentaConnect can help institutions make their budgets go further and to meet the newest member of our team Natasha Oostergetel.

The Institution of Civil Engineers will also be at UKSG (stand 37) and will be demoing a beta version of their new ICE Virtual Library (built on pub2web technology).

Publishing Technology at Online Information 2008


Further to John's post about IngentaConnect mobile, if you want to find out more or see a demo of this trial service drop by the Publishing Technology stand (620) at Online Information 2008, 2-4 December. It is also an opportunity to find out more about our other services, including pub2web and Connect Compilations, which have been recently featured in this blog.

Ingentaconnect goes mobile.


(image) Even in these leaner times the focus of technology is often bigger, better, faster more, but sometimes small is beautiful, and in the case of mobile internet, jolly convenient too. That’s why I’m pleased to say that ingentaconnect is making preparations to go mobile.

We’ve been putting together a proof of concept to see how connect would look on a mobile device, and explore the benefits it could bring. What we learn here on connect will be rolled into our high end publishing platform - pub2web.

It’s been a fascinating experience with a steep learning curve. I suddenly realise that conventional browser compatibility woes are nothing compared to the differences in the way mobile platforms render their content. The variations are as fascinating as they are frustrating: countless screen sizes and resolutions, CSS may not be understood, or just partially understood, javascript? maybe, if the wind is in the right direction. Of course mobile doesn’t just mean phones, it includes PDAs too, including those running windows CE, replete with the ‘niggles’ of IE5 and 6.
As it happened we didn’t need to wade too deeply into the intricacies of handset compatibility, we drew upon the expertise of Momac, specialists in mobile publishing. Their platform, GoMedia, is capable of tailoring content to just about any mobile device you care to connect with. Take a look at the screen shot, or rather device shot, to see connect mobile in action.

Oh, and while I’m here, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask for some audience participation: if you use connect, or similar sites, and can think of a mobile feature that you’d like to see, I’d love to hear! Just pop your idea in the comments field or mail us.

Connect Compilations - a little glimpse of the future


Connect compilations will be introduced into ingentaconnect during the next couple of weeks, its features represent a delicious sample of the technical offering Publishing Technology is cooking up.

Connect Compilations enable publishers to assemble 'virtual' publications from their existing content on connect. Compilations are given titles, descriptions, links and logos such that they look similar to conventional publications. They may be organised in familiar serial and monograph formats. At ingentaconnect Compilations may be purchased and subscribed to in the same way as other publications. Crucially the publisher has control over the Compilation, it is available to amend and augment whenever they please.

From an end user perspective Connect Compilations will be quietly integrated into the search and browse facilities on connect. For publishers the changes are more marked, a whole set of administration tools have been introduced.

To provide powerful administration tools we've increased our adoption of client side plugins (based on Jquery) and paradigms like AJAX. Both have been on the list of 'must have' technical buzz words for a some time, but we've taken care only to employ them where there is tangible benefit. Most significant is the introduction of semantic technologies; an RDF triple store for data, SPARQL to query it, Jena and our own framework to represent data to the application.

One may well ask what immediate benefit does semantic technology bring, beyond exciting programmers and web luminaries? The first benefit we'll see on ingentaconnect is tighter integration, both inside the site and with the wider web. RDF enables us to make assertions about resources (like articles, authors and references) without imposing constraints on the assertions made, or how they will be used. Crucially we can use the assertions to draw conclusions, or inferences, to fill in gaps, and really 'understand' the data. All of this is achieved with little redundancy or repetition. The factors combine to produce a store on which services to cater for varying requirements and perspectives can readily be built.

The benefits I've mentioned thus far could of course be realised with a relational database, but we're laying our new foundations at present, and more will grow out them.

In down to earth speak, all this means ingentaconnect, and close relation pub2web, will increasingly provide accurate linking, interesting ways to splice together content and, as Connect Compilations demonstrates, put control into the hands of online Publishers.

