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Magazines > Information Today > December 2004
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Information Today

Vol. 21 No. 11 — December 2004

NewsBreak Update
The Latest on Ingenta, Scopus, OA, and More
By Paula Hane

Every year at this time, I always wonder where the last few months have gone, dismayed that I'm hopelessly behind in what I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. But my trip to KMWorld & Intranets in late October was very stimulating. (My report on the event is on page 1 in this issue.) And, by the time you read this in early December, we'll be blogging again—live from London. It promises to be another mega-event, with lots happening in the conference and the exhibit hall. If you can't be there (and even if you are), check out the action on our site.

IngentaConnect Launch

Ingenta has launched IngentaConnect, its new single-platform, flagship site for content access. We reported on the plans and the launch of the beta version of the service in June. Then, in July, the company introduced the second beta version and added the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds.

The new site replaces Ingenta.com and IngentaSelect
.com and integrates all of the electronic, fax, and Ariel-delivered content from both sites, enhanced with the best features and functionality of each. Ingenta.com users were automatically transferred to the new service at the end of October; IngentaSelect users were transferred in November. The company worked hard to ensure that its 17,500 registered institutions didn't suffer any gaps in service.

The comprehensive collection provides more than 6,100 online and 28,500 fax and Ariel-delivered publications. Some advanced features (including subscription activation management, searching within subscribed content, customized library branding, and advanced usage statistics) are only available to those subscribing to IngentaConnect Premium. The premium service also includes a 20-user alerting license for the table of contents and keyword search alerts across 28,000 publications. IngentaConnect Premium costs $495 annually.

Hopefully, the launch of IngentaConnect, as well as the recent launch of its new Information Commerce System for publishers, will give the company a needed boost. Ingenta had been struggling with declining revenues (and reportedly had lost some key customers to HighWire), but in October the company reported that it had stabilized revenues and, with lower costs, said it expected its financial picture to improve.

Ingenta also announced a change in management. Simon Dessain (who was the COO) was appointed CEO, and Mark Rowse, the founder and CEO, stepped down to take a nonexecutive position on the board. The company said Rowse would continue to work part-time, pursuing new business and corporate development activities as well as supporting the management team in client and partner relationships. Rowse stated: "I, and the rest of the Ingenta board, have recognized that Ingenta needs to move from being an entrepreneurial startup to a more mature and steadily growing business. Simon has demonstrated great strengths in his 3 years at Ingenta so far, and I am looking forward to supporting him and the rest of the management team in my new capacity."

Scopus Finally Launches

I cover product launches frequently, but the buildup to Elsevier's launch of Scopus was the most publicized and carefully executed plan I've seen in our industry (if you don't count some of the hype and delays around Microsoft rollouts). Since its announcement last March, Elsevier delivered regular media updates about the forthcoming product. This was also a product that took years to design, develop, and test—and Elsevier has a lot riding on its market adoption. The company held media launch events in November in London, New York, and Tokyo. A review of the new service, written by Susan Fingerman (who also reported on the launch in a NewsBreak), will appear in a forthcoming issue of ONLINE magazine.

Open Access

The Public Library of Science launched its second open access journal, PLoS Medicine. The new journal competes with The Lancet, an Elsevier publication. The same day of the PLoS launch, Elsevier issued a press release reporting on the number of visitors to its Lancet site. Meanwhile, a Lancet editor who had defected to PLoS Medicine came back to the fold. Elsevier issued a press release trumpeting his return, although no reasons were given for his departure or return.

A year ago, PLoS launched its first journal, PLoS Biology. It recently announced some statistics for the first year. From October 2003 to September 2004, PLoS Biology published 140 original research articles and 254 articles as part of its "magazine" section, including book/
media reviews, essays, editorials, primers, and synopses. The site had an average of 85,143 downloads per month. According to Thomson ISI records, papers from PLoS Biology have already been cited in articles in more than 170 different journals.

Meanwhile, things got a bit more confrontational among constituencies in the scientific publishing communities. At press time, members of the U.K.'s House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee asked the government to "reconsider its position" on scientific publications after it released an "obstructive response" to a Committee report released in July. In a press release stating that the committee "condemned" the government response, Ian Gibson MP, chair of the committee, bluntly stated: "DTI [the Department of Trade and Industry] is apparently more interested in kowtowing to the powerful publishing lobby than it is in looking after the best interests of British science. This isn't evidence-based policy; it's policy-based evidence."

U.K.-based reporter Richard Poynder investigated the responses while writing a NewsBreak. Just a reminder: Upcoming issues of Information Today and ONLINE will feature reports on the open access forums that were held at Internet Librarian International and Internet Librarian.

Search News Roundup

HighBeam Research has added advertising to its online subscription search service. Users probably won't be happy, but they may tolerate the ads if they aren't too obtrusive and keep the cost low. Russell Perkins, CEO of InfoCommerce Group and an expert on the business of database and directory publishing, said: "This is a smart move by HighBeam Research. By adding advertising, they gain revenue stability through multiple revenue streams. In addition, advertising revenue will allow HighBeam Research to maintain its subscription pricing at levels attractive to individuals—a key part of its business model."

