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ISI and IBM begin joint study to develop a prototype electronic library system.

The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation are undertaking a joint study to develop a prototype electronic document storage management and distribution system for ISI's Electronic Library project.

The objective of this project is to allow publishers and users of scholarly information to test the many variables relating to the electronic distribution of information. Initially, the prototype will provide users with desktop access for their own localarea-network (LAN) environments to the bibliographic data, abstracts, table of contents, full-text, and full images of the 1350 scientific journals contained in the Life Sciences edition of ISI's Current Contents. This collaborative project will also serve to evaluate new technologies for use in future digital library systems.

Using IBM's modular, client/server solution, ISI's subscribers would have direct local access to customized selections of information. Network connections between local "library servers" and ISI's "enterprise server" would permit subscribers to easily order copies of information not contained in their local collections and enable ISI to deliver updates to local collections and provide for account control and customer usage information.

"This electronic project has been developed in response to the demands from the marketplace," said William Schlegel, chief executive officer, ISI. "We have been working on this project for almost two years, and have been in ongoing discussions with key players in the publishing industry, including primary publishers and representatives from both corporate and academic libraries."

"The first major milestone," continued Schlegel, "is today's choice of IBM as a technology partner. We are confident that its expertise in systems development will enable us to launch the electronic library prototype within a year. This venture is very much a cooperative effort among all of the participants. Meetings will continue to be held this year with the primary publishers, members of the library community, and IBM in order to finalize the project specifications."

Other key areas that will be explored in the project include:

* Practical applications of the electronic journals (data access, retrieval, and usage) from the perspectives of publishers and users, including issues related to copyright and intellectual property rights

* Systems required to facilitate use of the electronic libraries, including billing, accounting, and business management reporting

* Pricing scenarios to determine how to meet the diverse needs of both the publishing and user communities

* Usage patterns to determine if, and how, the electronic journal will change traditional information purchasing and usage

IBM's client/server design will provide ISI with the means to manage a very large database and allow its customers to view the information on personal computers that run the most popular operating systems (such as OS/2, DOS/Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX) and are connected by commercially available LAN software (such as LANServer, Novell, AppleTalk, and TCP/IP). IBM's solution is based on many technologies pioneered at its Almaden Research Center (ARC), the birthplace of the relational database, in San Jose, California. The design incorporates products of IBM's PC Server organization (servers), Storage Systems Division (magnetic and optical disk drives, and libraries and data storage management software) and Software Solutions Division (the DB2 relational database family). New technologies from ARC include those that provide advanced database functions, integrate text and image applications, and address copyright security issues.
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Title Annotation:Institute for Scientific Information to develop electronic document storage system
Publication:Information Today
Date:Sep 1, 1994
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