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Historic Periodicals


  • Client is the premiere world resource for academic, scientific, historical, and legal research information services. It offers premium content through databases, e-books, journals and magazines, as well as a versatile discovery tool for searching across all library resources. It’s content and feature-rich technology platforms serve the needs of researchers at all levels, whether they access its products at academic institutions, schools, public libraries, hospitals, medical institutions, corporations or government institutions.

Client Requirements

  • The client was looking for a reliable vendor partner to provide digital access to the most comprehensive collection of American periodicals published between 1684 and 1912. They wanted their vendor to have the necessary infrastructure and staff with understanding and exposure to the American history concerning the life of America's people from the Colonial Era through the Civil War and Reconstruction as represented in various American periodicals of those times. The database is meant to provide rich content detailing American history and culture from the mid-18th century through the late-19th century and the collections cover advertising, health, women's issues, science, the history of slavery, industry and professions, religious issues, culture and the arts, and more.
  • With a database of 50 subject-based thematic subset collections of historical periodicals:
    • The client needed to create narrow subject headings of different articles covering a range of American History themes including Agriculture, Applied Science and Technology, Art, Business, Education, Politics, Civil War, Sports, Music, Religion, and Women’s Studies, etc.
    • These subject headings were not free-floating. Rather, these headings had to be created under a controlled vocabulary dataset based on distinct and comprehensive guidelines
    • The required quality of indexed headings was 90% at field level to facilitate better search results to researchers/end users

Our Solution

  • IDS performed a detailed analysis of the source articles/publications provided by the Client. It was found that the content was complex and required specialized skill sets to represent it with subject headings from a controlled vocabulary dataset
  • IDS formed a production team comprised of arts & humanities graduates and prepared a cost-efficient workflow model for indexing of the concerned articles.
  • A comprehensive classroom-based 8-day training module was prepared with the help of the client and training was imparted by a seasoned trainer having more than 10 years of relevant Indexing experience.
  • IDS has processed various thematic collections of historical publications for this Database including:
    • Agricultural Periodicals from the Northeastern US from 1789-1879 representing regional periodicals focusing on northeastern conditions and how populations adapted to the particular climates and soil conditions of the area
    • Scientific Periodicals from 1771-1901 that reflect the scientific achievements of the era,
    • Alternative Faith and Philosophy Periodicals from 1789-1878 which is focused on titles that reflect spiritual seeking as it was expressed in alternative forms of worship and belief,
    • American Literary Periodicals from 1782-1834 depicting the burgeoning American literary movement and encapsulates the higher forms of literature and literary criticism,
    • Musical Periodicals from 1781-1879 that allows researchers to discover early America through popular music by gathering publications dedicated to various aspects of music, from the sacred to the secular, from the political to the comic,
    • Business and General Education Periodicals from 1800-1885 focusing on the long and rich history of business and education in the United Sates, and
    • American Civil War Periodicals from 1855-1868 consisting of periodicals that span the immediate years before the Civil War to the beginnings of Reconstruction,
    • And numerous other thematic collections.
  • A Quality matrix mutually agreed with the Client covering all the relevant areas to generate high quality content was prepared by IDS. Our QC and QA teams adopted this Quality matrix to ensure expected quality level in daily deliverables from the production team.
  • IDS implemented a three-stage process to meet the TAT and Quality objective. The first stage reviewed each document in detail and indexed it with subject headings per their relevance. A second stage carried out random editing of the articles indexed to ensure field level quality of subject headings remains intact as well as to use this data for feedback and training purposes. The third step was to instill a QA process at 95% confidence level to ensure outgoing quality levels are up to the mark.
  • Following the success of pilot, the live work was scaled up as per agreed ramp up plan. IDS team built up monthly capacity to index up to 80000 articles at the agreed SLA.