New York, N.Y. November 16, 1999. Twelve leading scientific and scholarly publishers announced today that they are collaborating on an innovative, market-driven reference-linking initiative that will change the way scientists use the Internet to conduct online research. The reference-linking service represents an unprecedented, cooperative effort among Academic Press, a Harcourt Science and Technology Company (NYSE:H); American Association for the Advancement of Science (the publisher of Science); American Institute of Physics (AIP); Association for Computing Machinery (ACM); Blackwell Science; Elsevier Science (NYSE:ENL) (NYSE:RUK); The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE); Kluwer Academic Publishers( a Wolters Kluwer Company); Nature; Oxford University Press; Springer-Verlag; and John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JWa) (NYSE:JWb). It is expected to launch during the first quarter of 2000.
Researchers will be able to move easily from a reference in a journal article to the content of a cited journal article, typically located on a different server and published by a different publisher. At the outset, approximately three million articles across thousands of journals will be linked through this service, and more than half a million more articles will be linked each year thereafter. This will enhance the efficiency of browsing and reading the primary scientific and scholarly literature. Such linking will enable readers to gain access to logically related articles with one or two clicks -- an objective widely accepted among researchers as a natural and necessary part of scientific and scholarly publishing in the digital age.
The reference-linking service will be run from a central facility which will be managed by an elected Board and will operate in cooperation with the International Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Foundation. It will contain a limited set of metadata, allowing the journal content and links to remain distributed at publishers' sites. Each publisher will set its own access standards, determining what content is available to the researcher following a link (such as access to the abstract or to the full text of an article, by subscription, document delivery, or pay-per-view, etc.). The service is being organized as a not-for-profit entity to safeguard the independence of each participating publisher to set their own access standards and conditions.
The service, which is based on a prototype developed by Wiley and Academic Press, was developed in cooperation with the International DOI Foundation and builds on work by the Association of American Publishers and the Corporation for National Research Initiatives. It takes advantage of the DOI standard and other World Wide Web standards and Internet technology. By taking a standards-based approach the international initiative is confident that the sophisticated demands of the readers of scientific and scholarly journals for linking of references can be implemented broadly and rapidly.
Representatives of the participating publishers and the International DOI Foundation are in active discussions with other scientific and scholarly primary journal publishers to make this a broad-based, industry-wide initiative. Through the reference-linking service publishers will have an easy, efficient and scalable means to add links to their online journals.