Wiley Interscience

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Scientific heritage and high-tech service come together on the Web

John Wiley & Sons is one of the best-known names in non-fiction publishing. It boasts nearly 200 years of history and today is known for everything from the most scholarly journals, through reference works and textbooks, to the hugely successful 'For Dummies' series. Wiley made a major foray into scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishing in 1961 when it acquired InterScience Publishers. Since then it has continued to expand its STM publishing program with the acquisition in 1989 of Alan R Liss, a publisher of journals and books in the life sciences, and of VCH in 1996, an important scientific, technical, and professional publisher based in Germany. VCH has a longstanding publishing partnership with the German Chemical Society, and the acquisition of the VCH Group further strengthened Wiley's leadership in these markets.

In 1997 Wiley InterScience was launched onto the World Wide Web initially as a free service offering full-text access to its journals. Two years later Wiley InterScience became a commercial service in which abstracts can be accessed and searched at no charge, with the full-text of journal articles being available either through a variety of licence and subscription deals or Pay Per View (PPV).

Licence options go from a Basic Access Licence, which gives single site access to specified journals, to Enhanced Access Licences giving unlimited concurrent use across multiple sites.

Individual articles can be purchased from titles not subscribed to via PPV, or library customers can buy 'Article Select' tokens, which means that once they have 'spent' 115 per cent of the subscription price on one title they are automatically subscribed for a year.

Wiley InterScience has evolved considerably since 1999 and now provides online access to more than 400 Wiley journals, more than 50 encyclopaedia and handbooks (representing more than 200 print volumes of critical reference information), and more than 1,300 titles from Wiley InterScience OnlineBooks, as well as such key resources as the Cochrane Library of evidence-based medicine databases. Many of its titles are the most respected in their fields with the highest impact factors - the standard measure for the importance of the content of a journal related to the number of citations it receives.

Dr Susan King, Vice President for marketing at Wiley InterScience said the company has invested a lot in making sure that its journals are of the highest quality with the most leading edge coverage of their fields. As a commercial publisher it must ensure its titles are on everyone's 'must read' list.

Wiley has expanded its offerings by forming partnerships with scholarly societies such as the British Journal of Surgery, the American Cancer Society, the Cochrane Collaboration, and many others.

The company believes that the research community and society at large are best serviced by the widest possible dissemination of STM information. It continues to make significant investments in Wiley InterScience to add content and functionality and facilitate greater access and discoverability.

The company's huge heritage is being made available online through a project to digitise the backfiles of every journal since the first issue, in a few cases going back a far as the 18th century. The project began in 2003 and is expected to be complete in time for Wiley's 200th birthday in 2007. Eventually about 7.5 million pages will be available, making it one of the largest archives of any publisher in the world.

Dr King said: 'Scientists will be able to get a full picture of the development of a subject back to the very beginning. Online access to the back issues of journals will improve access to scientific research writ large and help promote scientific discovery. Also a lot of our library customers are running short of shelf space and looking to deep-archive their paper journal collections.'

In 2003 Wiley InterScience completely revamped its website to make it more user friendly, after extensive consultation with its customers.

Wiley's leadership helped to forge an unprecedented alliance among more than 1,400 major publishers worldwide to form CrossRef, an online journal reference linking service that is revolutionising the research process. Wiley was one of the key members of the CrossRef Search pilot project which uses Google as a search engine but limits returns just to scholarly, peer-reviewed articles rather than the usual assorted jumble returned by a Google search.

Wiley has also participated in such initiatives as Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI), sponsored by the World Health Organisation, and Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA), sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, two projects that bring open or low-cost access to leading STM journals to end-users in developing nations. The company has also worked closely with key health organisations and other publishers to develop patientINFORM (www.patientinform.org), a free online service disseminating original medical research directly to patients and their caregivers.

Dr King believes the best way to meet the needs of the community is to ensure that Wiley publications are the most in demand by researchers. 'Every year we are delivering more information to more people at a lower cost per item, but despite that we are still enjoying commercial success.'

contact details

Email: cs-wis@wiley.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1243 843336
Web: www.interscience.wiley.com