Wherein the IngentaConnect Product Management, Engineering, and Sales Teams
ramble, rant, and generally sound off on topics of the day

And finally ... the Frankfurt SNAFUs

Friday, October 19, 2007

It being Friday, I thought I'd post further Frankfurt news - this time of the minor SNAFUs which are integral to any tradeshow. For me, they were:
Happily, I finally made it home in the early hours of Saturday morning. Frankfurt Book Fair - 2007 - DONE. Bis bald!


posted by Charlie Rapple at 10:18 am


In other (Frankfurt) news

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Naturally, all our own news - and a general curiosity in how we are getting on following our merger earlier this year - meant that the flow of visitors to our stand was pretty heavy. As stand manager, I barely got a minute to pootle off and explore the myriad of wonders that is on offer at the Fair. But I did get to hear the gossip: there was a lot of talk about Collexis' new venture, a social networking site for life scientists which is pre-populated with author profiles and network connections gleaned from mining 6 million scientific articles. The site (which did, I'm sure, have a groovy name, but it's not in their press release and I've forgotten it) has been developed in partnership with German software provider Synyx. It will certainly be worth a look when it launches in January, though I wonder whether these two relatively small organisations have the critical mass and reach to engage the attentions of the global academic community (despite the "vanity factor" which may see authors checking in to authenticate and preen over their personal profile).

It might be worth Collexis and Synyx forging an additional partnership to help ensure uptake, and another of the "Frankfurt hot topics" would seem a good fit. CrossRef's Author ID project is making sound progress following its inception earlier this year. The plan (in summary) is to create a database of authors and assign an identifier to each which would then simplify the editorial and production processes of CrossRef member publishers, whilst also offering downstream benefits - such as enabling foolproof disambiguation within services such as the Collexis/Synyx network (I do wonder how they have managed to achieve this at the moment). CrossRef is well-positioned to achieve buy-in to something like this, and can cite the increasing usage of DOIs as evidence; they will also have the combined advocacy of their growing publisher membership, whose collective power to enforce usage of an Author ID (and thus to introduce any services related to it?) is formidable.

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posted by Charlie Rapple at 10:54 am


On the Frankfurt wire: our news

Monday, October 15, 2007

I spent last week in Frankfurt, where the publishing industry gathers each October for the annual Book Fair. It is always a huge amount of fun, but exhausting (one of my feet has still not recovered full sensation). The fair is vast (about 40 acres, if my calculations are right - 170,000m2), with nearly 300,000 attendees this year, and more than 7,500 exhibitors from over 100 countries.

This year's fair was particularly exciting for us as it is the first time our three divisions, Ingenta, VISTA and PCG were all together on one stand (pictures to come), and we were launching our new group brand, Publishing Technology. Plus we had some big news to share with the community: at the top level, all three divisions have been involved with, and will continue to contribute to, our recent deal with the BBC to power their BBC Monitoring web service, a subscription-based news service for which we will provide market research, information architecture, web design and maintenance, content conversion and hosting, subscriptions management and billing software, and sales representation to help them sell the service into new markets.

Each of our individual divisions also had major news to broadcast at the Fair; Ingenta announced its new deal with The Charleston Advisor, consumer report for the information community, which will now be hosted on the IngentaConnect platform.

Our VISTA division announced the ongoing success of the information commerce software it acquired from the merger with Ingenta; Dutch publisher Sdu is the latest client for the ICS system, which is already fully live and supporting three websites for launch customer Institute of Physics Publishing.

Meanwhile, Publishers Communication Group (PCG) released its latest research, into the evolution of renewals trends in scholarly journals over the last four years, which shows the increasing migration from print to electronic subscriptions and the growing influence of faculty recommendations on cancellations. We had copies of this study with us at Frankfurt and it has certainly aroused the interest of a large number of both librarians and publishers.

As if that wasn't enough, we also pre-released a white paper at the event, titled "Trends in Digital Commerce", that assesses current strategic trends and future expectations regarding publishers’ digital publishing activities. Keep an eye out for the official release of this white paper in the next month or so. (And for tomorrow's posting of the other news circulating at Frankfurt this year).

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posted by Charlie Rapple at 9:20 am


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