The Latest News about Elsevier, BIOSIS, and More

By Hane, Paula J. | Information Today, February 2004 | Go to article overview

The Latest News about Elsevier, BIOSIS, and More


Hane, Paula J., Information Today


Following the usually quiet news period during the last half of December, January started off with a flurry of company and product news, much of it timed for ALAs Midwinter Meeting, held Jan. 9-14 in San Diego. In fact, it seemed like a press release competition. My e-mail in box was stuffed with multiple announcements from some companies--seven in 1 day from one organization. But some of these were fairly minor news items, such as database enhancements, added full-text journals, and incremental improvements. Not that each one wasn't important to someone, but some just weren't up there on my Excite-O-Meter. The following are several news items that were.

I was pleased to see Ingenta announce the first visible functionality that demonstrates the behind-the-scenes work it has been doing. For the last 18 months, Ingenta has worked on a massive re-engineering project to integrate the data platforms of its two systems, ingenta.com and ingentaselect.com (the old CatchWord). It recently debuted a unified alerting system for the two services and promised to have a beta version of an integrated interface soon--possibly by the time you read this (http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb04 0112-2.shtml).

MuseGlobal introduced a new level of personalization with an optional MuseSearch product that allows extensive customization down to the individual metasearch user. (The base MuseSearch product offers customization features down to the user class/department level.) Individual user preferences can be set to provide a personalized interface, selection of search sources, and metasearch functionality. Such attributes as number of results to be returned for each source, the number of results displayed per page, the de-duplication algorithm, and the method of sorting can be directly specified by the user.

Gale announced that it has an exclusive deal to distribute Corbis Images for Education in the U.S. and Canada. The database will be available by subscription to academic and public libraries. Corbis Images for Education contains approximately 400,000 images from Corbis' vast image collections, including more than 200,000 images from the renowned Bettmann Archive, 10,000 images from its Fine Art Collection, and tens of thousands of images from its nature, science, space, and various commercial stock collections. Corbis will continue to sell its Design Collection to art and graphic design-oriented schools and colleges as well as license its images for professional and commercial use from its own site.

ProQuest Information and Learning announced that it would soon release Literature Online Third Edition, featuring a major redesign more tailored to the needs of library users and administrators. Literature Online comprises 25 literature collections of primary works that are available individually by subscription or by purchase of permanent access. ProQuest also added to several of its full-text drama collections and announced the first release of Twentieth Century Drama.

OCLC Report

During the ALA Midwinter Meeting, Jay Jordan, OCLC president and CEO, and Cathy De Rosa, OCLC vice president of corporate marketing, officially presented "2003 OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition," a report published by OCLC for its membership. The academic-sounding title does not begin to hint at the riches contained in this comprehensive review. It examines the global issues surrounding research, learning, and community as they relate to the future of libraries and other knowledge organizations.

The report provides a high-level view of the information landscape from the perspective of the "information consumer." It's based on interviews with more than 100 knowledge experts around the world who representa wide variety of organizations. Their input, plus extensive research, yielded a wealth of insights on the real, day-to-day issues that face information professionals. OCLC said that it created the report to both inform and stimulate discussion about future strategic directions. …

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