Case study: Content Enrichment Implementation at Wiley


Wiley is one of the world's leading academic publishers. Its Global Research business, focused on scientific, technical, medical and scholarly (STMS) markets produces over 1600 journals, as well as the leading program of books, major reference works and databases. Its content-enabled solutions improve outcomes in research, education and professional practice.

Business challenge:

Wiley has long been known for its high quality content and for innovation, and has therefore been undertaking content enrichment to improve its products for some time. However this had been done as separate projects within narrow subject areas, relying on the initiatives/drive of individuals within the organisation who recognised the benefits that content enrichment could provide. Some of the projects proved to be very successful, but very few were leveraging successes from previous projects or building a capability that could be reused. Whilst several of the projects were very similar, different technologies had been used to achieve the results and because there was little coordination between the projects there was much repetition of work and little shared learning. Therefore these efforts were not taking the business forward. Wiley determined that there must be a better way, and that content enrichment was so important that it must become a core capability for the business.

A senior Wiley executive was given overall responsibility for content enrichment and 67 Bricks were selected as the partner to develop the strategy and to help implement the content enrichment capability. This initiative needed to equip Wiley to pursue new markets and opportunities and unlock the value in Wiley assets. The business objectives were to increase content relevance, discoverability and usage, increase credibility and develop new value propositions.

67 Bricks solution:

67 Bricks were asked to partner Wiley in implementing content enrichment as a core capability. We were engaged to develop the content enrichment vision, implement a prototype architecture, support the implementation of the production infrastructure, build an R&D environment and support ongoing research and development activities to develop new enrichment capabilities.

67 Bricks' initial task was to gather information from across the business to define business objectives and to build a vision statement. This included carrying out in-depth interviews with 17 senior stakeholders to understand where the business wanted to go and how content enrichment could support these business objectives. We developed a vision statement that enabled a wide range of stakeholders to understand what was planned and how it would be realised.

The vision statement included various user stories to bring to life the impact the content enrichment capabilities would have on the business, such as:

"An undergraduate is inspired by his quantum field theory course, but his online textbook doesn't go far enough. He follows the links from the quantum electrodynamics chapter to read the latest research articles on that topic. The student is much more confident about his upcoming exam."
"A manager within Wiley reviews usage statistics, and sees that chemotaxis is currently popular. He runs some queries to pull together a set of book, journal, image and video resources from across Wiley, and contacts a domain expert to write editorial content. Shortly, the chemotaxis resource goes live and quickly becomes a top search result on Google."

It was determined that a 'content enrichment framework' was needed as the organising principle for all the components necessary to develop and maintain a strong content enrichment capability in the years to come. The core of the framework is not just about technology. It includes processes, people, technologies and taxonomies; thus it can also provide assistance in the development of business cases and guidance on measuring success and learning from previous content enrichment projects. Construction of the framework involved mapping business objectives to content features and enrichment capabilities. This enabled Wiley and 67 Bricks to prioritise the capabilities that delivered the most value and should therefore be implemented first.

Having defined the vision 67 Bricks were engaged to build a prototype of the technical architecture to validate the approach, showing a new feature as a demonstration of the business benefits. The feature we built displayed related articles based on the automated identification of keywords within articles. The subject matter experts confirmed that this approach was a significant improvement on other 'relatedness' approaches.

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Figure 1: the related articles feature built on the prototype technical architecture.

Following the successful implementation of the prototype architecture by 67 Bricks, approval was given to proceed with the implementation of the production infrastructure. 67 Bricks supported Wiley during the implementation of the core enrichment capabilities, where the core enrichment capabilities concerns the ability to take any piece of Wiley content and apply an 'enrichment plan' to it. The enrichment plan defines the enrichment processes to be applied to a piece of content. An enrichment process might be the application of a grammatical, statistical or rules based approach or the use of a taxonomy to identify specific entities. 67 Bricks developed specific components for the production infrastructure and provided technical authority across all components.

Following the successful implementation of the production infrastructure 67 Bricks have been retained to support the ongoing research and development effort in identifying and testing new enrichment capabilities. The prototype architecture was further developed and became the R&D environment. 67 Bricks have so far developed over 20 separate prototype applications using new enrichment approaches allowing technology and business stakeholders to see the potential of enriched Wiley content. Knowledge transfer is an important part of the relationship so that Wiley's internal staff are enabled to take on and make production-ready the results of the R&D work.

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Figure 2: reference book enriched content R&D demo application.

Business value:

The content enrichment capability is already demonstrating its worth. Wiley has won new business with learned societies that are specifically looking to partner with a publisher that can enrich their content. Wiley are able to quickly build and develop advanced content features for its publishing partners. Wiley have released new enriched-content products e.g. Functional Chemistry and new internal capabilities to support the editorial process.

"Wiley's aim was to make content enrichment a business-as-usual process so that all content is enriched as part of the normal production workflows. 67 Bricks have enabled Wiley to make this a reality. 67 Bricks provided software development expertise, industry knowledge and specific content enrichment experience, all to a very high standard."

Jason Markos, Director of Knowledge Management and Strategy Wiley