Magazine article Information Today

Health Periodicals Database: A New Niche for IAC

Magazine article Information Today

Health Periodicals Database: A New Niche for IAC

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Health Periodicals Database: A New Niche for IAC

Not ANOTHER database from Information Access Company?! New IAC databases seem to sprout as often as new video rental stores. They do seem to last a lot longer, however. In fact, if you use electronic information across any breadth of topics, you are likely to do a good bit of your searching on IAC databases, whether you're looking at old favorites like MAGAZINE INDEX and NATIONAL NEWSPAPER INDEX or newcomers like ACADEMIC INDEX (IT Database Review, July/August 1989) and COMPANY INTELLIGENCE (IT Database Review, December 1989). Be ready to add HEALTH PERIODICALS DATABASE to your list of regular online stops.


IAC does have a knack for niches. They have a keen eye for spotting an uncluttered information sector and the skill to build a database that fills it. Latest off the IAC database factory assembly line is HEALTH PERIODICALS DATABASE (HPD), which extracts articles on medicine and health from thousands of periodicals of every type. HPD has the good breeding that typifies IAC products. It covers a subject that is popular among many large classes of information users. It has advantages over the competition: no other medical/health database is so wide-ranging in its content or so accessible to users of all kinds. And like many of IAC's newer products, it is a source database rather than just an index; many HPD records have detailed abstracts while others provide full text via IAC's collection of ASAP database.

In this last respect, HPD's closest sibling in the IAC family is the COMPUTER DATABASE. Like it, HPD brings together several branches of a big, high-demand subject and is a well-rounded online resource that provides informative abstracts, full text, or both. (Note that HPD and COMPUTER DATABASE are called "databases," while IAC's bibliographic files are called "indexes.")

Everything You Want to Know About Health

The goal of HPD is to be THE database for health information for all except technical and highly specialized research. Its method is to cover the subject in the widest possible sense using information appropriate for both medical professionals and lay users. HPD starts by scanning an unusually diverse group of periodicals. They fall into three broad classes:

--Popular and technical magazines covering health, medicine, fitness, nutrition, etc. The 110 publications in this group include titles like American Health, Executive Health Report, Harvard Medical School Health Letter, Nutrition Today, and Women's Sports & Fitness. Articles from a majority of these journals are available in full text. Indexing for these begins in 1988, full text in 1989.

--Technical medical journals. 130 titles represent the leading professional journals from the major medical disciplines, including American Journal of Cardiology, Endocrinology, The Gerontologist, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, etc. References of broad interest are selected from these titles and are accompanied by detailed abstracts written for a lay reader. Coverage starts in mid-1989. …

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