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Magazines > Online > January/February 2004
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Online Magazine
Vol. 28 No. 1 — Jan/Feb 2004
Industry News
Compiled by Suzanne Sabroski

Industry News goes up on the Web at as soon as it is written, approximately one month before the print issue mails to subscribers. 

SEND ANNOUNCEMENTS ABOUT ONLINE AND INTERNET PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO: Industry News, Information Today, Inc., P.O. Box 78225, Indianapolis, IN 46278; Fax 435/658-1169;

Inmagic Moves to a New Business Model
Embracing open standards, Inmagic has signed a deal with systems integrator Digital Vantage Point, headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Digital Vantage Point will provide consulting, integration, development, and delivery services for Inmagic Content Server customers in the U.S. and Canada. Inmagic Content Server, which is built on the Microsoft SQL Server, extends the use of Inmagic products across the enterprise, creating a content management environment that integrates internal and external, structured and unstructured data. Inmagic views this partnership with Digital Vantage Point as a strategic change in direction for the company, moving its focus from individual workgroups to entire enterprises [Inmagic: 781/938-4446,; Digital Vantage Point: 905/415-8455,]. 

Microsoft Launches Beta Version of News Alerting Service
Keeping up with breaking news is becoming an increasingly crowded area. The latest entrant is no less than Microsoft, which has launched a beta version of MSN Newsbot. With four languages represented—English, French, Italian, and Spanish—MSN Newsbot is an automated news service using MSN Search technology. In addition to providing recent stories grouped in the general categories of world news, local country news, business, sport, entertainment, science/health, and technology, there is a news search capability. According to Lisa Gurry, MSN group product manager, "MSN Newsbot will be available in beta beginning in November in France, the U.K., Italy, and Spain." No U.S. version in currently publicly available [,,,]. 

Open Access Gains Support
The Wellcome Trust, the U.K.'s leading biomedical research charity, has clearly positioned itself in support of open access publishing. Dr. Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, said in a press release, "As a funder of research, we are committed to ensuring that the results of the science we fund are disseminated widely and are freely available to all. Unfortunately, the distribution strategies currently used by many publishers prevent this. We want to see a system in place that supports open and unrestricted access to research outputs and we would like to encourage others to support this principle."

According to their position statement, "The Trust is aware that there are a number of new models for the publication of research results and will encourage initiatives that broaden the range of opportunities for quality research to be widely disseminated and freely accessed. The Wellcome Trust therefore supports open and unrestricted access to the published output of research, including the open access mode" [].


The LexisNexis Group announced that Michael Walsh has joined the organization as senior vice president, leading the company's global strategy and business development efforts. Walsh co-founded, which became one of the foundations of FindLaw, He will report directly to Andrew Prozes, chief executive officer of LexisNexis Group.

John G. Dove has been named CEO of xrefer. Dove has 35 years of experience in information-based businesses including financial services, management consulting, electronic publishing, and education. Most recently, John has been working with the e-Government Executive Education Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and previously served as president and chief operating officer of SilverPlatter.

Lizabeth (Betsy) A. Wilson, director of University Libraries, University of Washington, has been elected chair of the OCLC Board of Trustees.

Search Engines

Germany's "Chemistry Information Centre" (Fachinformationszentrum Chemie, FIZ CHEMIE Berlin) now has tools to tackle the problem of the hidden Web—its subject-specific Internet search engines ChemGuide (chemistry), MedPharmGuide (medicine and pharmacology), and PublishersGuide (scientific publishers). These powerful search engines access more than 7,000 servers and thoroughly search these down to the last published page. FIZ CHEMIE Berlin evaluates all entry pages found by the Guides for their relevance. With a single search query in one of these free engines, one can search thousands of servers with approximately 15 million Web pages. An extensive retrieval language is available for search queries. In addition to the usual Boolean operators, wildcards, and proximity searches are enabled [+49 (0) 5121 82 613;].

Metrobot LLC announced the release of Metrobot—A Map Based Search Engine and City Guide, which employs a user interface that depicts a network of road segments and associated business listings in major U.S. cities. The roads are displayed in a straightened and aligned manner, with businesses appearing on either side. Users can traverse the complete road network of included cities by clicking on intersecting road links and access Web pages of businesses along their route. Combining the elements of a map, search engine, and online yellow pages, Metrobot is designed with mobile users in mind, whether they are walking, biking, or driving, and is compatible with any type of mobile, Internet-enabled device in the immediate environment [570/323-2274;].

Convera announced that its RetrievalWare enterprise search technology will now offer new audio search capabilities to pinpoint spoken and phrased words in split seconds. Through a partnership with audio search engine Nexidia, RetrievalWare will search the equivalent of 30 hours of audio or video information in less than 1 second. For enterprise areas with significant audio components—call centers, compliance monitoring, knowledge management, forensics, training, intelligence gathering—removing the stumbling block of speech to text conversion expedites access to real-time information [703/761-5274;].

