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SilverPlatter Allies With Kluwer and Dawson to Broaden Reach of SilverLinker
Posted On February 1, 1999
SilverPlatter Information ( has announced two new agreements with commercial publishers to expand the links between bibliographic citations and full-text journal articles using its SilverLinker technology. Released last year as a feature in ERL (Electronic Reference Library) 4.0, SilverPlatter's client/server software, SilverLinker supports direct access from SilverPlatter's bibliographic citation databases to the full text of Internet-available electronic journals. The new alliances open up connections with Kluwer Academic Publishers, a leader in scientific, technical, medical, business, and legal publishing, and with 20 publishers represented through Dawson Information Services Group (ISG) and its Information Quest (IQ) online service.

The Letter of Intent signed with Kluwer Academic Publishers will open Kluwer Online journals to the SilverLinker feature. SilverPlatter customers will be able to use the SilverLinker technology to connect from bibliographic citations in SilverPlatter's databases to full-text articles on Kluwer Online. SilverLinker provides article-specific URL links, rather than just linking to the entire online journal, and can retrieve either text only or text with graphics when available. With the new arrangement complete, according to Gert Staal, director of strategic development at SilverPlatter, "End users or librarians will have the choice of offering links directly or through third parties. Administrators will have the choice of turning links on or off, depending on their preferred method of access to the full text."

Kluwer Academic Publishers is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer (, which bought Ovid Technologies last year. Ovid has its own version of links, but they only operate within the Ovid system, e.g. linking MEDLINE abstracts with Ovid's full-text medical journal collection.

Dawson Information Services Group (ISG) includes the Faxon Company; Dawson UK, Ltd.; Dawson France S.A.; Faxon Canada, Ltd.; Turner Subscriptions; Quality Books, Inc.; and Dawson Espana SL. Information Quest (IQ) ( from Dawson Information Services Group will add links from SilverPlatter's bibliographic databases to the full text of journals offered through IQ. (For a 23-page list of the scientific, technical, medical, and business journals offered full text, check the IQ Web site.) Unlike most other digital libraries from publisher Web sites, IQ supports both transactional and subscription access, opening up access on a pay-per-view basis from selected publishers, according to Carol Meyer, manager of linking agreements with publishers at SilverPlatter.

SilverPlatter Information publishes some 250 scientific, medical, and technical reference databases in Internet, client/server, and CD-ROM formats. SilverLinker helps them tie together full-text articles with citations in their array of abstract secondary databases. The SilverLinker Database (SLDB) contains URL links for several other publishers and subscription agent partner services already, including Academic Press' IDEAL service, Springer-Verlag's LINK service, Swets & Zeitlinger's SwetsNet Service, and Blackwell Information Services' Electronic Journal Navigator service. Customers make their own access and licensing arrangements directly with publishers. SilverPlatter provides the software utility that disables links to publications customers do not have the rights to access.

SilverPlatter predicts the SLDB file will grow to well over a million links by the end of 1999. Subscribing to SLDB costs $1,000 now, but that price may change after March. SilverLinker can also access full text available via local holdings (with either a summary display or a link to the library's OPAC) through the WebSPIRS 4.0 Internet gateway. This service does not require a subscription to the SilverLinker Database.

Both these new agreements will also permit linking to full text from SilverPlatter's forthcoming multidisciplinary Internet service, the KnowledgeCite Library. This new services, scheduled for release sometime at the end of the year, will offer cross-file searching with unique "subject synchronization," according to SilverPlatter.

In the future, according to a SilverPlatter representative, SilverPlatter hopes to re-draft contracts with Kluwer, as well as their other licensed publishers, to support bidirectional SilverLinker connections from the citations within full-text articles on publisher Web sites to abstracts in SilverPlatter and then to full text from other publishers.

Barbara Quint was senior editor of Online Searcher, co-editor of The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, and a columnist for Information Today.

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