The 4+1 Architecture


In an earlier post on the Scrum development process, I outlined why I felt a lightweight agile process was a good choice for the IngentaConnect engineering team. This set me thinking that the way we express our architecture is similarly minimal, with many of the same desirable features, such as ease of adoption and consideration of needs outside the engineering team. However, while Scrum is very much in the public eye and receives ample press, the architectural model we use, Kruchten's 4+1 View, doesn't seem to have had its fair share of the limelight.The 4+1 view was designed by Philippe Kruchten, and like Scrum one of its guiding principles was to address the needs not just of one specific group, in this case software architects, but all the people with a vested interest in the work. Krutchen describes these folk as stakeholders. These are the developers who will write software, the integrators who will manage servers, the project managers and the product clients. The concepts in 4+1 aren't all new, but they are a unique blend. The UML offers a smorgasbord of diagrams and documents to express an architecture, Krutchen's model distils the multiple representations into just four core models, or views, reinforced by a suite of worked examples or user scenarios. The logical view is concerned with user features, services and functional requirements. The view illustrates key concepts, or abstractions; these become the software building blocks that will be needed to deliver features.The development view, is focused on implementation, and the organization of the software. This includes grouping of code into easily managed units, determining functional layers and the interfaces between them.The physical view illustrates where software components are actually deployed (in simple terms which machines they run on) and considers communications between software services. It is intended for system engineers and integrators, and is likely to present a number of variations tailored to different needs, for example test systems and production systems.The process view takes abstractions from the logical view and considers how they will behave when executed, including issues like synchronisation and concurrency. This is achieved by breaking each process into tasks whose interactions may be more readily examined.I've mentioned the four views, what about the +1? The plus one element is a set of user scenarios, or use cases. Although as vital as the views, they are denoted by '+1' because the model is already complete without them, there should be no new architectural information contained therein. The plus one element does however play a crucial role. It illustrates and communicates the architecture, concrete examples reinforce the modelling concepts in the views, and for those not familiar with modelling diagrams they provide an idea of what the architecture can achieve. User scenarios also serve to test and verify the model; working through a realistic set of interactions can expose new concepts, and generate confidence in those already identified.So that’s 4+1 in a (rather small) nutshell, but what does is it bring to Ingenta’s technical products such as pub2web? The value of software architecture has parallels to the value of building architecture. It provides a vision of what is being built, defining boundaries, layout and interactions. The product shape is described even though the nuts and bolts aren’t. Despite this, the architecture provides enough detail to drive component design and implementation. The discipline of 4+1 ensures that non functional requirements such as scalability and fault tolerance are considered from the outset. In short; good architecture answers questions the architects did and, crucially didn’t, expect to be asked.[...]

Once more unto the Scrum....


The engineers behind ingenta connect are about to launch into the second iteration of the development which will deliver Connect Compilations. Connect Compilations give publishers the ability to create "virtual" online journals containing articles from any of their publications on ingentaconnect.Connect Compilations are being developed using an agile development methodology called Scrum. Scrum is a relatively new to us, and so I wanted to share our experiences with it. Prior to the adoption of Scrum we used the best parts of XP and agile methodologies, but did not tie them together formally with an off the shelf process.What is agile?Agile development methods are distinguished from other methodologies by a number of traits, but unusually for the software business the name 'agile' is quite expressive. The freeDictionary defines agile thus:“Characterized by quickness, lightness, and ease of movement; nimble.”The lightness and nimble parts of the definition are crucial. Agile methodologies aim to provide development teams a way to react to, or even embrace, change in a rapid but controlled fashion. In other words they need to remain nimble, such that when a change occurs development does not just stop. This is achieved by a tight cycle of software releases, customer review, and revision. This cycle is termed an iteration.Lightness is another desirable attribute of an agile process: lightness referring to the weight, or effort, needed to adopt and use a process. I wouldn’t recommend this, but if you were to print out the scrum process and rational unified process documentation and put the piles of paper side by side, you’d get a another perspective on agile’s lightness. In general engineers just want to get stuck into the technical elements of a project, and the business would rather they were doing just that, bringing a rapid return on investment, rather than spending long periods learning and interpreting process.What is different about scrum?Scrum uses common agile principles, such as continuous integration, short iterations and close customer liaison. It distinguishes itself through a tight integration of development and project management practice.Empirical Management – Rather than trying to steer development according to a long-term plan, progress is tracked, observations are taken and adjustments made accordingly.Self Organised Teams – Although teams are assembled from a selection of people who are likely to play certain roles (developer, tester, leader, architect and such like) the members are expected to organise themselves, rather like the skunkworks concept.Focused Teams – Scrum demands that the development team are allowed to focus on their goals almost exclusively.Team Buy In – The development team create the estimates, and agree the goals they can reach in the time given. This fosters commitment to the project’s goals.Fixed Time – The time element of the development is fixed. The team aims to deliver against its goals by an agreed date. The date cannot slip, bringing it sharply into focus.Prioritised Goals – The team’s goals are listed in a ‘sprint backlog’, the list is prioritised, with an estimated duration associated with each task. There is an overriding goal to create a usable product at the end of each sprint.Scrum TerminologyLike all good paradigms Scrum is overflowing with jargon and 'in jokes', some of the key terms needed to back the concepts include:Scrum Master – The scrum master is responsible for ensuring the team and the clients play by the rules of Scrum. A crucial part of this role is managing demands on the development team such that they can focus exclusively on the sprint goals.Sprint – A sprint is the fixed time the team have to achieve their goals. As the name implies it’s a period of intense activity with a clear finish time.Sprint Backlo[...]

