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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Scientific technical and medical publishing for electronic delivery


To maintain the Scientific, Technical, Medical (STM) publishing industry's competitiveness it is vital that it adapt to the new electronic publishing environment. The pilot will help to develop the necessary publisher, technical, and user infrastructure expertise to facilitate commercial development, test pricing models and examine the impact of pricing strategies. The vision is to enable the author to contribute material to publishers without the latter having to modify the material for different technical standards, to enable publishers to make material available in a way that meets user needs, to allow readers to identify material in an easy and consistent way, and to be able to interact flexibly with data, images and other multimedia material.

Scientific, Technical and Medical publishing (STM) is important to the commercial activity of Europe in two ways: it is the basis for exploitation of new scientific discovery; and in terms of international trade STM publishing is a net exporter from Europe. To maintain the industry's competitiveness and thus preserve and enhance its employment opportunities in the electronic future, it is vital that every part of the large integrated social system that comprises STM publishing is helped in adapting to the new environment.

The objective of this project is to establish the feasibility of forming an STM publishing project cluster in the Information Engineering programme, with the goals of developing the necessary publisher, technical and user infrastructure to facilitate commercial development, test pricing models and examine the impact of pricing strategies, and so establish commercially sustainable STM information publishing based on European wide area networks and open standards for communication and information interchange. STAMPEDE will build on previous experience in the UK's SuperJournal project and on other electronic publishing experiments in the European Union to achieve its goals. STAMPEDE will address the following tasks:

Electronic Publishing - need for information and the acceptance of electronic information products, enhancement and integration of existing tools for authoring and publishing multimedia material for electronic delivery, multi-platform delivery, methods of streamlining the publication process, issues of long-term access to on-line STM information.

Information Dissemination - IPR protection, user authentication, particular attention to systems capable of supporting a range of charging methods, which can allow different pricing models to be tested, investigate resource discovery tools, navigation techniques, and methods whereby multimedia information products may be delivered using both networks and CD ROMs.

Information Retrieval - novel ways of presenting and interacting with retrieved information, support of multiple alternative access paradigms to the same information base, integration of information products into a user's personal information space, investigation of intelligent systems for information filtering and summarising.

The key benefits and results of the STAMPEDE feasibility stage are expected to be:

Establishes a firm basis for proposals for pilot projects which can effectively explore and demonstrate the viability of electronic delivery of STM information to customers;
Explores the issues in developing the necessary publisher infrastructure to facilitate commercial development;
Identification of valid and measurable tests of pricing models relative to different technical means of delivery;
Identification of the issues for the user in how pricing might affect retrieval behaviour;
Identification of the skills required in the publishing industry to underpin commercial development;
Examination of the issues in different technical infrastructures in how they relate to cost effectiveness relative to different pricing strategies.

The study will involve interacting with publishers to ascertain their views and requirements with respect to pricing models and strategies, and to establish their objectives with respect to STAMPEDE. Alternative pricing models will be developed and tested. Technical and standards related aspects of multimedia electronic network information systems will be addressed and obstacles identified. Appropriate user communities in relation to the publishers' target markets and market sectors will be identified in order to examine implications for users. The final outcome of the study will be recommendations concerning goals, research tasks, the appropriate STAMPEDE organisational structure and the relationship of STAMPEDE to other EU research projects.

Call for proposal

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Macmillan Publishers Ltd
EU contribution
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4 Little Essex Street
WC2R 3LF London
United Kingdom

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Total cost
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Participants (10)