A Case of Increasing the Functionality and Profile of EBooks

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Article ImageCompany: Springer
Springer Science+Business Media is an international publisher of STM (scientific, technical, and medical) information. The company publishes more than 1,200 journals and 3,500 new books each year. In addition to its print operations, Springer has a strong online database, SpringerLink, which launched 10 years ago to house its journal collection in an online searchable environment. Springer added ebooks to the collection in June 2006 to make SpringerLink a more robust database for researchers and librarians.

Business Challenge
Customers accustomed to receiving online access to journals expressed their desire for similar access to books. With SpringerLink already in place, the company had the platform to provide ebooks to its customer base of researchers and librarians. However, SpringerLink wasn’t designed to handle the demands of such a large number of content offerings. Springer realized it needed to create a multi-product platform that could easily guide researchers through the abundant collection of scientific content that was set to grow with the inclusion of 10,000 ebook titles when the ebook program officially launched. 

Vendor of Choice: MetaPress
A division of EBSCO Industries Inc., Birmingham, Alabama-based MetaPress is a controlled-access content management service. MetaPress serves as an electronic content provider for more than 70 different publishers. The company hosts more than 20,000 different online titles, from journals and books to reference works and encyclopedias. MetaPress’ solutions are built on a Web 2.0 platform that enables enhanced search and browse functionality.

The Problem in Depth
With the inclusion of ebooks, SpringerLink needed to become an even more user-friendly platform so researchers could quickly and easily find the specific data they needed among all of SpringerLink’s online content offerings. The company approached MetaPress, which had helped Springer with its online journal program. “When Springer came to us, they said they wanted to provide ebooks, major reference works, book series, and journals all on one platform, and MetaPress was tasked with creating that platform,” says Heather Klusendorf, publisher account manager for MetaPress.

The publishing company also wanted to create a one-stop shop for Springer’s content, so it needed to connect all of the materials. That way, researchers could find content related to their desired topic regardless of the publication’s format. “From a researcher’s standpoint, they don’t care if it’s a book or a journal. They just want the content,” says Olaf Ernst, VP of eproduct management for Springer. “If they find the content relevant and trustworthy, they don’t really care if it’s a book chapter or a journal article. Online, it just comes together.” In addition to the ebooks, SpringerLink also contains content from 1,700 peer-reviewed journals and about 93 reference works. It also offers an online archive collection of journals and book series. In all, SpringerLink houses more than 3 million documents.

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