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Digitization of the Landolt-Börnstein Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia cover
Landolt-Börnstein is a systematic and extensive data collection of all areas of the physical sciences and engineering published by Springer Science+Business Media. The project started with the first work published in 1883 by physicist Hans Landolt and chemist Richard Börnstein. Currently, the Landolt-Börnstein New Series comprises more than 270 volumes available in 55,000 online documents, including 120,000 figures, more than 1 million literature references, and 65,000 keywords to ease direct access for users. Landolt-Börnstein also lists more than 72,000 element systems, 150,000 chemical substances, more than 530,000 substance-property pairs and nearly 1.5 million synonyms. In January 2010, Springer launched SpringerMaterials — the most comprehensive electronic content platform in the physical sciences based on the Landolt-Börnstein codata collection. SpringerMaterials was based on over 400 volumes of the Landolt-Börnstein New Series.

Springer Verlag, the largest European scientific publisher, and ATAPY Software undertake a joint project that will benefit the worlds’ scientific community

Springer logoFor the last 6 years, ATAPY Software has been engaged in ongoing cooperation with  the world's second largest scientific Publishing House, Springer Verlag, a company in the Springer Science+Business Media group.

In 2003, Springer was searching for a contractor to provide the digitization of the Landolt-Börnstein Numerical Data and Functional Relationships in Science and Technology, New Series, a modern edition of the 180,000-page encyclopedia in chemistry, physics and technology. Digital conversion of scientific material presents a number of specific challenges. Before coming to ATAPY, Springer had made several digitization attempts but they weren't efficient enough, mostly due to out of date technology.

Сooperation started with a pilot project in which ATAPY converted several excerpts from the Encyclopedia to text format. This successful start grew into a solid partnership. Throughout this period, ATAPY has converted 166 volumes of Landolt-Börnstein to XML, each one containing up to 500 pages, and more volumes are still to come.

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One of Springer's major requirements is an accuracy level above 99.99%, which means less than one mistake per 10,000 characters. The goal has been consistently achieved with the help of the excellent ABBYY OCR technology, adjusted for this particular task by ATAPY's engineers, and the meticulous verification work of the company's Media Service Department. ATAPY's developers have automated the conversion of reference lists following each chapter of the edition to A++ XML, the customer-specific XML format.

LB volumes, which have already been converted, covering such subjects as Elementary particles, Nuclei and atoms, Molecules and free radicals, Condensed matter, Physical chemistry, Geophysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Biophysics, are available online in PDF format at Springer's Landolt-Börnstein Online resource, empowered with an extended search engine providing keyword and substance/property index-based search.

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‘I am happy to have such long-term cooperation with ATAPY Software in this complex matter. They're doing an excellent job preparing Landolt-Börnstein for the future. I thank ATAPY's team for all the extensive work done, and I'm ready to continue this partnership,’ — said Dr. Rainer Poerschke, Head of the Landolt-Bornstein Department (2008), Springer-Verlag.

Scheme of digitization

About Springer Verlag:

Springer Science+Business Media, or Springer, is a worldwide publishing company based in Germany, that publishes textbooks, academic reference books, and peer-reviewed topical journals, with a focus on science, technology, mathematics, and medicine. Within the science, technology, and medicine sector, Springer is the largest book publisher, and second-largest journal publisher worldwide, with over 60 publishing houses, 1,900 journals, 5,500 new books published each year, sales of 924 million euro (in 2006) and 5,000 employees. Springer has major offices in Berlin, Heidelberg, Dordrecht (the Netherlands) and New York.