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Wiley Online Library Replaces Wiley InterScience
Posted On August 12, 2010
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The year 2010 may go down in history for the most new platform launches in the information industry. Under increasing pressures from new web technologies and user expectations of simplicity and easy access, content providers have taken on reengineering and rebuilding their services from the ground up. Last weekend (Aug. 7-8), John Wiley & sons, Inc. officially switched off its aging Wiley InterScience platform and launched the all new Wiley Online Library. William J. Pesce, Wiley's president and CEO calls the launch of Wiley Online Library "a milestone event in Wiley's 203-year history. It enables us to provide more access to more content by more people around the world than ever before."

Wiley Online Library hosts a broad and deep multidisciplinary collection of online resources covering life, health and physical sciences, social science, and the humanities. It delivers seamless integrated access to more than 4 million articles from 1,500 journals, 9,000 + online books, and hundreds of reference works, laboratory protocols, and databases.

Licenses from Wiley InterScience have been transferred to the new Wiley Online Library, as well as all login details and URL redirects. However, Wiley advises librarians to replace old Wiley InterScience and Blackwell Synergy URLs in their catalogs with new direct OpenURL links to Wiley Online Library.

Gregory St. John, vice president, web publishing technology, says Wiley InterScience, which launched on Jan. 7, 1999, "served us well for those years, but it was old technology." Things became complicated and the need to upgrade much more urgent when Wiley acquired Blackwell Publishing and began to integrate its content on the Wiley platform in 2008.

The new Wiley Online Library user interface is designed to deliver intuitive navigation for all users, enhanced discoverability of content, expanded functionality, and a range of personalization options. The company's user-centered design group worked extensively with groups of users to understand their needs. St. John says it "taught us a lot about what people want-fast access to content and clear navigation." He said they focused on a minimal design and enabling faceted search/browse capabilities.

Sue Polanka, head of reference and instruction at the Wright State University Libraries, calls it the "best looking interface I've seen in a long time." Reviewing the new platform for the No Shelf Required blog, she writes, "It's a nice interface and packs an amazing amount of information (and links to information) in a small area. It's pleasing to the eye with a good amount of white space, crisp font (albeit small which I'm cool with) and no annoyingly bright colors."

Here's a quick review of some of the more important features of the new platform.

  • Search across the full text of journals, books, reference works, and databases, and see all the results in one list with the ability to filter the list
  • New rich media content-audio, video, podcasts
  • HTML articles include expandable images, direct reference linking, and navigation within the article; PDF versions are optimized for printing
  • View and link directly to references using the new references tab or from the article
  • ‘Jump to' menu options
  • Improved ‘more like this' facility
  • Access icons (padlocks)-available at the article, chapter, and title levels-that identify the content available to customers through institutional licenses, society membership, and author-funded OnlineOpen publication, as well as freely available content.
  • Support for authors and researchers with integrated reference links and multiple options for exporting citations
  • More visualization-graphic tables of contents, tag clouds, pop-up screens for images. 3D interactive models

The search and discovery interface faceted browsing, "more like this" capabilities, and the search features are due to the company's major technological decision to use the MarkLogic XML Server. The powerful technology parses the content and optimizes it for XML queries. The new infrastructure will also accelerate the development of new features. After the initial tweaking of the new system, the company plans to roll out new customer-driven features in the coming months. "This is only the beginning!, says St. John.

What may come as a surprise to some is that anyone can search and browse content on the Wiley Online Library. All users can search full text and read tables of content, article abstracts, chapter summaries, supplementary information, and journal homepage information for free. Every journal has a free sample issue and some journals also provide other free content, such as free backfiles or OnlineOpen articles that have been funded by the author. Users can register for free in order to sign up for email alerts and to save favorites as part of personalization features.

Google and some other search engines also crawl the full text of articles, according to St. John. Interestingly, he says that more than 50% of referrals to the service are from Google, and of those, less than 10% are from Google Scholar.

St. John stresses that the service now is much more connected to the rest of the world, including links to resources both inside and outside of Wiley. The company works with more than 800 society publishers and gives them the ability to customize their offerings to provide a rich user experience. For example, the journal Cancer from the American Cancer Society provides links to its own journal landing page, complimentary content, recent issues, highlights, and society news.

Also new to the platform is the presence of appropriate and fairly unobtrusive professional ads-no consumer ads. St. John anticipates this to be an increasing revenue stream in the future.

Licensing/Payment Options

Wiley-Blackwell offers a range of subscription and licensing options to institutions and library consortia designed to meet different needs and circumstances. Select a multi-year deal and take advantage of predictable pricing, pick holdings title-by-title or in standard collections to benefit from volume discounts. Choose between Online Only, Print Only, or Print+Online combined subscriptions.

License directly with Wiley or through a subscription agent or book seller, as a single institution or as a consortium member. Wiley offers options for smaller libraries and corporate institutions including Pay-Per-View and Article Select tokens for downloading articles individually.

Pay-Per-View allows individuals to purchase access to a journal article, book chapter, or selected reference work entries via credit card purchase. Pay-per-view grants access to the purchased article for 24 hours. The article may be downloaded.

Comments from Testers

Jodi Haire, electronic resources and serials coordinator at the University of Idaho Library, who was part of a focus group, says she was pleased to be asked for input and pleased at the outcome. "They addressed all of my concerns during pre-launch testing." Her only remaining concern is about the Article Select "tokens" that are used to acquire articles. "Users just burn them up," she says, so a library administrator needs to approve these.

Ann Schiebelbein, web services librarian at the Alberta Government Library, says she was very impressed by the communications of the Wiley team during the redesign. "They reached out to us and were very good about soliciting feedback. I think most of the things that we were looking for have been included." She particularly wanted the access icons at tile and article levels, filtering by type, a ‘favorites' list, and cited article linking.

For a full features and benefits list and more information, visit the information website at<-->

Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.

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