First Call has launched FIRST CALL Templates, a Web-based authoring tool aimed at facilitating the research production process at brokerage firms. With Templates, sell-side analysts are able to create and edit new notes and research reports, efficiently move these documents through the production channels, and accurately index and convert documents for electronic distribution. Templates utilize XML, allowing for greater customization of the product. Users of Templates may use the system’s standard template types, such as Morning Meeting Note or Industry Report, or they may create, store and use their own templates. They also are able to save indexes for future use and are able to easily access their index criteria by ticker, industry, analyst, country, subject or headline. Templates’ advanced indexing capabilities allow for more accurate and targeted search results by institutional money managers accessing the research documents. The service also offers disclaimers, which may be customized for specific tickers. The XML technology used in Templates allows clients to customize and pre-populate specific fields in a document, including analyst and ticker information. Templates can also be used to update a broker’s quantitative information on the FIRST CALL Network. With the use of XML, earnings estimate information is easily tagged and extracted from Excel spreadsheets. XML also allows for the efficient conversion of documents to various file formats. Users may edit, approve, or hold a document at each stage of the production process – from creation, editorial, and compliance to distribution. Since the research document is available in an electronic format, it efficiently moves through the approval process. E-mail alerts allow users to e-mail each other when the document is ready for the next stage of the production process. Users are also able to track the production status of their research document at any time. Once a document has been published, a copy is sent to the brokerage firm’s FTP site, providing the firm with a copy of the document for their records.