Check out our new look!


IngentaConnect has had a facelift. We've just rolled out a new design that gives the site an altogether cleaner, fresher and more modern look and feel. We've not moved any buttons or changed any of the navigation, so you'll find that everything is where you expect it to be and works just as it previously did.

We hope that you enjoy the new design - if you have any feedback please do let us know.

BBC Monitoring is go!


Just a quick post to let you know that we have this week launched the new BBC Monitoring website, Getting to this point has been a truly collaborative effort across all of our parent company's three divisions (Ingenta, PCG and VISTA) so it's an exciting week for us all. The site is a comprehensive resource of open source intelligence relating to global current affairs - its content is gathered from over 3000 old and new media sources in over 150 countries. It's been specifically designed to meet the needs of the academic and institutional markets, to whom we are now offering free trials of its content. So, if you'd like a free trial of a fully searchable digital current affairs resource, please contact

KBART: improving the efficiency of the OpenURL supply chain


So we're back, and just about recovered, from UKSG and I thought All My Eye readers might be interested in a quick write up of the presentation I gave on OpenURL, problems in its supply chain, and the KBART working group that has been set up by UKSG and NISO to try and resolve the problems and make (use of) the technology more efficient. | View | Upload your own(Unfortunately, SlideShare doesn't seem to respect the animation I had put in so some of the diagrams in the above will be a little dense. But bear with me .. and remember, "when you hear this sound," [CLICK] "please turn the page.")The KBART working group's goal is to improve the supply of data to link resolvers and knowledge bases, in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of OpenURL linking. [CLICK] I figured, therefore, that it would be useful to start with a recap explaining what the OpenURL is, why it came into existence, and how it works. I followed that with an overview of the various groups within the information community who have an interest in making sure that it works effectively, and an exploration of what each group contributes to the process. Then I explained what a knowledge base is and why it is a key part of the OpenURL process, before suggesting some ways in which that process can break down. This brought us nicely to introducing the KBART working group, how it came into being, and what it sets out to do.About half of the delegates at each of my sessions were serials librarians, with the remainder split about equally between publishers and technology/service vendors. So my explanations are biased towards serials librarians, particularly in that they reference "journals" and "articles" when these are just two of the many types of object which OpenURLs can describe. (They are also the area in which OpenURL usage is most prevalent, and therefore the area in which most problems have been encountered to date).Origins of the OpenURL[CLICK]OpenURL is a NISO standard. It was developed to solve the "appropriate copy" or "Harvard" problem, where (once online publishing took off) different versions of a single article began to exist online, and a user was unlikely to have a licence to all of them. Conventional reference linking in those days (>5 years ago) involved hard-coding links between one supplier and another, so users were often linked to the “wrong” version of an article, one which they were not licensed to access. In the worst case scenario, this would result in a user undertaking a document delivery or pay-per-view transaction to obtain an article that might actually have been licensed elsewhere by the library.The OpenURL was designed to perform “context-sensitive” linking, whereby links are flexible and able to take into account the user’s institutional affiliations and the licences of that institution. It became a standard and has since been widely adopted. Here’s a graphic explanation of all that [CLICK - this next slide was beautifully animated to walk through each of the steps, which made it a little easier to follow. View the animated version here]. Explanation of graphic (if viewing the animated version, click at the end of each bullet to bring in the next step):a user comes across an article citationit could be linked to the full text on a publisher's websiteor in a databaseor in a gatewaythe full text might be in a print collectionor in a repository.But, any one of these links might take the user to an "inappropriate" copy i.e. one which he is not entitled to access.However if the institution has a link resolver, it can registerthe base URL of that link resolver with the provider of the article.The provider also knows the metadata of the citationand can put this together with the base URL of the link resolver to form a[...]

