Thieme is an award-winning international medical and science publisher serving health professionals, students and scientists for more than 125 years. Thieme promotes the most recent advancements in clinical practice, publishes the latest scientific research findings and advocates medical education. Thieme is well known for the high quality and didactic nature of its books, journals and electronic products. In addition to publishing 450 new book titles every year, Thieme publishes more than 15 medical and scientific journals both in print and electronic format as well as dozens of online products.

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As a scientific publisher, Thieme has to upload new content and data almost constantly, requiring a database solution that allows for agile data management, storage, enrichment and delivery. A medium-sized company in a competitive landscape, Thieme needs to deliver its highly annotated, enriched content in a way that allows its users to easily find the exact information they need without the need for training or extensive knowledge of query strategies. Specifically, Thieme faced the following challenges:

Integrating and Managing Complex and High Volumes of Data. Thieme had millions of medical and scientific documents, images and graphics, all of which were available in different formats that existed in many data silos. This situation made product development and deployment labor-intensive.

Highly Competitive Market. In order to be successful against international competition, as well as free search services like Google or Yahoo, Thieme needed to quickly deliver a platform that was capable of making highly annotated, enriched content easily searchable and accessible to a wide range of users.

Performance and Scalability. Because there was no standard platform or language to develop on, the heavily siloed nature of Thieme’s data and products made scaling a very cumbersome and elaborate process. IT had to start from scratch to create each new product.

Cost. Thieme had to make smart, predictable investments in its technological development, and recoup the costs of expenditures in its technology.

The Solution

Thieme selected the MarkLogic Enterprise NoSQL database platform to serve as the basis for all of its data management, including configuration, integration, storage and delivery. To allow users to efficiently mine this wealth of content, Thieme leveraged the MarkLogic Semantics feature to implement enriched text and highly configurable search functionalities, allowing users to perform relevant real-time text searches. MarkLogic powers over 20 Thieme products including:

eRef, a very sophisticated information system that integrates full text and graphical information to support physicians in their work with patients.

Science of Synthesis, the only resource for methods in synthetic organic chemistry, offering full-text descriptions of organic transformations and synthetic methods, as well as experimental procedures.

eNeurosurgery, a very advanced information service for neurosurgeons.

Our objective is to be the optimal resource for scientists and physicians worldwide, whether they want to publish their research results, increase their knowledge about their fields of expertise or more rapidly diagnose a patient. The MarkLogic Enterprise NoSQL database platform is fundamental in helping Thieme meet these objectives.

Guido Herrmann, Managing Director, Thieme Publishing Group

Why MarkLogic

Using MarkLogic Enterprise NoSQL as the platform for all of its data management and integration has allowed Thieme to configure, structure and integrate millions of documents and images from thousands of different sources into a suite of comprehensive electronic reference products, making it easy to pull and deliver relevant data to targeted audiences. The company can now reuse modules from one application to the next, developing more than one new product at a given time using existing functionalities.

Faster Time to Value: Development times for new products have been clearly reduced. In the past, building new products took years, but MarkLogic has standardized the development and deployment process and now it just takes months. MarkLogic lets IT use one common standard to build and deploy new products, and reuse modules from product to product, so any learning curve is eliminated.

Increased Revenue at a Lower Cost: Thieme can quickly and easily repurpose content to create new products to suit the needs of its varied customer groups, saving money on development time. After adopting MarkLogic, Thieme developed about 20 new products in the past few years, laying the foundation for digital products and services that Thieme can use to build new revenue streams for the next 10-15 years.

Risk Management: With MarkLogic, the development and deployment process is more predictable because there is a very established base of functionalities and knowledge within Thieme.

Improved User Experience: Thieme’s graphical user interface and intuitive search and semantics functionalities based on MarkLogic allow users to perform real-time text searches that yield targeted and relevant results. Within sub-seconds, relevant results are found, evaluated and displayed in an interactive list where users can view them. MarkLogic’s search engine capabilities also allow Thieme to fine-tune search in accordance with the expectations of customer groups, making for a highly precise search experience for different demographics.

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