13 October, 1997, New York City - ScienceDirect--the world's most comprehensive web-based database of scientific, technical and medical journals--ScienceDirect has moved successfully into its Early Release phase, throughout which selected academic, corporate and government libraries have been offered access to the ScienceDirect service. ScienceDirect is a Web-based publishing platform that provides libraries and their end users desktop access to searchable refereed scientific, technical and medical articles on a scale much greater than previously available. Taking full advantage of Web browser and hypertext standards, ScienceDirect offers many unique features, for example, a subject-tailored abstract and indexing layer, sophisticated graphics capabilities and SummaryPlus, an innovative article summary display. When complete, content will include nearly 1,100 Elsevier Science journals, as well as publications from other participating publishers.
The 20 institutions currently participating in the ScienceDirect Early Release include: Astra Södertälje (Sweden), Cambridge University Medical Library (UK), Genentech (USA), GlaxoWellcome Research & Development Ltd. (UK), Hoechst AG (Germany), Maastricht University (The Netherlands), National Institutes of Health (USA), Novartis Services AG (Switzerland), Scripps Research Institute (USA) and the University of California System (USA). This week, 60 additional sites will be invited to participate, while a third group of approximately 60 institutions will be invited in November. By the end of the year, ScienceDirect expects to have information professionals and end users from more than 100 sites worldwide using the system.
ScienceDirect will continue to add journal titles and issues as they become available from the production environment. Elsevier Science anticipates that a significant number of its 350+ life sciences journals will be in ScienceDirect by the end of the year.
The Early Release's controlled roll-out strategy allows ScienceDirect to carefully monitor the system as it grows and ensures that it can handle ever-increasing usage without sacrificing response time.
The Charter Membership period will be announced at the London Online meeting in December. Initially ScienceDirect will be offered only to institutions. Pricing for Elsevier Science titles will be based on the cost of the journal subscription(s) plus a percentage for electronic access and subscribers may opt to receive both electronic and print versions or electronic only. Participating publishers will set their own pricing for subscriptions. In addition, there will be an annual service (host) fee, which is based on the size of an institution's user population and is dependent upon a number of factors, for example, the scope of distribution within an institution. The pricing/licensing model can accommodate a wide range of situations, from single-site to global licensing. Institutions will be able to take advantage of introductory prices and sign up for single- or multiple-year subscriptions beginning in 1998 to the journals in the ScienceDirect collection. Access to non-subscribed titles will also be available.
According to Patricia E. Sabosik, General Manager, "As we approach commercial launch, we are confident that ScienceDirect serves the evolving information needs of the academic, professional and research communities for electronic availability of journal articles and provides the tools to access that information quickly and easily. The result is an innovative and rich electronic environment that leverages the power and familiarity of the Internet. Users can navigate rapidly through large amounts of scientific material available at their desktops via their institutions' Internet connections."
Elsevier Science is a member of the Reed Elsevier plc group, a world leading publisher and information provider, whose activities include scientific, professional, business and consumer publishing. ScienceDirect is being developed with LEXIS-NEXIS, which acts as a technology partner, and the Reed Elsevier Technology Group. Their extensive experience in handling large systems and sophisticated files and in providing 24-hour, seven days a week technical support will guarantee the service and scalability of ScienceDirect. Elsevier Science owns and manages ScienceDirect and is responsible for commercial relationships with other publishers and with its customers.
Elsevier Science, the world's leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical publications, has offices in Amsterdam, Oxford, New York, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Lausanne and Shannon.
Visit the ScienceDirect Web site at http://www.sciencedirect.com for continuously updated information. The online demo provides visitors to the site with an excellent overview of the service's features and capabilities.