Catch me, Leigh and the rest of PT, at UKSG next wee(k)


The PT posse will be at the UKSG annual conference next week. We've got a stand (56 - branded as Publishing Technology so look for the squares not the eye!) - halfway between the exhibition hall entrance and the lunch, so we'll be looking out for you as you queue for rations. It would be worth swinging by if you're there, if only to check out the groovy new design in the works for IngentaConnect (no blogger previews, I'm afraid - not yet, anyway).

I will once again be blogging the conference so if you can't be there, be sure to keep an eye on LiveSerials to find out what's happening ... who's happening ... where it's happening ... whether it's happening? (of course it will be!)

And not that I'm blowing trumpets here, but since we're talking of what's happening, then let me quickly note that both Leigh and I are speaking at the conference. Our simultaneous briefing sessions will run on both Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning so there is no excuse for not seeing us both... Leigh will be holding forth on identifiers:
"as far as the web is concerned, if something doesn't have an identifier then it doesn't exist. Well, nearly ... This session will introduce the basic identifier schemes currently in use on the web and in publishing, and the growing need to expand the assignment of identifiers into new areas: for people, places, institutions, and data sets. Starting with a basic technology introduction, this talk will also highlight some potential impacts of assigning identifiers to new kins of 'content', and explore the possibilities for changing scholarly communication and streamlining the publishing business."
While I will be on my KBART tip:
"For publishers, librarians or intermediaries who have never quite understood the methodology or value of OpenURL and link resolvers: this session will provide an entry-level explanation of these core technologies, followed by a report on the progress of a UKSG-sponsored project to improve the data supplied to knowledge bases, which are key to the efficacy of the OpenURL process."
I think that's about it - see you in sunny Torquay!

Another new appointment: welcome Anna Drage


We're very pleased to welcome Anna Drage, joining us today as Senior Client Manager with responsibility for some of our major publisher customer relationships. Anna comes to us from Atypon where she had a similar role, and prior to that she worked at a number of publishers including Oxford University Press, where her responsibilities included their relationship with HighWire. So we feel very confident that Anna has a comprehensive understanding of our industry, our customers, and our competitors.

The full press release about Anna's appointment is here.

Consortial Networks and Publishers: Partnering in a Sea of Competition


The Electronic Resources & Libraries conference is taking place from tomorrow in Atlanta, GA. This is the conference's third year, and it's sold out - no surprise, given that it's a packed schedule with some strong speakers. Our own Jeff Downing (library relations manager) will be part of a panel discussion about the ways in which consortial networks can help libraries to retain "market share" in an increasingly competitive landscape. Here's a précis of Jeff's paper (which we published in last week's eyetoeye newsletter).It is no secret: libraries face daily and ever-increasing competition. Within this sea of competition, however, publishers and regionally-based consortial networks are forging partnerships to develop creative, long-term cost-effective business models for content delivery. Where is the competition coming from? Competition for traditional library services is coming from all directions, but most obviously from the web, where consumer information is widely available and in many cases freely accessible. Wikipedia, for all its faults, has become a destination reference resource while other less well-branded sources of information are made easily discoverable by search services such as Google. Thus users are now able to self-serve much of the information that historically has only been available via the library or other paid services. But, of course, users are largely untrained in the skills of assessing found materials for authoritativeness, and in forgoing library assistance they are at risk not only of missing out on valuable paid-for resources, but also of basing their studies on incorrect data or ill-formed arguments. The convenience of internet research is substituting for the credible sources to be obtained from the traditional library. What effect does this new competition have?Historically, libraries have had the good fortune of being a monopoly; if you wanted access to information, especially authoritative information, you went to the library. Libraries had no competition and thus had no need to operate like a commercial business. As other resources become more prominent, libraries are having to re-envision and re-tool to operate in a more competitive environment. This is an attitudinal shift to which not all librarians are ready to adapt; the rigours of competition in a free market are not necessarily a welcome environment for those who have opted for an altruistic career assisting researchers in their information quest. Some people's reaction to the sea of competition?How can libraries reinforce their value in the information supply chain?Researchers continue to need to access quality, peer-reviewed information, and in providing this the library is making itself an essential tool in the academic arsenal. Libraries should take advantage of regional networks like Amigos and Palinet that can help by promoting libraries as information providers and community leaders, and by facilitating sharing of resources and development of innovative services. Networks may also be able to negotiate discounts of which members can take advantage when purchasing scholarly content from publishers or aggregators. If you are attending ER&L, be sure to attend this session in order to add your voice to the discussion. If you would like to arrange an appointment with Jeff Downing during the event, please contact - or stop by the Ingenta table at the sponsors' reception tomorrow night.[...]

