OSA, NIH Partner on Interactive Science Publishing


For Immediate Release

Angela Stark
Optical Society

OSA, NIH Partner on Interactive Science Publishing

New Technology Enables Researchers to Create Multi-Dimensional, Interactive Images from Data

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 — The Optical Society (OSA) announced today that it is partnering with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Library of Medicine (NLM) on an “Interactive Science Publishing” initiative (ISP). ISP enables authors to submit a manuscript including large three-dimensional data sets.  ISP provides the opportunity for researchers, scientists and engineers to evaluate new research results more thoroughly.

ISP represents a new paradigm for the publication of original source data.  This software program is the first to give authors the publishing software and readers the viewing and analysis tools for integrating very large data sets published in conjunction with a traditional text-based journal article.

“ISP is a revolutionary new product for medical doctors, scientists, and engineers in all areas of science where visualization and analysis of very large, complicated data sets is important,” said Thomas Baer, president-elect, OSA. “The electronic data made available will enable researchers in fields such as medical imaging, oil and gas exploration, climatology, pollution monitoring and many other fields to develop and explore new methods of visualization and data analysis, as well as to objectively compare the performance of different technologies.”

OSA collaborated with a supplier of open source imaging software, Kitware Inc., to develop ISP software. 

“The ISP concept unleashes a new way of thinking for clinicians and medical researchers in the medical imaging research community,” said Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., director, National Library of Medicine. “ISP parallels previous successful initiatives in molecular biology and genomics, where the accepted practice is to publish original data, but it provides the first tools to really integrate three-dimensional datasets from X-ray, MRI, CT, and ultrasound instruments into journal articles.  We feel that this technology has tremendous potential for accelerating translation research and thus improving the quality of health care worldwide.”

The joint OSA/NLM pilot ISP project will publish three to four focus issues in OSA journals in 2008 and 2009 with articles that include large datasets as primary components.  The articles will be open access, as will tools for viewing and analyzing the datasets.  The articles and data will be published in OSA’s journals, but will also be deposited in PubMed Central, NIH’s free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

About OSA

Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.

About the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health

Located in Bethesda, Md., the National Library of Medicine is the world's largest library of the health sciences. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.nlm.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.