MIT Press rolls out CogNet

Within CogNet, structuring complex math, tables and images in XML provides researchers with easier, faster access and improves citations for authors.

cognet-mitData Conversion Laboratory (DCL), which handles conversion of complex documents across all industries and formats, has helped with the successful rollout of the newly enhanced MIT CogNet.

A product of MIT Press, MIT CogNet is an institutional subscription database consisting of 6 academic journals, 12 cornerstone reference works and more than 700 books spanning all of the cognitive sciences.

“When planning the MIT CogNet upgrade, we knew that our internal resources would need to be devoted primarily to software development and Q&A, and so we’d need help with content conversion,” said Bill Trippe, Director of Technology at MIT Press. “Based on our past work with DCL, we have come to rely on them as our go-to vendor for converting complex material, accurately and on schedule.”

For this project, DCL converted two of MIT Press’ most significant reference books – foundational works in the cognitive sciences, representing the works of some of the leading thinkers in the world. These volumes include complex mathematics, tables and images, requiring DCL’s signature attention to ensuring that all data retained the appropriate structuring and formatting schema, as prescribed by their respective academic disciplines.

A significant difficulty during the early development of the new version of CogNet was trying to achieve the best presentation of the book’s content. When a catalog search presented a PDF chapter from a book in CogNet, the source of the book was not obvious to the end user. DCL worked with MIT Press to solve this issue with a simple, one-page opening to all book chapters that includes MIT Press and CogNet branding, along with other pertinent information on the source of the content. These additional pages are now created dynamically from the original document’s XML metadata.

The timing of the rollout of the enhanced version of MIT CogNet was of paramount importance. Academic librarians assess their subscription databases in late summer and fall, so having a new, functional version available was critical from a marketing perspective.

“Working with MIT Press and contributing to CogNet development has been very gratifying,” adds Mark Gross, President and CEO of Data Conversion Laboratory. “With the platform and process now in place, MIT Press has the tools to quickly launch similar products focused on different disciplines. DCL looks forward to being a vital partner in those efforts.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione