Committee on Scientific Activities of the American Psychoanalytic Assn.

United States

Award Year: 1994

committee_imageCommittee on Scientific Activities, A. Frank. Chair.

The work and subsequent success of the CDRom Project (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing) began with a proposal, conceived and originated by Paul Mosher, MD, to digitize the full texts of the major English language psychoanalytic journals. This innovative proposal was far from obvious in the early 1990’s and was based on the earlier work that Paul Mosher had done, some of it with stan Goodman. The written proposal that Dr. Mosher created for the APsaA Committee on Scientific Activities is appended. Vann Spruiell, MD carried the project forward as the chair of a working group appointed by the APsaA President, Mike Allison. Committee members were: Flora Lazar, Paul Mosher, Robert Wallerstein, Steve Cooper, Chuck Jaffee and Alice Brand (Bartlett).

The origins of this further step followed efforts to put databases of journal tables of content on floppy discs and the subsequent success of the printed Title Key Word Index, which Mosher had created and donated to APsaA.  Dr. Mosher then wrote a program to count the number of pages in the articles in the Jourlit database, and subsequently wrote the program to scan that database broken down by journal. Together he and Stan Goodman manually counted the number of characters on a typical page in each journal and were thus able to calculate the total character count.

Plans for the carrying out the  original proposal (PACT) for which the award was given eventually foundered and it was subsequently abandoned as such, but not because of its scientific validity or value as an important educational and research tool. The significance of the Sigourney Award served as a stimulant and support for a new joint venture entity that conued the work of PACT and was created by  APsaA and the British Society, which  was finally incorporated as Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing. The original disc, was made particularly attractive to buyers because it utilized an already existing commercial search engine (Folio Views) and brought new research opportunities to not only to psychoanalytic readers but researchers world wide.