The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the leading publisher of professional, research, and clinical resources for pediatricians and child health professionals. AAP publications include essential policy manuals, in-depth clinical handbooks, quick reference guides, point-of-care guidance, practice management resources, and parenting books. The AAP also publishes the member news magazine AAP News and five scholarly journals: the flagship Pediatrics, Hospital Pediatrics, Pediatrics in Review, NeoReviews, and AAP Grand Rounds.

AAP Publications homepage

The challenge

In 2017, the AAP began a Digital Transformation Initiative to improve the overall user experience for their members on its websites and digital platforms. As part of this program, in 2018 the Publishing department began an effort to streamline their web properties, which were spread across multiple platforms and vendors. Having partnered with Silverchair since 2004, the AAP chose to expand that relationship to bring all their publications content onto a single platform, offering their users a clean, consistent reading and browsing experience, while providing AAP staff with a highly configurable, connected, and expandable family of sites. The platform also needed to tie in visually with the AAP’s organizational site, integrate with single sign-on, and support complex subscription and access rules.

The solution

The flexibility of the Silverchair Platform and its robust suite of publishing tools provided a solid foundation for bringing AAP’s disparate content types together into a unified whole, while allowing for necessary differences in presentation. On the new platform, AAP Journals, AAP Books, and AAP News join AAP Point-of-Care Solutions, simplifying navigation, unifying user alerts, and delivering new cross-promotional opportunities, integrated search, and improved SEO. The AAP is also among the first publishers to use the new Silverchair Composer to author and publish news and other less structured content.

“AAP now has full access to Silverchair’s market-leading biomedical taxonomy, semantic targeting tools, self-serve site creation and management, and unified support, service, and training, among other operational efficiencies,” said Thane Kerner, Silverchair CEO. “We have been honored to expand our partnership with AAP, further enabling them to meet the evolving needs of health care providers and researchers in accessing critical medical information.”

The process

The early portion of the migration focused on building out core platform features and evaluating how best to convert and present content from existing Solutions sites that weren’t in the book or journal formats readily supported by the new platform. During the migration, AAP worked with Silverchair Universe partner DCL to convert their content, optimizing it for discovery and presentation. At the same time, the Silverchair build team worked with AAP’s stakeholders to define and assess custom features and functionality that would allow the AAP to fully meet both internal business needs and the expectations of end users. These were layered onto the base platform over the course of several sprints, leveraging the benefits of Silverchair’s iterative, agile development process.

Using Silverchair ComposerAAP News receives the same robust search, browse, and display treatment as the AAP’s highly structured journal and book content, enhancing discoverability. Front-end widgets on the home page display the news content with images and teasers, while back-end tools allow AAP staff to flag content they want to be featured without the need to know XML. AAP staff also used Composer to build out additional resources to deliver non-traditional content to their audience.

AAP used Silverchair Composer to publish their AAP News content, then featured that content via widgets on the homepage and content pages


Silverchair and AAP also worked closely on key third-party integrations to support AAP’s continuing education quizzes and certificates. This allowed the AAP to provide a seamless transition for users just weeks ahead of their peak CME activity period.

AAP integration screenshot

CME integration offers built-in quizzes for a seamless user experience


Throughout the process, Silverchair and the AAP maintained a commitment to collaboration and communication. Creative problem-solving, thoughtful consideration of minimum requirements, and the phased approach to implementation all contributed to the successful, on-time launch of AAP Publications.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics is the leader in pediatric publishing, providing critical guidance, research, news, and health information to pediatricians, parents, and many other audiences. It is important that we are able to provide our publications in a way that is credible, current, and seamless, and partnering with Silverchair on this new platform offers us the technologic capability, innovation and efficiencies we need.”

—Mark Grimes, Vice President, Publishing of the American Academy of Pediatrics

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