In our June Strategies Spotlight, panelists from AIP Publishing, DCL, and Silverchair shared their perspectives on AIPP's recent migration and what other publishers can learn from the experience. View the recording here, and read our takeaways below.

Strategies Spotlight: June 2023


  • Betsy Donohue (SVP, Business Development, Silverchair)
  • David Turner (Digital Transformation Consultant, Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc.)
  • Melissa Jones (Content Architect, Silverchair)
  • Richard O’Keeffe (Manager, Digital Asset Management, AIP Publishing)
  • Tracy Denien (Head of Product Development & Operations, AIP Publishing)
In this virtual event, panelists discussed the largest platform migration in Silverchair’s history, involving 47.4 gigabytes of XML, 1.73 terabytes of assets, 1.1 million files, 29.4 million MathML formulae, and 36 million reference citations.

"In 2021 AIPP reached a fork in the road, where we needed to do a major and costly upgrade with our then platform vendor. The platform had an outdated look and feel, so it was the perfect opportunity to explore another option, which was to migrate to Silverchair. Even prior to being a Silverchair customer, we attended their Platform Strategies events, we spoke to other Silverchair customers, and we had exposure to many of the Silverchair staff. So Silverchair itself was not something that was unfamiliar to us." —Tracy Denien, Head of Product Development & Operations, AIP Publishing

The migration aimed to update AIPP's library of content, dating back over 90 years and the panelists discussed the complexities of collecting, analyzing, and updating a library of this size and age. The project was completed in just over a year, which was faster than previous migrations and the new platform offers more control, a modern design, new features, and robust data and analytics capabilities.

The panel discussion centered around the process and challenges of migrating large volumes of digital content onto a new platform. The team highlighted the importance of thorough planning, communication, and an understanding of the platform's specifications for a successful migration. Key factors that contributed to the success of the project included a strong focus on communication and collaboration, the use of advanced tools like DCL's Content Clarity to identify and correct metadata problems, and the ability to leverage mature specs and processes.

The panelists also highlighted the need to be strategic about the migration process, considering factors like budget constraints, time limitations, and the unique potential provided by migrations to enhance content accessibility and discoverability. Migrations offer publishers the opportunity to enhance and clean up metadata, identify and fix content problems, and optimize content for the new platform (and as one panelist pointed out, it's one of the few times that publishers are given the budget to perform such tasks).

Some of the challenges of such a large-scale migration were in managing the switchover of content actively in production and ensuring the maintenance of quality while sticking to tight deadlines. The migration also required close and consistent communication between stakeholders at all three organizations, a need that was facilitated by a shared ticketing system that gave all parties a clear view into work in progress, open discussions, and timelines.

"Our first challenge was getting migrated and having a very professional looking site that was researcher friendly. Now, it's going to be about us taking advantage of more of what Silverchair has to offer moving forward, to continue to grow the platform." —Tracy Denien

Overall, the webinar offered a detailed look at the complexities and opportunities of a major content migration, with valuable insights and tips for other organizations considering similar projects. View the recording here, or read the case study on AIPP's migration here.

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