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SilverPlatter Information, Inc. was one of the first companies to produce commercial reference databases on CD-ROMs. It was founded in 1983 in the United Kingdom by Bela Hatvany and Walt Winshall with the explicit intention of using CD technology to publish data. Ron Rietdyk was the company's first President; it was he, with Pete Ciufetti, Jane Niemi and Chris Pooley, who launched the company in the United States in 1986 from a small building in Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts.
The company began experimenting with four databases: ERIC, LISA, PsycLIT, and EMBASE. In 1987 the company had 12 databases and revenues of approximately $6m. Competing with CD Plus (now Ovid Technologies), Aries, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts and Dialog, the company offered libraries a wide range of CD-ROMs. Over the next few year the company grew quickly, expanding from its academic base into medical, business and health and safety CD publishing.
In 1989 SilverPlatter launched MultiPlatter, a system for networking CD-ROMs across local area networks, followed in 1991 by ERL (the electronic reference library), a system for providing hard disk access to its databases via the DXP protocol. This last proved successful with more than 500 sites using the technology by 1997. In that year the company had grown to $75m in revenues and had over 250 databases.
In 2001 SilverPlatter was sold to Wolters Kluwer at a reputed price of $113m, and now forms part of Ovid Technologies, the Wolters Kluwer subsidiary.
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