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Optimedia Electronic Publishing Solutions, New York, has launched the Oxford University Press' "The Complete Birds of the Western Palearctic" on CD-ROM in the U.S. The CD-ROM has met with unexpectedly strong response from the academic, ornithology and general consumer markets. Pre-sales alone are running at more than twice the expected first year forecast.

"'The Complete Birds of the Western Palearctic' demonstrates that with quality content and advanced technology, a CD-ROM platform can serve as a profitable electronic publishing solution for many publishers," said Jeff Abraham, president and CEO, Optimedia. "Optimedia is pleased to have been the co-developer of such a worthwhile and successful product."

Complementing the original nine volume book series published by OUP, the three CD-ROM set features high quality video footage, photographs and sound recordings and provides the most comprehensive review of ornithological knowledge available. At the click of a mouse, it offers instant access to information garnered from over 9,000 pages of printed material. Users can quickly and easily locate comprehensive and authoritative information on 960 species from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. And searches can be initiated by bird species, name, family, habitat and population or a combination of these criteria.

"Optimedia approached this project not as a vendor, but as a committed partner," said Sharon Cooper, director, Electronic Publishing Department, Oxford University Press. "The project team's dedication and perseverance demonstrated an overall pursuit of excellence. Throughout the entire development process, the company effectively met our needs. The end result is an extremely high quality product, as the sales amply prove."

Using its proprietary development tools, Optimedia has produced a cutting-edge product that includes the following: A diversity wizard feature that sorts species by location, habitat and season, sophisticated means to manipulate maps and Audubon-quality color plates, unique multi-layered interactive species distribution maps that can be superimposed, enabling comparison of different birds by breeding, distribution, habitat, etc. These species distribution maps can be displayed over topographical, rainfall and temperature maps, to illustrate geographic factors influencing avian behavior.

A finalist for the 1998 European Multimedia Award (EMMA) in the General Interest: Science & Technology category, The Complete Birds of the Western Palearctic was produced by Optimedia and edited by David Snow, professor of ornithology and Chris Perrins, director, the Edward Grey Institute Field of Ornithology, University of Oxford. The CD-ROM will be available nationwide end January 1999 through specialty book stores, book catalogs and on-line ( at a cost of $350.00. For best results, an IBM Compatible PC running Windows 3.1, 95 or NT4 with a Pentium processor is required. Additionally, 16MB RAM, a 4x CD-ROM drive, a color monitor with 64K resolution and a 16 bit sound card are necessary.

About Optimedia Founded in 1992, Optimedia is a leading provider of electronic publishing solutions worldwide with offices in New York, Oxford and Tel-Aviv. Optimedia's offerings encompass both Internet and CD-ROM/DVD production of journals, reference works, and conference proceedings, taking high quality, highly branded products into electronic form, while still preserving an economic price point.

Among Optimedia's leading clients in the academic and publishing industries are Elsevier Science, Oxford University Press and the American Medical Association. A few of the company's key electronic titles are the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Complete Birds of the Western Palearctic. For additional information visit

About Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP), an integral part of the University of Oxford, is the world's largest university press. The company is renown for its diverse publishing program, which includes dictionaries, bibles, music, textbooks, children's books, reference books and electronic publishing titles. Overall, OUP publishes 3,000 new titles a year, has a presence in more than 50 countries, and employs approximately 3,000 people worldwide. Visit and

For more information, call 212-724-8253.
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Publication:CD Computing News
Date:Mar 1, 1999

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