Latest issue of our library newsletter is now live


Just a quick posting to let you know that the latest issue of our eyetoeye newsletter for libraries went out last week, and contains:
I apologise that I still haven't implemented RSS for our newsletters, but would like to reassure you that they are scheduled for a bit of lovin' (a redesign is on the way!) and we'll get RSS in as part of that.

A 2:1 in B2B blogging


Tips for successful blogging abound, but most seem to relate to b2c. I know that a lot of our readers are from other businesses, and for me the b2c guidelines often miss the mark. So I was pleased to spot this "Eight tips for successful B2B blogs" posting over on Search Engine Land. And since a lot of our business readers also have their own b2b blogs, I thought I'd share it here. If nothing else, it's a useful way of benchmarking your current performance:"Post regularly, only when you have something meaningful to offer". It feels like we fall down horribly on the former, with our fits-and-starts mode of blogging, but actually we do average about 2 postings a month so perhaps we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves. And I hope that we pick up points on the latter (6/10)."Incorporate images and other media". Been getting a bit better at this with all the Slideshares and gratuitous pictures of Bob Geldof (7/10)."Incorporate humor". Well, we try (8/10)."Be authentic". Is this conversational enough for ya? (9/10)"Be original". I'll admit that we come and go on this. Sometimes, we're really breaking new ground; sometimes we get all bee-in-the-bonnet thought-leaderish; sometimes, I know, we just tell you stuff about us. Hope you don't mind this schizophrenic approach (6/10)."Don't blatantly promote your stuff". I know that we score badly on this. In my defence, at least I always say upfront "this is a press release", so you can ignore it should you wish to keep your heart & mind pure. And actually, lots of readers said nice things about those social media news releases I was trialling late last year so perhaps this isn't quite the cardinal sin it's painted to be (4/10)"Create a code of conduct". This is the only with which I slightly disagree; I don't want to dictate to our readers the appropriate way to join our conversations, or insist on a precise citation format. If "posting a code of conduct will tell readers a lot about you and your company", perhaps I'm telling you that we're a little more chilled, nay, subsersive, than that - or perhaps it's because our readers, by and large, are the sort of early blogging adopters who know what they're about, and we don't need to patronise them with a code of conduct (0/10)."Stay focused". No doubt that we do that, all right. I would guess that virtually every All My Eye posting contains one of the following word stems: publish*, scholar*, informat*, librar*, data*. (Except the chicken one, I grant you) (8/10).So, overall I make that 48/80, a very respectable 60%, which at my university was a sigh of relief and a scraped 2:1. Anyone want to share their own rating? (or insist that my paper be remarked?)(Don't forget to check out Search Engine Land's original posting where they go into more detail about each of these tips.)[...]

The Two Ways of Web 2.0


In a recent posting titled, "The two ways of web 2.0", Lorcan Dempsey explores an interesting view of the "2.0" discussion, introducing the notions of concentration and diffusion.

Dempsey applies the term diffusion as a label for the communication, social networking, data syndication aspects of Web 2.0. Whereas concentration is essentially the opposite: harvesting, combining and reusing data that has been "diffused" out onto the web. The two aspects are obviously complementary and, in truth, like much of Web 2.0 aren't new. As techniques for sharing information these are well-trodden paths. Think "Broadcast" and "Aggregation". But many concepts get a new lease of life when combined with the great levels of interactivity and socialization that the web now offers.

