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Red Sage final report

[February 1997]


Copyright (c) 1997

Abstract: From the executive summary:

The Red Sage project was conceived by Springer-Verlag, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and AT&T* to test electronic delivery of journals to scientists at UCSF in their offices and laboratories. The project was expanded in mid-1993 to include 19 publishers and 71 journals in general medicine, radiology and molecular biology. The primary goal of the project was to develop an understanding of the issues associated with electronic delivery of primary journals to scientists in their working environments.

To manage the project and coordinate the material flow, two committees were formed: a senior-level Policy Group and an Implementation Group composed of a number of publishers as well as representatives from UCSF and AT&T.

AT&T Bell Labs was responsible for taking publishers'' content and building the database from scanned page images plus ASCII text for each page. Later in the project, some publishers were able to deliver PDF files, and plans were being made to deliver SGML files. The Red Sage database was stored at UCSF on a central server, and the browser software ran on users'' desktop machines.

As the project progressed, World Wide Web access became important, and Bell Labs wrote programs that presented the existing database in HTML. Page images appeared as embedded graphics, with the HTML possessing links to other pages, simulating the original non-web browser controls.

Following a brief test period, usage began in January of 1994. Over 10,000 articles were accessed in 1994, and usage increased significantly over the three year life of the project. Over 88,000 were accessed in 1996. The number of searches increased from almost 6000 in 1994 to over 13,000 in 1996.

The number of individuals who logged on at least once during a given year increased from 123 in 1994 to 1200 in 1996.

The authors of this report believe that the overall usage of the system at UCSF was excellent, and this is supported not only by the usage statistics but also by anecdotal evidence gathered from the scientists during the life of the project. While we can say that Red Sage was a success on the campus, efforts to scale the service and to extend the project into an actual commercial service were not successful. AT&T proposed several business possibilities, but in the end we could not get complete agreement among all the publishers. The project formally ended December 1996.

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Publication Year:1997
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Issue:February 1997
Online access:
Record Number:9762
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00