Another business-oriented search site appears to be making a comeback. Business.com announced that it has received $10 million in funding from Benchmark Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. The Business.com site first launched in June 2000, and then faded from view from about 2002 until now. Business.com was first funded by FT, Cahners, IndustryClick, and others. Its directory was built by library professionals.

With Yahoo!'s recent purchase of Stata Labs (which does e-mail search), Yahoo! will likely be one of the next to enter the hot area of desktop search, which got a bit hotter when Google jumped in the ring with its desktop search product (reported last month).

Yahoo! and Adobe have announced an ongoing partnership. First, Adobe is introducing a co-branded Yahoo! Toolbar that will provide users with access to Yahoo! products including AntiSpy, Pop-Up Blocker, and Yahoo! Search, as well as Adobe products such as Create Adobe PDF Online, a Web-based service for creating documents in PDF. A future release of Adobe Reader will feature Yahoo! as the default search provider.

Microsoft is expected to debut its own search engine soon and is planning to embed desktop search into its software and operating system. In another move designed to provide better integrated desktop information control, Microsoft announced a new application (code-named "Istanbul") that is in beta testing now and is due for release in the Microsoft Office system in 2005. The desktop computer application aims to seamlessly integrate e-mail, instant messaging, videoconferencing, traditional phone service, and Internet-based calling.

Consumer WebWatch has released new investigative research, reporting that many of the Web's popular search engines still do not provide clear disclosures about how their results can be influenced for a fee by advertisers (paid placement). Even fewer explain how companies pay to increase the likelihood their names will appear in searches (paid inclusion). Information professionals tested 15 top search engines for 6 months for the report, and even they found the practices confusing.

"Consumers need to understand and remember that many search engines more closely resemble the Yellow Pages or classified ads than a library, where information is categorized according to subject, relevance, and other objective criteria," said Beau Brendler, Consumer WebWatch's director. "Search engines are making tons of money selling advertising, and there's nothing wrong with that. But the majority could do a much better job making clear what is advertising, and what is not." (Don't you love that library plug?)

Digital Archive of Americana Launched

Speaking of libraries, Readex, which has been working rather quietly on digitizing historical collections, has now launched a marketing campaign to libraries for its Web-based Archive of Americana, featuring fully text-searchable facsimile images. This new resource, comprising four primary source collections, provides online access to "the printed record of the American nation." The four collections are:

• Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, based on Charles Evans' historic American Bibliography. This collection contains nearly every book, pamphlet, and broadside published in America from 1639 to 1800. (Digitization began in 2003.)

• Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker continues the Evans bibliography and includes books, pamphlets, and broadsides published in America between 1801 and 1819. (Digitization began in August 2004.)

• Early American Newspapers (1690­1876), based on Charles Brigham's History and Bibliography of American Newspapers. (Digitization began in 2004.)

• U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817­1980) with American State Papers (1789­1838). (Digitization began in June 2003 with completion expected by December 2008.)

When completed, the Archive of Americana will consist of more than 31.5 million pages of primary source material, all featuring the same interface, the same navigation features, and the same overall look and feel. OpenURL and federated searching are also supported.

Content Additions

Find.com, which launched in June 2004, announced that MarketResearch.com, which offers more than 80,000 reports from 350-plus research firms and consultancies worldwide, has become an online content partner for Find.com. Visitors will be able to view the titles, abstracts, and tables of contents for MarketResearch
.com reports via Find.com. Complete reports from MarketResearch.com are available on a pay-per-document basis.

Comtex News Network, Inc. announced that its Finance News CustomWire has been selected as a new source of content by Northern Light. Comtex now provides Northern Light's Business Research Engine with more than 70 newsfeeds, which contribute more than 8,000 stories per day. Powered by the Northern Light Enterprise Search Engine, the Business Research Engine is a paid service for enterprise customers, free of advertising.

For the latest industry news, check http://www.infotoday.com every Monday morning. An easier option is to sign up for our free weekly e-mail newsletter, NewsLink, which provides abstracts and links to the stories we post.

Links

http://www.infotodayblog.com

http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb040607-1.shtml
[NewsBreak on IngentaConnect]

http://www.ingentaconnect.com

http://www.scopus.com

http://www.plosmedicine.org

http://www.plosbiology.org

http://www.highbeam.com

http://www.business.com

http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb041025-1.shtml
[NewsBreak on Google Desktop Search]

http://techpreview.search.msn.com

http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/news/paidsearch/index.html

http://www.readex.com

http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb030609-2.shtml
[NewsBreak on Readex Serial Set]


Paula J. Hane is Information Today, Inc.'s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks. Her e-mail address is phane@infotoday.com.
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