QAI was approached by Johns Hopkins University, Center for Communications to provide an electronic publishing solution. The Population Information Program (PIP) at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health has a mandate to disseminate information about reproductive health to developing countries. Traditionally this meant mailing out copies of medical journal articles upon request to organizations around the world. Ten years ago, PIP first produced a CD-ROM title containing bibliographic citations of the journal articles. The CD-ROM title, called POPLINE, now contains over 260,000 bibliographic records and is distributed to over 95 countries. Users could immediately search for a reference to an article on the CD-ROM, but until recently they had to wait for the complete journal article to be mailed to them. In 1998, PIP started offering e-mail delivery of the articles on a trial basis. Journal articles were converted to the Adobe Acrobat PDF format and sent to requesters as e-mail attachments. The Acrobat PDF format was selected because it was an international standard for document exchange. In addition, the Acrobat Reader software was platform independent, and freely distributable. The trial was a major success, and today the majority of the document requests are for PDF delivery.
PIP took the concept one step further this year. Instead of waiting for an international health organization to request the full-text of an article, PIP collected articles on a specific topic to distribute in the PDF format on a CD-ROM. Quality Associates, Inc. was selected as the partner in the project to customize a user interface and convert over 10,000 pages of journal articles to PDF format. The resulting product was HIM CD-ROM. HIM is a collection of documents on the participation of men in reproductive health programs. Users can locate information by browsing a list of subjects, or by conducting a text search. HIM CD-ROM is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and produced by POPLINE Digital Services at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.