BusinessNews Brings Current News to Library Markets

Article excerpt

This is the great age of deals in the world of electronic information, where each issue of Information Today announces a new wave of partnerships, strategic alliances, mergers, and acquisitions. The data producers are looking for new channels, the distributors are looking for new content, and everybody is looking for new customers. So maybe it's not too surprising to hear about a deal between OCLC and Individual, Inc. to offer BusinessNews. At first it does seem like a mismatch. For all its growth, steady old OCLC has kept to its roots in the academic and public library market. Individual is a relative newcomer, best known for packaging pricey custom newswire feeds to corporations and special libraries. When two such different companies get into bed with each other, the chances are great for miscommunications, misperceptions, and plain old mistakes. Nevertheless, BusinessNews, the offspring of this union, is a hearty youth that has inherited good qualities from each parent.

For OCLC, BusinessNews is an important new type of data for its EPIC and FirstSearch services. It provides a current news component to OCLC's growing set of business databases. For Individual, it is an entree into a new and potentially very large market that previously has not been well provided with Individual's kind of information.

BUSINESSNEWS SOURCES

BusinessNews is a blend of current articles from business news sources, designed for the research needs and cost limitations of FirstSearch and EPIC customers. It is an application of Individual's HeadsUp service, a customized, filtered extract from a diverse set of newswires, newsletters, and newspapers. It also has abstracting, indexing, and document supply features to suit the search habits on FirstSearch and EPIC.

BusinessNews draws upon a collection of over 300 separate wire services, business journals, and general publications. The majority of its content, however, comes from a small number of important business newswires, including Reuters, PR Newswire, Business Wire, Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, Associated Press, and Micropatent. All of these are familiar online names except the last. Micropatent produces a series of full-text patent databases on CD-ROM. This online version provides current patent information in summary form.

Smaller numbers of articles are taken from BusinessNews' other sources, which include specialized and foreign newswires, industry newsletters and trade papers, and U.S. newspapers from the Knight-Ridder chain. This breadth of sources makes BusinessNews an international database, with reports from major business centers around the world, U.S. national news, and important local and regional news from the Knight-Ridder papers. Approximately 1000 records are added each weekday, one or two days after the original release of the source article. Approximately two weeks' worth of stories are maintained online. Each week the oldest stories are removed.

(SOME) BUSINESS NEWS

BusinessNews is highly selective. It concentrates on high tech industry sectors, especially computers, software, information technology, communications, energy, oil, utilities, biomedicine, health care, automobiles, and airlines. Many other major sectors receive virtually no coverage, including the publishing, food and beverage, heavy manufacturing, construction, extractive, financial, retailing, and service industries. It also focuses on company and industry news. The large majority of stories deal with product announcements, financial events, alliances, mergers, acquisitions, and executive changes.

FULL-TEXT BY FAX

Although the source documents received by Individual Inc. …