Focus On: STM: Keeping Dr. Google Away
Launched in April, the service is "well on its way to meeting our expectations for the first year," Donohue says. ClinicalKey works on a two-tiered subscription model. A "flex model," which allows access to all content, ties price to usage (though charges are never increased more than 5 percent in a year). Such a model allows institutions to not feel they are paying for vast amounts of material they would never access. "They want to pay for the content that is relevant to [a particular] clinical workflow," Donohue says. "We are able to reflect that in the price."
This fall, Elsevier plans to launch an individual version of ClinicalKey, built around collections targeted to specialist areas and operating on a straight subscription model. "This is not built around access to all of our content, but around access to a series of collections in 46 specialty areas which allow a physician in individual practice or a specialist … to access the wide body of content and benefit from this taxonomy," Donohue says. The service is primarily for librarians and doctors who have very specialized interests.
Donohue says ClinicalKey is not meant to supplant or replace any of Elsevier's books or journals. In addition to drawing on existing content, the company is creating new content to support the service—e-abstracts to allow quick glances into surgical data, for instance. But the main focus is making core content more discoverable.
ClinicalKey is also not expected to drive book sales or journal subscriptions, though it could help facilitate such sales if physicians find themselves often using content from a particular publication. That said, there are some core publications (such as "Braunwald's Heart Disease," the "bible" of cardiology) which Donohue says doctors appreciate having both on the shelf (or on an e-reader) and in ClinicalKey. "The use case is different" on different platforms, he notes. "When we built it we thought journals use would be the highest [source used] by far. But what's happened is, especially in the surgical specialties … the book content has become really preeminent," because surgeons are able to do quick reviews and access multimedia content related to established procedures.