RDS's Business&Industry Database User Survey Results In

Article excerpt

Responsive Database Services, Inc. (RDS), a new database publisher and marketer, introduced its Business&Industry (B&I) database in October on DIALOG as File 9 and on DataStar as BIDB. The database is a multi-industry, multinational business database providing access to full text and informative abstracts from more than 600 important publications from the trade and general business press published in over 30 countries.

For an assessment of B&I, see Mick O'Leary's Database Review on page 13.

In September and October, RDS sent questionnaires to several thousand recipients of the B&I User's Manual Package. According to the company, initial returns of the questionnaires point to several consistent responses from users. Usage has been entirely from the free access time provided on DIALOG during the first two weeks of October.

Responses received so far indicate that:

* The main databases used by respondents are PROMT, Trade & Industry, and ABI/Inform.

* In over 70 percent of the replies, the features found to be most useful in improving retrieval results and record selection compared to other business databases are concept terms, marketing terms, the level of indexing, enhanced article titles, and sources included in the database.

* When compared to the main databases used by respondents, a significant number of the respondents indicated that they found B&I to be a faster searching database than others, easier to use, had better abstracts and better quality of indexing, produced fewer false hits, was more focused in content, and had less clutter.

Document Type, which includes article type and publication type, was used by 65 percent of the respondents when searching, and 82 percent of those people found this feature to be very useful or useful. The principal use involved article types such as industry overview and ranking.

Enhanced article titles appear with every record in B&I; these were widely used. Over 70 percent of the respondents considered enhanced titles very useful in article selection while an additional 21 percent considered them useful in article selection. Moreover, 90 percent plus respondents indicated that they preferred to scan B&I records in the DIALOG formats (2 or 3) rather than in free formats (6 or 8) as in other files because of the quality of the enhanced titles coupled with the full bibliographic citation. …