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SuperJournal is a collaboration among project partners with an interest in electronic journals. The various project partners are listed below, with a brief profile and their role in the project. For further information on each partner, follow the link to their own Web site.
The SuperJournal Consortium includes some 20 society, university press, and commercial publishers who collaborate on electronic publishing issues on a pre-competitive basis. The publishers contribute their journals to the project, and license it free of charge to the participating user community sites. They participate in the research as a stakeholder group, and facilitate the participation of their journal editors and authors. They plan the functionality of the SuperJournal application, encourage authors to submit multimedia content, and will be instrumental in developing standards in the multimedia area. The publishers include:
The SuperJournal Consortium was established in 1992 when the SuperJANET Project on Information Resources (SPIRS) invited 9 UK publishers to demonstrate how the SuperJANET network could be used for electronic publishing. With a grant of 50,000 from the British Library Research and Development Department, they developed a demonstration system illustrating what electronic journals might be like. The project was led by Dr David Pullinger and is described in his book, The SuperJournal Project: Electronic Journals on SuperJANET, British Library R&D Report 6126, published in 1994 by Institute of Physics Publishing.
Manchester Computing at The University of Manchester provides computing services for the local academic communities, is a National Centre for Datasets Services, and is one of three National Supercomputer Centres providing very high performance services. The datasets offered through the MIDAS service include population and census data, digital map datasets, and scientific databases. Manchester Computing supports a wide range of software packages for the academic community, provides training, documentation, and technical support. The host computer is a Cray SuperServer CS6400.
Manchester Computing's role in SuperJournal involves production and data conversion of the publishers's files, developing the SuperJournal application using search engines and other off-the-shelf software, making it available to the user test sites via SuperJANET, security and access control, and developing the programs for data collection and analysis.
HUSAT Research Institute at Loughborough University is Europe's largest independent centre focusing exclusively on shaping technology to the ways people and organisations want to use it. HUSAT undertakes research on new forms of technology in the recognition that every new generation of products and processes bring new and ever more significant human considerations. HUSAT also works with design teams and users to ensure the systematic treatment of human issues throughout the development process. Areas of expertise include user requirements specification, user-centred design, and usability evaluation. Evaluation techniques include expert assessment, surveys, user trials, and focus groups. HUSAT's facilities include a usability lab, a display and control laboratory, and a portable lab.
HUSAT's role in SuperJournal is to perform the evaluation studies, interpretive review of the results with the various stakeholder groups, and the project Self-Evaluation. The research on readers involves identifying the factors that influence usage, and the strategies that readers employ when interacting with the electronic journals. The methodology is based on an action research paradigm, adjusting the parameters that influence usage during the course of the project to maximize use.
Leading university libraries will make the electronic journals available to their readers, provide user support, and participate in the evaluation studies. The libraries include:
SuperJournal would like to acknowledge the contribution that software developers are making to the project.
ICL have provided a licence to use ODB-II, the object database developed by Fujitsu Ltd. ODB-II is the first "industrial strength" database which integrates relational and object-oriented technology. Manchester Computing is using ODB-II to provide the development and host environment for the SuperJournal application.
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Last modified: June 22, 1998