Digitization and Conversion Project Reintroduces 110 Years of Scholarship to a New Audience
Founded in 1967, Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. soon established itself as a leading publisher of management research, producing more than 190 management, library and information science journals on strategy, international marketing and other management disciplines. Emerald was also quick to make its mark as one of the fi rst journal publishers to make new content available online. Between 1994 and 2007, Emerald readers downloaded almost 50 million articles.
Despite this success, Emerald recognized that it was missing an opportunity to capitalize on its backlist research papers. More than 12% of Emerald’s articles were not available online, including four of the five papers cited most often from Emerald journals. Digitizing this archive would enable Emerald to bring this knowledge to new readers, re-open past scholarship and also create a new revenue stream.
Unfortunately, Emerald did not have access to many of the printed copies of this historical content and needed help sourcing the original publications. They also knew that it was critical that this online content should be fully indexed and searchable.
In April 2007, Emerald decided to fill the gaps in its archive by turning to the partnership formed by Innodata Isogen and British Library. As the national library for the United Kingdom, the British Library already held back issues of virtually every Emerald publication. Moreover, by working with Innodata Isogen, they would be able to take advantage of the company’s extensive experience in XML conversion. This would ensure that the digitized text would be fully searchable – and generate more revenue – once it was online.
The Innodata Isogen and British Library team recognized the need to source, digitize, and tag content under a tight timeframe. With its extensive collection and connections with other libraries, the British Library exceeded the percentage of back issues it was contracted to find, providing 98% of the articles Emerald needed.
Once the files had been imaged in the United Kingdom, the TIFF files were delivered to Innodata Isogen, which used optical character recognition software (OCR) to recognize the text data. After converting text to an electronic format, Innodata Isogen performed online proofing and spell checking before encoding the text with XML tags.
Additional quality checks were performed to ensure that the files were converted to XML accurately, after which Innodata Isogen sent the articles to Emerald in a fully indexed PDF format
The British Library and Innodata Isogen completed this process by December of 2007, digitizing more than 60,000 articles from just under 200 journals. This gave Emerald ample time before the launch of the service in April 2008 to load the PDFs into its online delivery systems and perform its own quality run-throughs.
The service has had an instant impact on Emerald’s bottom line.
Anna Torrance, Head of Marketing for Emerald Group Publishing Limited said, “We started the sales process prior to the launch, working with the budgeting and purchasing cycles of our customers, and as a result, the site paid for itself within two months.”
The author community has also been happy with the service. “We have more than 40,000 authors,” said Torrance. “As people increasingly rely on the Internet for research and less on hard copies, the authors are very pleased to have their articles online because it increases the dissemination of their work and makes them widely available to researchers around the world.”
With the success of this project, Emerald is also considering future projects with the British Library and Innodata Isogen. Emerald has made an additional acquisition, Torrance added. “This publisher has a large amount of copy and we are working to integrate that content into our existing systems,” she said. “With the success we’ve had with this project, and the positive impact we’ve seen of making more research available online, we’re certainly considering the service as a future option.”