less appealing to undergraduates, in particular, who really want a single solution for all their search needs. Reed Elsevier does not expect to be that single solution, but it is trying to do as much as it can. It is charging for it because of the model it has for charging for content. Google supports itself via advertising. That could be an option perhaps for a company like Reed Elsevier, but probably not in the scientific context to make the kind of revenue that is necessary, given other models discussed at this symposium.
Another point is that Reed Elsevier is also open to other players doing the same kind of thing. There is a metasearch initiative going on right now in the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), which is trying to respond to libraries' request to have a small number of services for proprietary content, rather than a long list of 60 providers. Reed Elsevier is working together with NISO and other large publishers to develop open standards, so that any metasearch company could come in and search these proprietary services.
Finally, Reed Elsevier offers a service called Scirus (www.scirus.com), which does provide access to some of that hidden content that Google does not provide access to. It has scientific papers from the Web, with 150 million Web documents. It has all the Reed Elsevier proprietary content, plus whatever it can license from other publishers. Most of the proprietary content is available for a fee. The abstracts are free, but if you click through to that content you go right through to the full text, if your site is licensed, and if not, there is a pay-per-view model, at least for the Reed Elsevier material. What Google has in fact done is to create a successful application for open content; however, something equivalent is not considered desirable, to some extent, on the licensed-content side.
Donald King noted that there is another dimension that needs to be considered in assessing the materials that are published. That is the dimension of time following the publication of the articles, or the point of their availability in the preprint archives.
The median age of a citation is approximately six to eight years, depending on the field of science. Most of the reading, about 60 percent, that takes place is within the first year of publication, but almost all of that is for the purpose of keeping up with the literature and knowing what peers are doing. As the age of the material gets older, the usefulness and the value of that material ages as well, but about 10 percent of the articles that are read are over 15 years old. That is particularly useful information in industry, where people are assigned a new area of work that requires them to go back into the literature. Such feedback on uses can help make the publications better.
Michael Smolens, with a company called 3BillionBooks, said that up to this point in the symposium he had not heard a term that might be referred to as cultural diversity. There are a lot of different cultures and language groups in the world that have a lot to say about many of the issues being discussed at this meeting.
There was an organization founded in 1998 called the International Network of Cultural Diversity. It was started by someone in Sweden who got 30,000 artists, writers, and musicians together because they could not deal with the European Union in their own language of Swedish. This posed a problem for a broad range of interactions on many issues. Their goal is to try to have the subject of very small cultures and language groups be heard at international meetings and consortia, so that when the World Trade Organization is dealing with trade issues, someone there is at least thinking about the fact that language groupings are disappearing very rapidly and cultural diversity should be maintained. The cultural diversity issue around the world is a very sensitive one that everyone needs to keep in mind when discussing publishing on the Internet.