Gale Group's InfoTrac OneFile Creates Web-Based Periodical Collection for Libraries

Article excerpt

Gale Group (http://www.galegroup.com) has created a massive mega-database of 16 million records covering over 6,100 journals in its new InfoTrac OneFile service. The service offers online access to popular magazines, academic journals, and trade press, as well as to five newspaper indexes and news wire archives. Files extend back 20 years.

John Barnes, senior vice president of product management at Gale Group, said: "This is an ideal product for large libraries and consortia who need to serve users of all types--from students to academicians to business executives. InfoTrac OneFile allows the library gateway to be more flexible, serving a broad spectrum of needs, and more responsive by delivering richer search results for every query."

Of the 6,111 magazines and journals offered in the indexed database, 2,659 appear in full text. The full-text collection also includes some 90 news wires covering government, agriculture, sports, and corporate press releases. Although the bulk of Gale Group's periodical holdings appears in the new service, there are some omissions, according to InfoTrac OneFile's product manager, Bonnie Hawkwood. The growing collection of full-text newspaper archives is not included. (According to Gale Group's president, Allen Paschal, in an interview appearing in the November/December 2000 issue of Searcher magazine, the company currently has over 120 full-text newspaper archives available in its newspaper Web Resource Center service.)

Newspaper coverage in InfoTrac OneFile only extends to bibliographic citations and indexing for five major, national newspapers, apparently the equivalent of National Newspaper Index. It indexes only The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor. Nor does InfoTrac OneFile include most of the newsletters Gale Group publishes in its Newsletter Database.

This new product, according to Hawkwood, is intended to serve as a "virtual basic periodical collection" for public and academic libraries. When asked about whether the new product from Gale Group might compete with Dialog, another Thomson subsidiary, she pointed out that Dialog has its own market, one focused on corporations and individuals. Dialog, as well as other search services, provides other features and functionality appealing to that market--e.g., transactional pricing options. Gale Group targets the library institutional market.

The new InfoTrac OneFile will sell as a subscription product, with prices starting at $8,000 a year for up to two simultaneous users. …