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Putting scholarship online Robert Faber Editorial Director, Scholarly and General Reference.

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Presentation on theme: "Putting scholarship online Robert Faber Editorial Director, Scholarly and General Reference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Putting scholarship online Robert Faber Editorial Director, Scholarly and General Reference

2 OED and ODNB  Competition  OED: none on same scale; lots of free dictionaries  ODNB: none on same scale in British history; lots of low-grade biography  Print, magnetic tape, CD-ROM, online …  Online business model: subscription  Unlimited  Concurrent user  Limited periods … so renewable

3 Business models  Subscription  Pay-per-view / pay-per-access  Perpetual access (e-books?)  With hosting fee?  From online shops to e-readers (e-books?)  Mobile apps (e-books?)  Free!  Advertising  Market place  Infomediary

4 OED project  OED first published 1884–1928  20-volume print set; text first digitized in 1980s; CD  Complete rewrite now under way  70 staff  publishing online since March 2000  currently 260,000 entries, 800,000 senses defined, 2.9 million quotations, 55 million words of text online  10,000+ revised or new entries a year, in 4 updates  Editing now based around online publication and electronic materials  New search capabilities  By date, language of origin, full text, quotations, usage, region, etc.  Online has brought new readerships

5 OED Online  Markets: academic and professional libraries  Law, medicine, as well as humanities  But also public libraries and individuals  In 8 years OED has gone from being the 20-volume gorilla of the dictionary world …  Legendary but rarely seen in the flesh  To the most-used Oxford dictionary online  2,300 to >4,000 subscribers in last 5 years  Up to 2.8 million entries viewed each month  Challenge now to offer content at all levels of use  Language tool-kit a mix of print, PC, and online

6 OED usage: entries displayed by month Calendar 2000 average 160,000/month peak 320,000 in a month Now average >2m/month peak c2.8m in a month

7 Oxford DNB project  First published 1885–1901 ( vols)  + supplements: total 36,000 lives, 33 vols, 33m words  New DNB project 1992–2004: £25m+  55,000 biographies  10,000 images, 62m words  Written by 10,000 people worldwide  Communication, technology  50,000 sub-projects made possible by technology  Database prepared for any form of publication

8 Publish all together  Not the original plan  Shortened timescale: 12 years not 20  More resources, more risk!  Enabled focus on subsets of content  Became a research project  Mobilize 10,000 contributors  653 wrote the Victorian DNB (29,000 lives)  Would we do it that way now?

9 ODNB online  Innovative online features  Highly searchable  by place, occupation, religion, date, images, etc.  Direct links other resources  Online ‘themes’ growing as British history companion  Rapid online sales growth  Driving traffic: biography index

10 Marketing and positioning  Content relevant to everyone  Generates much interest: word hunts, family and local history  But content can be of the highest standard  Link to OUP’s mission  Brand awareness – and challenging misconceptions  Very large enterprises over very long time-spans  Ideally suited to electronic management  Hubs of online information  Built into the academic network


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