I've made several attempts myself to tease apart Web 2.0 into more manageable chunks. Most recently in a paper in Serials called "The Threads of Web 2.0" in which I tried to decompose the concept into several buzzword free trends. Speaking to the same notions of data flow, albeit with a slightly more technical angle, I've also explored the ideas of Streams, Pools and Reservoirs as a model for data publication and aggregation on the web.

I've seen a few discussions lately about whether there is a continuing role for aggregators on the web in these days of near ubiquitous search. I think Dempsey's notion of concentration addresses that point directly: there is a definitely a role for aggregators, but that role is changing from one of simply compiling large volumes of material, towards compilation of relevant subject-specific collections for specific communities. This is where in my posting I differentiated between Pools (simple aggregations) and Reservoirs (pools that support a community).

Dempsey observes that librarians need to begin thinking about concentrations of data and how this might benefit their mission. I think publishers would do well to do the same. It strikes me that societies and other member organizations are particularly well suited to creating and driving these new aggregation models.

Have you heard the one about Moses and the subversive knitting Weebles?


Every now and then I come across some quite silly article titles on IngentaConnect that cause me to stop and re-consider my inbuilt expectation that science is only carried out in the pursuit of high-minded noble ideals.Some of my favourite examples over the years include Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting, Blind Ducks in Borneo, and Weeble Wobbles: Resilience Within the Psychoanalytic Situation (this one even had follow-up articles, What Is A Weeble Anyway, And What Is A Wobble, Too? and "Wobbly Weebles" and Resilience: Some Additional Thoughts). And of course we've suddenly uncovered a wealth of them since we came to host the Annals of Improbable Research ("A Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown" is certainly one I'll be taking home for further study).The one that has caught my attention today, though, doesn't have the most immediately entertaining of titles (Biblical Entheogens: a speculative hypothesis). But perhaps I would have found it more noteworthy if I had at some point learnt the definition ofentheogen (en.THEE.oh.jun) : any substance, such as a plant or drug, taken to bring on a spiritual experiencePsychoactive substances? in the Bible? Well, yes, according to this recently-published hypothesis, which claims that Moses' vision of God and the burning bush was brought on by hallucinatory drugs. And what a stir it has caused. (It even made the British Daily Mail, but I'm afraid I'm too liberal to give them any link love).It's particularly interesting to compare this to the Weeble examples I cited above. In that case, a controversial article was followed by letters to the editor, follow-up articles and the publication of "some additional thoughts" - the traditional progress of an academic debate.In the Moses case, the discussion is already raging in the blogosphere just days after the article's publication (aided, I acknowledge, by an inflammatory TV appearance by the author in which he upgraded his 'hypothesis' to a 'probability'). Sure, a lot of the blog postings are Beavis-and-Butthead-style sniggery, but beyond them there's also a fair amount of reasoned, informed analysis (the Merkavah Vision and and BHA Science Group postings, for example).It is in the reactions provoked by these controversial publications that we see the ongoing development of alternative scholarly communication channels - but they are also evidence of the "authority" problem with user-generated content. In having to sort the wheat (informed analysis) from the chaff (ranging from uninformed sniggery to non-scientific zealotry), I found myself frustrated by not knowing whose rhetoric to trust, and remembering m'colleague Leigh Dodds' paper at our PT Trends forum in December (Authoritative? What's that? And who says?).Roll on wider adoption of the BPR3 initiative (which proposes that bloggers use icons to indicate when their posting is a serious discussion of a peer-reviewed work), or indeed of the embryonic kitemark for authoritative content that Leigh posited during his paper and which CrossRef are exploring further. As the boundaries between peer-reviewed publications and other fora for debate become less defined, I for one will appreciate a mechanism that defines whose analysis I can take seriously and who I should take with a pinch of salt.[...]