MuseGlobal, Inc. announced the release of MuseSeek, a new consumer-oriented version of its metasearching technology. MuseSeek allows Internet users to perform simultaneous searches of an unlimited number of online information sources using an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Clicking on check boxes lets users select specific sources they want to search from hundreds of different information collections arranged within topical categories. An Advanced Search option allows more sophisticated searching using Boolean logic and by specifying keyword, title, author, subject, or description. Like MuseGlobal's flagship product MuseSearch, MuseSeek will be primarily sold to software partners for incorporation into their product offerings [801/208-1880;].

Tribune Media Services International launched News In Motion International to deliver News In Motion and Knight Ridder/Tribune (KRT) animations, TV graphics, and related editorial content to television stations and their Web sites on a subscription and spot sales basis. The site will enable TV customers with high-speed Internet access to buy broadcast-quality video on demand. Producer clients will have access to rundowns, scripts, photos, caricatures, and an index of news and feature animations for broadcast and Web publication. Producers also will have access to an archive of more than 2,000 animations, which can be searched and previewed online [323/660-9004;].


Patolis Corporation, Japan's leading patent information service, announced an exclusive distribution agreement with Questel•Orbit in October. The partnership leverages Questel•Orbit's extensive collection of international patent information, patent management tool QPAT, and search tool QWEB, as well as PATOLIS Corporation's database, the only comprehensive source of Japanese intellectual property documentation and industrial property information. Revenue from the partnership in Japan and Korea is expected to double in 3 years [Questel•Orbit: 703/873-4713;; Patolis:].

FIZ CHEMIE Berlin announced the launch of INFOTHERM, its well-known database of the thermophysical properties of substances, in XML. By making INFOTHERM available via the Web and on company intranets, FIZ CHEMIE Berlin hopes to target those chemical engineering offices and companies that are increasingly using the Internet for information retrieval. The INFOTHERM database delivers data on pure compounds and on mixtures, such as PVT properties, phase equilibria, transport and surface properties, calorific properties, and solid-liquid equilibria [+49 (0) 5121 82 613;].

Kluwer Academic Publishers is participating in the AGORA initiative recently launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome in collaboration with major scientific publishers, Cornell University, Mann Library and the World Health Organization (WHO). In line with Kluwer's goal to further the worldwide dissemination of scientific information, the global partnership provides free or reduced-price Internet access to several hundred key journals in agriculture, biology, environmental studies, and social sciences to developing countries [+31 (0)78 6576 542;].  

Business & Finance

JCF Group, Inc., a European-based provider of global earnings estimates, international equity analytical models, and customized software solutions, and Mergent, Inc. announced a new strategic alliance. The partnership allows Mergent to integrate JCF Group information into its various products, including customized data feeds, desktop and browser-based platforms, comprehensive annual manuals, and quarterly investment handbooks. Mergent will immediately integrate the following restricted JCF data set into its product line: EPS median, EPS growth, standard deviation, number of brokers providing EPS for relevant fiscal year, number of brokers raising EPS estimates for relevant fiscal year, number of brokers reducing EPS estimates for relevant fiscal year, dividend median, dividend yield, and cash flow median [Mergent: 704/527-2700;; JCF: +44 20 7247 7774;].

EDGAR Online, Inc. announced the release of a new version of its premium EDGAR Online Pro service. In addition, the company outlined a new strategic focus on selling EDGAR Online Pro to clients in financial services companies, including investment bankers, asset managers, credit risk managers, compliance officers, hedge fund managers, and market data professionals. Complex fundamental, ownership, initial public offering and secondary offering data sets, and advanced search tools—all of which EDGAR Online previously offered only to large enterprises as part of its EDGAR Online Explorer product (via XML API data feeds for intranet integration)—are now available to more than 8,000 subscribers to the company's existing EDGAR Online Pro service [888/870-2316; 212/457-8200;].

Blue Marble Geographics announced that Domino's Pizza LLC (Domino's) has licensed its 2002 TIGER/Line Map Kit. Domino's selected the Map Kit to assist in the documentation and analysis of physical store locations. The company will also use it to establish delivery boundaries between its corporate stores and locally owned franchise sites [800/616-2725;].

Content from Agence France-Press, the international news and photo agency, has been added to Factiva. AFP content will be available in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese, including the English-language financial wires, AFX International Focus, and AFX UK Focus [609/627-2312;]. 

Online Services

Swets Blackwell has concluded another series of agreements with nine additional publishers providing access to online journal content via SwetsWise, which now carries a total of 7,645 full text e-journals, with more than 90 percent of the top STM publishers participating. New content includes the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers' quarterly journal Learned Publishing; the American Institute of Biological Sciences' BioScience journal; Construction Information Quarterly; 12 titles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation; 10 additional titles from INFORMS; The Journal of Social Development in Africa; Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal; and three additional titles from Westburn Publishers Limited [+31 (0) 252 435 584;].

xrefer, the online ready-reference service that provides full-text, aggregated content to academic, public, and corporate libraries, announced the release of version 2.0 of its xreferplus service featuring improved information visualization capabilities, a host of new content, and unit conversions. In particular, the new Research Mapper displays how search terms and topics in xreferplus are interconnected. Users can access the Mapper from any set of search results, enabling them to quickly explore the links among topics within the area they're researching. The Research Mapper leverages xrefer's proprietary xreference technology, which cuts across topics, titles, and publishers, as well as text, audio, and image files [617/426-5710;].

