With the goal of making more content more accessible to a wider market, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) announced a significantly redeveloped and enhanced Digital Library. Scheduled to launch later this summer, the Digital Library is part of the IET’s mission to facilitate access to essential engineering intelligence worldwide. All of the IET’s research content will be available on the new platform. It has been developed on Publishing Technology’s pub2web platform, which is designed to improve the speed and ease with which academic and corporate users can access the IET’s 3,000 ebook chapters and 185,000 journal articles that date from 1872.
The redevelopment kick-starts the IET’s major digital strategy and is the first of a number of platform improvements to be announced over the coming months. In a second phase of release in early 2013, the new Digital Library will also include the IET’s newly announced open access “megajournal,” which will contain articles over a broad spectrum of engineering from some of the world’s leading academics, free of charge. The platform will shortly incorporate access to IET.tv and its archive of 3,500 videos.
Because the content will be provided in full XML, entity extraction and text analysis will allow more contextual results. Daniel Smith, head of academic publishing at the IET, says it will offer the idea of “blended content”—book chapters, articles, video—which can be selected for licensing (for classroom use, for example). IET plans to offer a number of purchasing options, such as deposit accounts and times access.
“We know a big part of the future of academic publishing is online," Smith says. "The reason for this is clear when you consider that the IET attracts an international range of authors—online is simply the easiest way for users of our content to access the information we publish. The move towards digital also opens up new options when it comes to the content itself. Users of our platform can blend the content they require by accessing eBook chapters, journal articles, or video on the subjects that they are interested in. In short, this new platform is a significant step forward and sets the IET up for future digital expansion.”
The move to a new platform was triggered last year at SLA 2011 when the American Institute of Physics announced it would no longer host content for the IET and other publishers. While this was a bit of a jolt for IET, Smith said it allowed them to step back and think about what they should do. Smith said IET had hoped to have a live version to show in Chicago at SLA 2012 in July, but it was able to show only a presentation demo. IET will do beta testing with existing customers before the release.
IET will benefit from having a single aggregated platform for all of its content under pinned by industry-standard architecture that is both flexible and highly interoperable, providing efficient processes and workflow between core systems, as well as safe-guarding IET’s future integration needs.
The new platform will offer the following enhancements, among others:
- Quick access with subject filters
- More browsing options
- Breadcrumb navigation
- Preview Inside chapter
- Related content
- Autosuggest for search terms
- Enhanced search with drill down
Smith was very upbeat and said that IET had had several good years financially: “One advantage of being independent (not owned by a conglomerate) is that we can do what we want for our audience. Engineering is a very exciting area to be in these days.”
IET’s Inspec database, research journals, and books provide a wealth of research and information in the areas of engineering and technology. The portfolio of research and letters journals and monographs (print and ebook) in electronics, electrical engineering, and related subjects are available online through the IET Digital Library together with conference proceedings, seminar digests, and magazines. The IET Inspec database contains more than 12 million abstract and indexing references to journal articles, conference proceedings, technical reports, and other literature in the fields of science and technology. As a membership organization, the IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with more than 150,000 members in 127 countries and is a source of essential engineering intelligence.
OA and Megajournals Seem to be Popular
Open access (OA) publishing and “megajournals” appear to be gaining in acceptance and popularity. Another professional association IEEE reports it is continuing to develop its strategy on OA publishing. The IEEE Board of Directors recently approved the creation of a rapid-publication, OA megajournal spanning all IEEE fields of interest. Several other topical OA journals are also planned as part of this phase of the rollout.