Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing (PEP)

History of PEP

PEP and its Beginnings

As early as 1991, the idea of having a consolidated and searchable CD of full text of the psychoanalytic journals was first proposed by Paul Mosher. While the idea seems perfectly obvious to everyone now, it was anything but obvious in the early 90’s when hardly anyone in the field of psychoanalysis conceptualized the power of a CD. Soon after, similar ideas were incubating in London with Peter Fonagy and David Tuckett. In response to Mosher’s proposal, Vann Spruiell, a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) led an initial team called PACT to attempt to produce a disc. Later, in 1996, a new publishing effort was taken on by Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing (PEP). PEP was formed through the collaborative efforts of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Institute of Psychoanalysis (London). Each parent organization loaned $300,000 as start-up money to begin the new Company. At the time the six Directors were Nadine Levinson , Paul Mosher, and Judith Schachter from the US and Peter Fonagy, Martin Miller, and David Tuckett from the UK. In 1999, Alice Brand Bartlett replaced Judy Schachter.

Later, in 1995, Neil Shapiro, a technical consultant, together with Paul Mosher, Peter Fonagy, and David Tuckett designed the system structure. In it, the text of psychoanalytic journals would be categorized so that the most sophisticated searches could be undertaken. Further, the disc uniquely had the database categorized by name of journal, year of publication, and type of text (whether belonging in article, title, reference or author name).

Once the design for this complex structure was worked out and the contracts were being drawn up with the publishers, the PEP Board had to find a search engine that could be programmed to execute complex searches using the data structure that we had defined. Neil Shapiro and Paul Mosher, after reviewing many software search engines, selected Folio Views. This search engine tested best when taking into consideration factors such as cost, speed, ease of use, dual Mac PC platforms, and the way the result of searches was presented to the user. PEP also chose a digitizing firm that gave us the highest accuracy for the least expenditure so that all the text in the six Journals to be digitized were coded and tagged according to a special design. Although we live in an electronic age it was (and still is) cheaper to have all the text retyped by hand onto the computer than have it electronically scanned and the tags then added afterwards. Throughout all these processes we had to ensure that our specifications and the accuracy of the text re-keying was no less than the guaranteed 99.9%.

The Journals selected for Archive 1 spanned over 70 years and contained the full content of six of the premier journals in psychoanalysis from 1920-1994 and included: The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, the International Review of Psycho-Analysis, the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Psychoanalytic Quarterly, the Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, and Contemporary Psychoanalysis. The key contract negotiations were possible as PEP guaranteed to maintain a three year moving wall to protect the hard copy of the Journals. In those days, electronic publishing only was a concept for the future.

The Directors worked pro bono and tirelessly to develop PEP; there was no management or secretarial infrastructure. Great distances separated all of the Board members and in those days, the only way the Board could function was to be in constant contact with each other by using e-mail. There was one continuous Board meeting since PEP began in 1996. Although different tasks were delegated to different members of the Board, all correspondence were circulated to all members of the Board. All decisions were made with the consideration, consent and support of all Board members. At the same time, David Tuckett and Nadine Levinson took over the planning and implementation of global sales and marketing.

Given the success of individual sales and the clear result of our academic product, our Finance Director, Peter Fonagy, with David Tuckett and the PEP Board revisited the legal question of shifting over to a non-profit environment. Nadine Levinson was put in charge of investigating the feasibility of this difficult shift as well as to take PEP through the challenging process of implementation, since the Institute of Psychoanalysis had to be established as having US non-profit equivalency. This task took two years, but was finally accomplished in January 1999.

PEP 1998

The final PEP Archive 1v1 launched on December 7, 1998 with a robust and comprehensive world wide Customer Service Support by phone and email with Ms. Stephanie Short. Director Martin Miller designed and implemented our PEP Website at, which we use for marketing, sales and additional customer service. Alice Brand Bartlett and Paul Mosher worked on the PEP testing for network and single use, and Peter Fonagy was in charge of financial matters. David Tuckett developed the Psychoanalytic Database System (PaDS), a complicated and integrated database system for subscriptions and fulfillment. Thousands of dollars were saved with the development of a PEP Help file written just for psychoanalysts. It seems clear that this specialized, cutting edge product, the PEP Archive CD, could only have been done with the joint collaboration of all the Directors working closely with our technical guru, Neil Shapiro, on all aspects of the project.