Latest edition of our publisher newsletter


Just a quick posting to let you know that the latest issue of our publisher newsletter, eyetoeye, went live yesterday. It's a pretty packed issue! I've already posted some of its stories on the blog, but others are new for the newsletter. Here's its table of contents:Contents Welcome News Introducing pub2web, a next generation publishing platform In November 2007, Ingenta announced the launch of its next generation publications platform, pub2web. In this article we explain the benefits of this feature-rich publishing system. [More...] New faces at Ingenta: Rebecca Lenzini and Jeff Downing join our teamOur publisher and library new business groups in North America will be greatly strengthened by two recent appointments. [More...]Subscription renewals: the simple way to keep library customers happyEnsure your subscribers have seamless access to your content by following our simple step-by-step guide to renewals. [More...]New publishers joining Ingenta for 2008We highlight the latest publishers and titles to take advantage of our services. [More...] InSider Publishing Technology Trends: a look at the hot topics for 2008In December we held a successful UK forum on the rapidly changing trends in Publishing online. Learn more about the topics discussed in this informative article. [More...] Low investment, low commitment opportunity to explore new revenuesIngentaConnect's advertising programme continues to grow in strength with the announcement of an exciting new partnership. [More...] 2007 in review: 2008 insightLast year saw many exciting developments in Ingenta. Catch up on the latest innovations and get an insight into what we have planned for the coming year. [More...] 2008 events calendarThis year is set to be another whirlwind of Conferences and shows. Find out which events we'll be attending during 2008. [More...] InSight What's happening in the information industry: KBART, Transfer, COUNTER, MESURWe bring you up to speed on the various industry-wide initiatives we're involved in. [More...][...]

Latest news: partnership with Ten Alps


I've just made an announcement that we've signed an agreement with Ten Alps to have them sell IngentaConnect advertising inventory on our behalf. This is an exciting development for IC's advertising programme, and allows us to add a touch of glamour to the blog with a gratuitous picture of Bob Geldof, founder of Ten Alps.

18 months on from launching our advertising programme, over half of the 11,000 e-publications we host now support ads on their publication, issue and article/chapter homepages. Major publishers like Springer, Emerald and - new addition this year - Taylor & Francis are now exploring this alternative revenue stream for their online content.

For more information:

Bridging between the blogging and scientific communities


Interesting posting from Jon Udell today ("Bloggers talk to bloggers, scientists talk to scientists") in which he draws attention to the disconnects between discourse happening in blogs and mainstream media, and that happening in scientific journals, even when the conversation is about the same article.

The comment and the subsequent discussion is worth reading. There's an interesting comment Geoff Bilder about CrossRef's forthcoming blog engine plugin; keep an eye on CrossTech for a formal announcement.

The BPR3 project is also making practical steps towards helping link up discussions in these two domains.

I've been arguing for a long time that publishers need to keep an eye what's happening in the blogging arena, as its a good test bed for exploring the transformation of discourse (scholarly or otherwise) that the Web enables.

Publishing Technology Trends: key issues in the development of publishing


(This posting reviews a presentation entitled "Key issues in the development of publishing: the age of information services and solutions" given by David Worlock, Outsell's Chief Research Fellow, at the Publishing Technology Trends event held in London in December 2007). | View | Upload your ownThe history of the web can be viewed as three ages: “web transfer” – the early 1990s, when early adopters hastily and perhaps clumsily posted everything we could online“web synthesis” – the late 90s and early 00s; we tried to build on the web’s capabilities by making new things work“web catalyst” – the age we are now entering; a networked society reinventing the online experience from the bottom up Larger publishers have been slow to come on board with the catalyst age because they are generally too distant from their users. Nonetheless, during the last year, a lot of activity has been stimulated by: workflow and the desire to enhance productivity for our userscompliance issues as the industry becomes more standardisedgrowing familiarity with users as we monitor what they do before and after visiting our sitebuilding brands in the networked environmenthelping perplexed users to filter the wealth of content with which they are inundated.2008, David suggests, may be the year in which we:break the schackles of the network operators; Asia and Europe are driving change in this area, though the US is still attached to inappropriate and old-fashioned standardsembrace vertical search for the authority it can bestow upon subject-specific contentuse tag clouds to monitor rapidly changing user requirementscreate competitive advantage by positioning organisations within social and enterprise networks to support growth of sector-based communitiescapitalise on consumer power with innovative marketing and product developmentrecognise the value of bundling and syndicating content to grow revenuesDavid's slides list the companies that he thinks will perform best (or most interestingly) in 2008, along with his top ten "issues that matter". He closed with "the agility imperative", which is spot-on I shall reiterate it here:insist on agile mindset, organisation and processesbe clear on value propositionadopt new channelsexperiment with new revenue modelslook for cost reduction through reinventionassess readinessdrive speedier time to marketwatch valuations and drive cash flow.[...]

