Why Thieme eCommuncationScience

An Interview with Anne Sydor, Editorial Director, Educational Products at Thieme Publishers

Why did Thieme Medical Publishers create the Thieme eCommunicationScience platform?
We created Thieme eCommunicationScience to meet the needs of instructors, students, and professionals in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. We recognized that these people need the information that we publish and that they are accessing information online more and more. We realize that for creating a way for students all to have access through their institution, to the textbooks that their instructors are using, creates equal learning opportunities for all of those students.

Did Thieme think Thieme eCommunicationScience was a gap in the market?
Yes, we saw it as a unique opportunity to provide people with digital learning resources. As far as we can tell there is no other digital platform that collects textbooks and information resources in this way where you can search across all of the titles in one single federated search or where you can download the individual images from the textbooks for reuse in your own materials. Because Masters level students in Speech Language Pathology and Doctoral students in Audiology often have to do term papers as part of their coursework, we believe allowing them to use our figures for this creates a real time saver for them, because they do not have to create their own images, they can use the ones we already have. We have thousands of audiograms for example that give very good examples of different auditory disorders and instead of having to search endlessly for these, the student can have it all in one resource.

Could you say that Thieme is the world leading publisher in terms of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology?
Thieme is a leader in publishing in Audiology and has a growing Speech Language Pathology list. Our focus is to produce textbooks for courses, so there are certainly other publishers who have a much bigger list of publications. However, those publications are more for researchers and they focus on very narrow topics. There are other textbook publishers but they tend to have a few textbooks here and there, whereas we cover the entire Audiology curriculum, and a good part of the Speech Language Pathology curriculum with a growing list of titles in both areas. Soon, we will cover all courses in Speech Language Pathology. So I think really where Thieme is leading is our match to the curriculum, to the topics that students are being taught.

What is Thieme eCommunicationScience exactly?
Thieme eCommunicationScience is an online resource that provides instructors and students with 39 textbooks, which again all match the curriculum, and can be used by instructors and students both for their coursework, also for their term papers and for reusing Thieme figures and tables. Additionally, we have a very large collection of cases, those cases are fantastic for students and for teachers to go through together, to learn real-life examples of Auditory and Speech and Language disorders. New cases are uploaded every month, so if you have a case based learning program, you would get 2 to 6 new cases in Communication Sciences every month. That provides a deep and up-to-date collection of clinical cases that cover the entire field and really aid learning.

For whom is Thieme eCommunicationScience created?
Thieme eCommunicationScience is created primarily for students and instructors, for people who are learning Communication Science and earning their degree. At the same time, it is something that practitioners would find useful because of the wealth of resources and also because of the up to date nature of the platform. The fact that we are continuously adding new cases also means that practitioners would have continuous examples of new management techniques, new diagnostic techniques, so they are really going to be able to stay current with their field by using Thieme eCommunicationScience.

Are the students mainly undergraduate or graduate students?
It is a mix, we definitely have some Speech Language Pathology and Audiology textbooks for courses that are taught in the 3th and 4th year of a bachelor’s in Communication Science. At the same time the majority of our collection is for that more advanced student, the person earning a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology or an AuD degree in Audiology.

Why do institutions choose for Thieme (eCommunicationScience)?
The most important benefits of buying a digital resource from Thieme, I would say is, number one, the quality of the content. Thieme is known for the incredible quality of content that we produce; our attention to detail; the proof-reading we do; the consistency that our textbooks provide and the very high quality level of illustration. Our titles are more heavily illustrated than most other publishers and our commitment to insuring the clarity and crispness of those images is high, so they really are worth that 1,000 words and students can really learn from them. That is, I think nobody holds a candle to us when it comes to quality. Second and also important is that we provide software that makes it easy to use multiple resources at once, you can search across all of the textbooks and our journals with one click and that is really unique. I would say the number 3 and not to be undervalued at all, is the customer service and technical support that we offer. We have recently done a market survey on our digital products and across the board our customer service was rated as one of the top 3 features. Many of those customers commented that Thieme customer service and technical support was second to none, gold standard, best in the business, so when you buy a Thieme platform you know that your users are going to get everything they need because we are going to make sure it is always working for you.

What can we expect from Thieme eCommunicationScience in the coming six months?
In the coming six months we will be adding the new edition of Medical Speech Language Pathology by Johnson and Jacobson. Other titles will be added, including a brand new, first eddition, Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing. And this is a really exciting new title because it will have the anatomy artwork for which Thieme is known and very well regarded. We will have other titles coming over the next year as well:

  • A new 2nd edition of Audiology Answers for Otolaryngologists
  • New 3rd editions of both Audiology Treatment and Audiology Practice Management
  • A revised and significantly expanded 4th edition of Aphasia and Related Neurogenic Language Disorders
  • A great new title on swallowing disorders: Dysphagia: A Lifespan Perspective to Assessment and Treatment

We will also be adding 36 new cases, 12 in Audiology and 24 in Speech Language Pathology.

What are the opinions about Thieme eCommuncationScience so far?
We have actually been selling a prototype of the product and that’s gone very well, every custumer who bought the prototype, which was sort of a beta test, has been interested in renewing or has already renewed. So we think that is a very strong statement of support for the product. We have shown it to many people at the ASHA meetings and the Audiology-Now meetings and have heard consistently that there is nothing like it available to people and that it is the kind of the 21st century resource they really want. That instead of pulling a print-book off their’ shelves and by searching them one by one, people want to have access to all the content at their fingertips with a single search.

What is your opinion about Thieme eCommunicationScience yourself?
I am very proud of the platform. I think it has excellent content and also I am extremely pleased that we have been able to publish cases online before we print them in a textbook, those cases will all go in print textbook eventually but we are publishing online ahead of print in non-journal format, which is very new in the area of communication science. And I am also really proud of the wealth of illustration we have. I look really forward to seeing the students benefit from the platform and learn more effectively and efficiently through their use of Thieme eCommunicationScience.