Product Report: CODiE Finalists - Best Science and Technology Information Solution
Tuesday, 12th February 2013
Three products were named to the final round for the CODiE category of Best Science and Technology Information Solution. All three demonstrate understanding of the workflow and content needs of researchers that require scientific information. FreePint reviewers provide a good look at Safari Books Online, Udini from ProQuest and Infotrieve’s Mobile Library Rx. Only one can take the CODiE, but all three deserve kudos for excellence.
Over the past four years, we at FreePint have paid closer attention to the scientific, technical and medical category of content, in response to customer requests and our own research. We have an increasing number of customers in technical industries like pharmaceuticals and software. At the same time, STM research resources and skills are increasingly important in industries like finance, law and consulting, to support competitive and market intelligence efforts, develop and manage acquisitions and build value for an organisation's own intellectual property.
As a researcher and observer of the information industry, I find STM products worthy of special attention for a variety of reasons. They reach a specialist audience, with very particular workflow needs. This audience is, furthermore, naturally attuned to innovation. Publishers need to attend to these requirements if their offerings are going to gain traction with their market, let alone be cited for "excellence".
The three products that achieved finalist status for the 2013 CODiE award for Best Science and Technology Information Solution presented by the Content Division of the SIIA in January 2013 each represent a certain elegance of execution.
- Infotrieve's Mobile Library Rx: Infotrieve continues its development of mobile-optimised products and modules that reflect deep understanding of the way that customers want to use content. Our reviewer Aileen Marshall demonstrates how easily and smoothly Mobile Library Rx supports salespeople with their need to send customers and prospects technical articles and documentation on the go, while maintaining copyright compliance.
- Udini from ProQuest: Sometimes you need a whole database, and sometimes you just need a single article. Udini from ProQuest enables easy search of journal articles and scientific literature, plus the ability to purchase on a Pay As You Go basis. Add in collaboration features, and Udini more than pleases our reviewer, Yulia Aspinall.
- Safari Books Online: Offering a robust collection of technical and professional books, plus training videos and other related content, Safari Books Online continues to evolve and impress. Reviewer Yulia Aspinall comments positively on the breadth of the collection, easy interface and ability to personalise and share items.
These three offerings all demonstrate a strong focus on understanding specifically what a user wants to do with content at a particular moment in time - share, purchase, collaborate, or carry multiple tomes within a slender and lightweight tablet, being some of the objectives. Yes, the content itself matters, but equally as important is the workflow, and the ability of the product to make the incorporation of content as easy as possible.
The best engineered solutions eliminate steps, create efficiency and multiply the effects of a worker's effort. Those rules hold whether the worker is creating value with information, with gears and levers, or with software code. All three of these finalists clearly achieve excellence by these standards.
There could be only one CODiE winner, and this year it was Safari Books Online. But publishers and content buyers alike can learn about excellence from all three.
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