Publishing Technology Trends: keeping pace with online challenges


(This posting reviews a presentation entitled "Keeping pace with online publishing challenges: why and how" given by Randy Petway, VP Publishing Technology, at the Publishing Technology Trends event held in London in December 2007). | View | Upload your ownEven now, the online revolution remains the biggest challenge facing publishers today; many have not yet scratched the surface of the digital potential of their content, while those who have made some progress are nonetheless challenged by the speed of technological evolution, which increasingly disconnects key sources of competitive advantage from their traditional core competences.The digital challenge can be broken down into a number of elements:user expectations, particularly as users become more familiar with the web and other software applicationstechnology shifts - and knowing which ones you need to keep up withrate of change, which is much quicker in the online world than in the print worldhow to monetise content; even mission-based publishers should be seeking to maximise the revenue potential of their content.Continuously-evolving user expectationsOnline shopping (Amazon) and social web (Facebook, MySpace, orkut, YouTube, reddit, StumbleUpon...) sites not only encourage more users to spend more time on the web, they shape those users' expectations of how websites look and, more importantly, how they function. And users of these sites are more in our target demographic than we expect, with 53% of MySpace users and 42% of Facebook users in the 35+ category. Furthermore, a strong brand or compelling content will not protect providers from the need to innovate. Fodors, an authoritative and well-known brand founded 70 years ago, with a 10-year-old online presence and 700 global correspondents, has lost ground to Trip Advisor, a 7-year-old newcomer which can boast more traffic than its older rival. Trip Advisor is interactive and incorporates user-generated material along with practical functions (e.g. trip planning) which attract and engage users more than plain old-fashioned reviews.Technology shifts and rate of changeThe adoption curve for new technologies is increasingly steep. Three years ago, only non-adopters had heard of AJAX, but 62% of CTOs surveyed during 2007 were expecting to have it in use by the end of the year. Analysing adoption of Facebook applications tells a similar story - Funwall, introduced in Aug 2007, had 4 million users by December - and 1.5 million of those had signed up in the last 7 days alone. The converse of such quick adoption, of course, is quick abandonment when things go wrong - a minor bug in Facebook app Superpoke saw it lose hundreds of thousands of users in a few days; they migrated to a substitute application that did not have the bug.Monetising contentContent delivery processes used to be binary; publishers delivered their content to consumers. But now we use multiple channels to reach users, and package content with supplementary elements which have begun to be perceived as part of the product (community and mobile features, for example). A consistent platform is required to support this level of functionality - one that allows for modules to be bolted on when new features are required. Topical features include:Granularity - of content, of licensing, of reporting, and so onMicrosites - interlinked but separately-branded sites that support a publisher's house of brandsVirtual bookshelves through which publis[...]

Publishing Technology Trends: adding value to visitors


(This posting reviews a presentation given by Paul Goad, Managing Director of Tacoda, at the Publishing Technology Trends event in London in December). | View | Upload your ownBehavioural targetting is gaining traction in the advertising industry. Traditional online advertising values users based on their context, and favours big sites that have their own sales force and connections to networks; smaller providers simply had no way of breaking into these networks. Behavioural targetting, however, values users for themselves rather than for their context. It's the long tail of advertising; small user groups can be monetised much more successfully, enabling smaller site owners to benefit. An understanding of the user's interests enables the site owner to deliver content based on *them*, rather than on the niche interest reflected by the site they are visiting. Behavioural targetting has thus caused an attitudinal shift among agencies and advertisers; suddenly, it's not about *where* an ad is displayed, but about *who* it is displayed to. Publishers can now be rewarded for having built up a community of users.Behavioural targetting has also extended the areas that advertisers can tap into, beyond the limitations of contextual channels. Agencies such as Tacoda, which provides software and services that support behavioural targetting, can provide comprehensive statistics that not only enable optimisation of advertising strategies but that further help publishers to understand their users, which in turn can help publishers refine web strategies from traffic management to content segmentation.Simply, behavioural targetting works by categorising the sites within a site owner's network and noting which categories of site are visited by a user. Profiling is anonymous (using browser cookies) and no personal data is collected or stored. Browsing behaviour is monitored and the data is matched into one of many hundreds of profiles. Once the cookie (and thus, the user) has been matched to a profile, appropriate ads are displayed. Site owners have control over the types of ads displayed and can respond to any sensitivities in their userbase; they also benefit financially from contributing the data that helps to build core profiles.[...]