The usage of databases offered via our online service STN International has further increased in 2003. With full-text supply services, we even reached the exceptionally high growth rate of 28%, states Sabine Brünger-Weilandt, Managing Director & CEO, in the Annual Report 2003 which was published recently. STN International, FIZ Karlsruhes main business area, is still the worlds premier online information provider in the fields of chemistry and patent information. However, business suffered from the weak dollar. Besides, mergers and budged restrictions of customers from the chemical and pharmaceutical industry directly affected the core business. According to Sabine Brünger-Weilandt, this development was counterbalanced by a strict cost management, an enhanced service offer for industry and the scientific community, and new partnerships. In 2003 we have initiated various measures for a new strategic orientation, in order to meet the challenges of the world market, explains Brünger-Weilandt. Besides strategic alliances, mainly aimed at further developing our core business area STN, we are focusing on solutions for information and knowledge management for our customers in the industry. As regards the scientific community, we intend to establish our company as a service partner for the information, publication and communication management. In 2003, the turnover registered at FIZ Karlsruhe for the usage of STN databases was 50.7 million Euro (2002: 51.8) including collection services for other STN partners. The revenues of FIZ Karlsruhe amounted to 19.5 (20.4) million Euro. By appropriate measures for cost reduction, expenses could be reduced to 25,9 (27,1) million Euro. The share of own revenues amounted to 74% (75%) of the total expenditure. The number of employees - 340 in 2003, among them 17 (15) trainees - remained almost the same as in the previous year (341). FIZ Karlsruhes full-text supply services improved by almost one third (28,5%). More than 110,000 orders were processed through the full-text delivery broker system FIZ AutoDoc. Most orders were received via the stand-alone FIZ Auto-Doc web service, but an increasing number of customers order full-text documents directly after their online searches via the integrated service STN Full-Text Solution. In 2003, improvements of content and technology were applied to both the STN databases and to those which FIZ Karlsruhe produces on its own or in co-operations. For the worlds most important patent file, Derwent World Patents Index (WPI), and other patent databases (e.g. INPADOC, PATDPA and PCTFULL) new search functions and other enhancements were introduced. The full-text files PATDPAFULL and RDISCLOSURE were added to the range of , patent databases. Compared to last year, the input of the FIZ databases has considerably increased, e.g. the content of ICSD, the worlds most comprehensive numerical database for crystal structure data of inorganic compounds, dou-bled. The files APOLLIT, focusing on polymer technology, and SIGLE, covering grey literature from European science, technology and research, can now also be accessed directly via the web. At the end of 2003, a total of 224 databases with almost 450 million records were available online on a 7x24 hour basis. 108 of these files with almost 170 million records were offered by the European STN service center FIZ Karlsruhe. Like in the previous year, the regional distribution of database usage in almost equal shares fell to the German-speaking countries, the other European countries (not including Eastern Europe) as well as the USA and Canada. Printed copies of the Annual Report 2003 (German only) can be ordered at: FIZ Karlsruhe, Rüdiger Mack,Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1,76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen Phone: +49-7247/808-513, Fax: +49-7247/808-136,E-mail: Ruediger.Mack@fiz-karlsruhe.de The online version (PDF format) of the Annual Report 2003 (English and German) is available on the FIZ Karlsruhe website:,http://www.fiz-karlsruhe.de/about_fiz/annualreport2003.pdf This press release can be viewed online at:,http://www.fiz-karlsruhe.de/news/whatsnew.html#prscientific and technical information services in print and electronic form world-wide. In co-operation with national and international institutions, FIZ Karlsruhe produces databases in the fields of energy, nuclear research and technology, crystallography, polymer technology, mathematics, computer science and phys-ics, and provides a search service for R&D in corporations and institutions. ,FIZ Karlsruhe also operates STN International in Europe. STN International (The Scientific & Technical Information Network) is one of the worlds leading online services offering access to bibliographic, factual and full-text databases in sci-ence and technology.,At present, STNs comprehensive product range encompasses more than 220 databases with approx. 450 million documents from all fields of science and technology, among them the worlds largest and most important patent files. ,STN International is jointly operated by FIZ Karlsruhe, Germany; Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), Columbus, OH, USA; and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Tokyo.