Social Sciences & Humanities

Project MUSE announced new enhancements to its search interface. Users now have more options for working with their search results, including saving, e-mailing, and exporting results to RefWorks and EndNote, and downloading and printing in text-only format. Users can also view their search history and follow links provided to modify their previous searches or retrieve all of the results. Additionally, ProQuest Information and Learning announced an agreement to link abstract and index records from its online databases with the full text of the scholarly journals in Project MUSE. Customers of both ProQuest and Project MUSE can sign up to receive notification when links are added [410/902-5045;;].


A free legal research tool has gone into public beta testing. Legal Research Assistant allows users to metasearch primary legal materials, government sites, and legal blogs selected by information professionals for reliability. It also permits metasearching the resources in all or selected folders of two link libraries: one that has been provided and a private one that the user may build. The private library can include personal documents. There is also an alert/tracking feature for monitoring sites. The next stage of development will include a research guide to assist users who do not regularly perform legal research [].

FindLaw announced that Block Financial Corporation has chosen FindLaw's lawyer directory as the exclusive lawyer directory in the popular Kiplinger's Home & Business Attorney and Kiplinger's WILLPower software packages. Kiplinger's Home & Business Attorney allows users to create legal documents for many types of personal and business legal matters, including family law, employment law, finance, and real estate. Kiplinger's WILLPower allows users to create wills, living trusts, and other estate planning documents. Block Financial Corporation, a subsidiary of H&R Block, Inc., develops and publishes consumer financial and personal productivity software [;].

Minesoft announced the launch of Minesoft Patent Family Portal, an easy-to-use facility to check patent families for over 70 countries and find out the latest legal status for over 40 patent-issuing authorities. Minesoft Patent Family Portal taps into the EPO Open Patent Service to retrieve data from the INPADOC resource and produces clear and precise search results. Minesoft's interface ensures that running searches is very straightforward. One or multiple patent publication numbers can be entered into the search box, resulting in immediate delivery of the requested patent family or families. Each family is tabulated and followed by corresponding legal status where available. Integrated links to relevant documents located at other Web sites enable further research [UK: +44 (0)20 8404 0651; Germany: +49 (0)89 5155 4660; US: 866/745-3621;].

Alliances & Deals

OCLC is testing the opening of WorldCat records to Google access. The project will extract a 2-million-record subset from the more than 53 million records in the WorldCat database. The subset will target the most popular and widely available books by selecting only records held by a minimum of 100 libraries. Google searches will retrieve the records and link through OCLC to library holdings, so Google searchers will be able see which libraries in their area own copies of a particular title. The move expands the scope of the Open WorldCat yearlong pilot project to make library resources available from nonlibrary Web sites [OCLC: 800/848-5878; 614/764-6000;;].

Caldwell College has retained ProQuest Information and Learning to preserve its academic research heritage through a new program to create a digital archive of its master's theses. ProQuest will provide publishing services for Caldwell's advanced-degree programs through its UMI Dissertation Digital Archiving and Access program. Caldwell College is the first educational institution in New Jersey to create a digital archive of its own research. Caldwell shipped copies of 157 master's theses dating from 1993 onward for filming and digitizing. When complete, its archive will be a comprehensive record of its graduate programs to the present day [800/521-0600; 734/761-4700;].

Reed Business Information has selected NewsStand Inc. to provide digital production and delivery of New Scientist. Established in 1956 and based in the U.K., New Scientist is a leading current affairs weekly magazine covering scientific and technological advances. Subscribers of the new digital edition can now download the publication, just as it appears in print, to their laptop, desktop or Tablet PC. Once downloaded, the publication is stored on the user's hard drive and can be archived and searched for keywords [512/334-5123;].

Portals & Intranets

Access Innovations, Inc. announced the release for license of over 30 topical taxonomies that span knowledge domains from agriculture to technology. The collection includes taxonomies and training sets for defense, business, finance, education, medicine, computers, news, sports, and geographic, personal, and company names. Each Knowledge Domain includes a robust thesaurus/taxonomy, an accompanying rule base, and a training subset. This allows automatic filtering of data and/or assisted metatagging for topical access to data [505/998-0800; 800/926-8268;].

Net Snippets introduced a server component to complement its platform for personal content collection and management. The new server module adds powerful functionality for enhanced collaborative online research, enabling the professional delivery of research results as well as automatically generating a Web-based research repository [408/884-2305;].

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