The Latest on Ingenta, Scopus, OA,
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 againlive 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.
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 testand 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.
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
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 individualsa 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
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
"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
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.
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.
Paula J. Hane is Information Today, Inc.'s news bureau chief
and editor of NewsBreaks. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.