FREE Bibliographic Information on the Web

By Tomaiuolo, Nicholas G. | Searcher, April 1999 | Go to article overview

FREE Bibliographic Information on the Web


Tomaiuolo, Nicholas G., Searcher


Presenting consumers with a variety of quality resources is one of a librarian's most important responsibilities. To do this we purchase expensive books. We subscribe to as many journals as we can afford, attempting to expand our serials collections while rising serial prices threaten the retention of costly titles. We increase access for our clients by contracting with commercial database services for bibliographic, full- text, or other forms of information. But access to information, not to mention the information itself, is costly.

The Internet, once presumed the purview of researchers and educators, has become a marketplace. Some space in that marketplace serves the needs of information seekers. And while one can find many ways to spend money on the Net, searching for traditional bibliographic information doesn't have to cost a dime. Once the searcher identifies the items they want, then the purchase decision begins, but certain Web services offer attractive, moderately priced options. Although not very many of these exist, their ease of use, timeliness, and -- most important -- generosity in pricing for bibliographic citations suggest a trend that could make information acquisition less costly, particularly for libraries that have print collections to access. They also promote the use of published information in the end user's home, office, or on their laptop.

According to the Bowker Annual, libraries in the United States spend over $17 million per year on database fees. This figure combined with the $406 million spent on periodicals accounts for 53 percent of libraries' annual acquisitions expenditure. [1] Online vendors once priced access to their databases based on connecttime, but pricing practices have changed. Libraries have paid for documents, pieces of documents, and titles of articles through subscriptions, fixed rate contracts, and volume discounts. [2] Other options include user-based pricing (based on an institution's potential users) and "pay as you go" searching. [3]

A decade ago, the CARL Corporation introduced its UnCover service, allowing free searching in its database of citations from 17,000 journals. Information professionals and end users no longer need to limit their searches to articles indexed in their library's subscription to the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature or some other periodical index the library made available at no charge to the patron. UnCover didn't charge for the "privilege" of searching and it could produce results comparable to those from databases issued by Information Access Company that did charge for access. Free searching for citations may have even freed the library from payments for CD-ROMs or tape licenses, e.g., to SilverPlatter Information. Although CARL'S product lacked the imprimatur of Wilson or UMI, it was still useful because it identified relevant bibliographic information. You paid CARL a fee only when you asked them for a faxed copy of an article cited in UnCover.

Librarians strive to offer comprehensive, in-depth collections and services, but journal prices, database charges, and equipment costs now force them to challenge the traditional strategy of having information handy "in case." [4] Most database producers (e.g., Ovid, EBSCO, Project Muse) continue charging for access to their information "just in case" their users need it, even though a few established vendors (in particular, Dow Jones Interactive) have begun allowing nearly free searching and charging only for full-text downloads or prints. (Dow Jones Interactive is not exactly free. You do pay $69.95 a year, but that also gets you Web access to The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and other DJI data.) More and more freely accessible bibliographic databases have arisen on the World Wide Web.

Free Web Access to Traditional Information

What does free Web searching for traditionally published information mean for various users? For librarians it might lead to canceling some database subscriptions or periodical subscriptions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

FREE Bibliographic Information on the Web
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.