Trip Report: ISI Visit 20080404

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Meeting with representatives from Thomson Scientific, formerly known as Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)

Participants: Simon Pratt, John Langton, Philip Purnell (Prous Science), Ben Bowman, Johann Bauer, Ralf Schimmer, Tina Planck, Margit Palzenberger, Antje Michel, Inga Overkamp

Summary: The meeting was arranged to introduce John Langton as the new Thomson Scientific key account manager for Max Planck Society. The vendor presented several new developments in terms of Life Science products (Investigator Portal, BONDPlus) and gave an update on coming changes for the WoK platform.

Presentation of Investigator Portal by Prous Science[1] (P. Purnell)[edit]

The "Investigator Portal" combines information from biology, chemistry and medicine for "translational research teams" with a focus on pharmaceutical/clinical research. The portal covers various types of content (intellectually selected), e.g.:

  • drugs & biology (structural information on drugs, descriptive information, historical information incl. "milestones", adverse events, ...)
  • targets & pathways
  • literature (+ additional abstracts), patent, conference reports, news items
  • recent congresses

All data is re-used across various products, the pharmaceutical/industry version has been out for a longer period. The new portal has been customized for the academic institutions.

Selected features[2]:

  • visualization, e.g. "molecular landscapes" & animations
  • organization information, e.g. to identify potential cooperation partners or funding bodies
  • related information
  • cross linking (between the information of the individual sections)
  • outside linking (literature, EC numbers)

Discussion & Results:

  • The "Investigator Portal" is not a life science portal and the name is a bit misleading. It has a clear target group (clinicians, human medicine) which does not belong to the core activities in the MPG. Therefore, the product is certainly of interest to various departments/institutes, but not necessarily a resource for the "MPG Grundversorgung".
  • The "Investigator Portal" is a completely new product and the current visibility is effectively zero. Thomson Scientific is exploring market relevance and very interested in a joint feedback.
  • Thomson Science is invited to get in contact with interested departments/institutes directly to present the product. MPDL is willing to support a trial phase. This would be a feasible way to evaluate the product and obtain feedback regarding the potential usefulness for MPG

Product updates (S. Pratt)[edit]


Biomolecular Object Network Databank Plus - combining public data, gene sequences and BINDplus (Biomolecular Interaction Network Database Plus)[3]

Result: Of potential interest, should be presented to BioInformatics interest group (via web session)

Web of Knowledge[edit]

Updates of April 20th 2008

  • Updates in Refine & Analyze tools
  • Enhancements to ResearcherID[4], e.g. introduction of yahoo-maps mashups
  • Enhancements to EndNoteWeb, e.g. "Read&Write" option for publishing libraries
  • New export format: BibTex
  • Introduction of Thomson unified authentication system to WoK (extended requirements regarding passwords)
  • Normalization of document types across databases (without touching/revising the metadata)
  • OpenURL improvement for ISI All Databases search


  • IVS-CPT is interested in Gen structure plugin -> Thomson to contact colleagues
  • Shibboleth issue addressed by Thomson within this year -> Contact details to Margit
  • Web Citation Index: Documentation requested -> forwarded to J. Pringle

Footnotes, References[edit]