The next must have feature for digital textbooks – semantic links

Springer put out a press release yesterday about the relaunch of their website, SpringerLink. I'd already been beaten to the story by a couple blogs, so I sat back and thought about how this new feature could be used.

What they've done with the website is to provide links between documents that their software thinks are related. This goes beyond a simple keyword search and often involves the analysis of whole paragraphs (or even more).

I'd like to see this ability built into a digital textbook platform. The value should be obvious.

From the press release:

Springer has relaunched its online platform SpringerLink, which hosts nearly five million documents, including eBooks, journals and reference works. The redesigned site has a new and fresh concept that includes semantic linking and connects related content across eBooks and journals.SpringerLink now also contains a PDF Preview feature that provides all readers with a free look inside eBook chapters to be certain that the content matches their information needs. Subscribers not only have access to an instant overview of the entire eBook, they can also scroll and browse within different chapters of the book and can immediately download the desired content.

The redesigned site includes newly-integrated software that presents links to related content within journal articles and eBook chapters. When users perform a search, the technology analyzes each search result and compares its digital fingerprint to all other documents.  This determines which documents are most similar to that article or chapter, ensuring that readers discover content that best meets their research needs.

Additional updates to the new SpringerLink include access to nearly five million contributions organized in a revised subject hierarchy. Enhanced browsing features and improved search functionality with the ability to search by citation makes the new SpringerLink even more useful for researchers. Online journals, eBooks and eReference works have also been integrated onto a single, consistent user experience. Together with an enhanced user-friendly guided navigation, students and scientists can easily retrieve results for their work.

About Nate Hoffelder (11578 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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