The Chicago Manual of Style Goes Online

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Going Online

Been around a long time--100 years.

Premier product

Strong brand identity

Major revenue generator

Long tradition as definitive publishg reference coupled with ad hoc advice.

Plan for ePublication

Began with the development of the 15th edition--DEMAND FOR SEARCHABILITY

Simultaneous print and online impracticable.

Established free web site to build a user community.

- searchable text that delivered location of results in the CMOS print book

- put up tools for editors--form letters, the editing symbols, etc.

- enable interactive Q & A (their editors already did it themselves on the phone, so they put it online.) One of the most popular things about it.

- enable email notification of new stuff

Also, did a CD-ROM (because remote editors with little access needed CD-ROM).

Why Go Electronic


market demand (people wanted it)

added value with searchability

more revenue

be the first with a product like this before anyone else (so they wouldn't lose market share)


Risks of lost print revenue, might undermine the stable, strong brand, inexperience

They did research

questionaires that targeted CMOS free site users using Survey Monkey.

Interviewed target users--librarians, editors, etc.


Ms editors publishers wirtiers jouranalists students

Needed to define the online product

Professional reference

Definitive core text from edition to edition



Paid content

Keeping community site

Invites user input


Q&A., Tools, CMS Citation Quick Guide and other features to come

Preserving the shopping area

Keeping it Searchable and Fluid

Community site not considered "definitive", but "recommended" by editorial staff.

Business Model

Took a lot of time to figure out. Must be careful

Subscription--annual, timed access (journal model)

One time fee (access to specific content) book model

Chose to do annual subscription model, Quantity discounts for 3-15 users.

Also, Group subsciption, group admistrator, one shared password for group and one password for administrator.

Enterprise licensing for Corporations

Simultaneous user licenses depending on designated size of libraries (unlikely that more than 5 people would be on the site at any one time at the university).


Free 30-day trial

Priced subscription moderately so they wouldn't set up too much barriers.

==New Kinds of Post Development Costs

Upkeep and updating

New content development; must add or reallocate current staff.

Business Infrastructure; will need licensing staff.

Must have more customer service including IT and order fulfilment.

Renewal promotion and advertising is continual.

Needed major collaborative and team effort

Book publishing is linear.

Developing an e-product is not a linear process.

- Needed input from many; everything connects.

- Many tasks need to be accomplished in parallel.

- Need staff empowered to make decisions.

- Need a full-time project manager (not a 20% project).

CMOS Online--Technical Architecture

Standards based site—XHTML, unicode, CSS, Google Mini site search, Oracle database for access control, XML-based messaging interface with e-commerce system

Site is a mix of static page, batch generated pages (the Manual content), dynamic pages too (e.g. search results)


What e-commerce system did they go with?

Used their current home-grown journals e-commerce system.

Will the underlying XML structure help Google with findability?

Yes, in that Google will be able to easily traverse the site, but no in that Google doesn't see or use the XML structuring tags.

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