Sales continued to rise as soon as customers realized the PEP CD was a reality. Costs were kept low as the Directors did most of the work; all together, members of the Board worked on the PEP project an average of two to three hours per day since 1996, which amounts to a total of at least 9,000 hours! During this time over 5,500 email messages passed between board members!

PEP became a Section 501C-3 public charity, not for Profit Corporation on 20th January 1999. PEP’s mission was to further the scholarship, research and outreach of psychoanalytic literature on its journals and books. This change to non-profit status now meant that the two shareholding organizations, the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Institute of Psychoanalysis, became member organizations, with their powers essentially unchanged.

The first update Archive 1v2 was successfully published, covering the additional content of the six PEP Archive Journals from 1995 – 1997, and was shipped to 1016 customers in May 2000. Loans from the Institute of Psychoanalysis and the American Psychoanalytic Association were finally paid off in November 2000. In December 2000, PEP Foundation granted $20,000 each to the two supporting organizations.

The Creation of New Content

PEP has been aggressive in adding new content of books and Journals. Its Archive 1v3 added two new Journals plus another year of content for the existing Journals. Since inception, PEP Archive 1v6, in its sixth iteration has added 12 new journals and 23 classical books. But PEP’s greatest achievement is to now include the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (1886-1939). The PEP Archive Content has the full text of over 44,000 articles and 54 classic books, covering 117 years of psychoanalytic scholarship which is fully linked and searchable.


A major development from 2002 on was the successful completion of the PEP-Web and the purchase of the first licenses by five major universities on an annual subscription basis. PEP-Web is currently at over 100 Universities and Public Agencies worldwide. In addition to the University and Public Agency Market, PEP as a part of its mission has a low cost compulsory annual subscription of PEP-Web to all members and students in Psychoanalytic and Psychotherapy Institutes. It now has over 15,000 members subscribing to PEP. PEP Foundation also works to extend at low cost; the PEP-Web database ,provides to individuals and groups in areas that are financially compromised.

In May 2006, a new interface was developed by Global Village Publishing (GvPI) to honor Freud’s 150th Birthday. The new interface is available for free searching for anyone from anywhere in the world. It is called PEP Web Literature Search and contains a free search option of Archive and current content, a robust authentication system to protect copyright and facilitate subscriptions for the participating journals, and an open URL linking and other features to make it more attractive. The PEP Scholars Committee is the source for many of these enhancements.

This innovative PEP-Web Literature Search is popular with scholars who can now explore a topic with a single search. It also brings knowledge about what psychoanalysts are writing about and trying to understand much more widely into the public sphere. Moreover, the new PEP Web is integrated with Google (specifically Google Scholar) so that the full text of the PEP Archive is now regularly “crawled” – exposing psychoanalysis much more widely to public attention. Access to the full text continues to require PEP authentication and therefore a PEP subscription. Google Scholar has a method of doing citation counts which should ensure that searches on psychoanalytically related words result in links to work by psychoanalysts–another major outreach benefit. Other features of the new interface include open URL linking and systems to integrate PEP archive material into university library catalogs.

Since PEP was founded, we have paid out more than a million dollars in royalties to support the Journals and other copyright holders such as the Sigmund Freud Copyrights, the Melanie Klein Estate, and the estate of Angela Harris. We have many business partners including the parent organizations, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Institute of Psychoanalysis, GVPi, Scilab, Ebsco, and Aptara.

Throughout our short history, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, Inc and its staff have had the significant contribution of its Board of Directors who have worked passionately providing guidance, suggestions, and support. We are also thankful for our loyal customers who have also made great contributions through their helpful feedback.