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Magazines > Information Today > February 2004
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Information Today

Vol. 21 No. 2 — February 2004


Alexander Street Press Indexes Oral History Collections

Alexander Street Press announced that it is bringing oral history to the forefront of research with Oral History Online, an index of English-language collections.

According to the announcement, oral histories contain rare and personal insights into everything from human rights abuses during apartheid in South Africa to life as a Japanese American after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Yet, trapped on cassettes and hidden in corners of the Internet, the personal stories of millions of people have been largely inaccessible to the scholars who need them most.

With 2,300 collections already identified and more to come, Oral History Online will help with the study of politics, women and gender, race relations, labor, immigrants, health and medicine, history, and more.

When it's launched early this year, the index will include direct links to more than 2,000 video files, 1,000 audio files, and 10,000 to 20,000 pages of full text. Oral History Online will provide a single point of access to these collections and give researchers deeper reach into the narrations with Alexander Street's Semantic Indexing.

Source: Alexander Street Press, Alexandria, VA, 703/212-8522;

NISO Publishes White Paper on Patents, Open Standards

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced that it has published a white paper on Patents and Open Standards by Priscilla Caplan, assistant director of the Florida Center for Library Automation.

According to the announcement, this white paper is a timely reminder to everyone involved in standards development of the relationship between standards, patents, and the policies of standards-development organizations. Originally published as the feature article in the October 2003 issue of Information Standards Quarterly, NISO is making this information available as a free download from

The paper reviews some patent basics and then considers the following questions:

• What is an "open standard"?

• What are the policies of other standards-setting organizations that govern patented contributions to standards?

• What are the implications for NISO?

The paper concludes with an update from NISO on its recently adopted Patent Policy.

Source: NISO, Bethesda, MD, 301/654-2512;

EBSCO Publishing Acquires New Database

EBSCO Publishing announced that it has acquired the International Bibliography of Theatre (IBT) database. IBT is a comprehensive multicultural and interdisciplinary research tool available to theater students, educators, and professionals.

Initiated by the American Society for Theatre Research, IBT is a component of EBSCO's list of subject-specific secondary databases that cover the humanities. Since 1984, the Theatre Research Data Center (TRDC) at Brooklyn College has published 14 volumes of IBT.

These volumes comprise a fully indexed, cross-referenced, and annotated databank of more than 60,000 journal articles, books, book articles, and dissertation abstracts on all aspects of theater and performance in 126 countries. As an expert in the subject area, TRDC will continue indexing various titles for the database as well as coordinating international contributors.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, Ipswich, MA, 978/356-6500;

Swets Test International Sold to Harcourt Assessment, Inc.

Royal Swets & Zeitlinger NV announced the sale of Swets Test International (STI) to Harcourt Assessment, Inc., a U.S.-based provider of high-quality assessment instruments and testing programs.

STI, located in the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the U.K., is a leading publisher in the fields of human resource management, healthcare, and education. STI will be integrated into the existing operations of Harcourt Assessment International, the international unit of Harcourt Assessment, Inc., and will report to Ian Taylor, the London-based vice president of international operations.

Source: Royal Swets & Zeitlinger NV, Lisse, Netherlands, 011-31-252-435-584;

Nstein Collaborates with Health Canada

Nstein Technologies, Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with Health Canada to spearhead a new Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN) platform for monitoring potential public health risks and threats around the world. GPHIN is an initiative developed by Health Canada in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

The mission of the GPHIN platform is to monitor, aggregate, and disseminate health information to the international public health community. This will provide an early warning of potential public health risks or threats such as SARS or any potential chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear-related public health risks or threats.

Nstein's technology solution will power the system, providing 24/7 real-time monitoring, aggregating, and translating information of public health significance in six languages (English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic) for dissemination to the public health community worldwide.

Source: Nstein Technologies, Inc., Montreal, 514/908-5406;

ContentScan, Majors Scientific Books Sign Agreement

ContentScan, Inc., publisher of the Dome family of discipline-specific online information services, announced an agreement with Majors Scientific Books to distribute ContentScan's entire line of Dome services to medical and hospital libraries.

From one convenient, accessible location, each Dome increases research productivity while searching across content categories such as journal articles, books, grants, authors, Web resources, and institutions.

Resources included in each Dome are refereed and selected based on the relevance to their fields. According to the announcement, each item within the Dome is linked to related items, providing researchers with richly networked and easily navigable representation of their discipline's content and community.

Source: ContentScan, Inc., San Diego, 858/452-1264;

SLA Now Accepts Multiple International Currencies

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) now accepts membership dues in selected international currencies. Members may now pay by check to join or renew in Euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars, and Australian dollars. The expanded options offer flexibility for members without having to convert their currency to American dollars.

"Offering payment in multiple currencies gives our members improved flexibility," said SLA executive director Janice R. Lachance. "We will be considering more ways to enhance our global tools as well as continually evaluating our services for a growing global membership. This is an exciting first step in the globalization of SLA."

For more details on SLA's enhanced payment flexibility, go to or call 202/234-4700.

Source: SLA, Washington, DC, 202/234-4700;

Percussion Software Partners with Convera

Percussion Software, a developer of practical software solutions that enable customers to maximize the value and quality of enterprise content, announced that it has formed a partnership with Convera, a provider of search and categorization solutions.

The partnership is initially focused on utilizing Convera's RetrievalWare search technology for the content delivery environments based on Percussion's Rhythmyx 5 Enterprise Content Management system and the newly announced Rhythmyx Express Portal.

According to the announcement, the combination of RetrievalWare search technology and Rhythmyx Content Management System creates a powerful one-stop-shopping solution for organizations that want to roll out robust, secure, and highly scalable search capabilities for Internet, intranet, and extranet applications. Percussion will provide RetrievalWare to Rhythmyx delivery environments starting immediately.

Source: Percussion Software, Stoneham, MA, 781/438-9900;

ProQuest Announces Distribution Agreement

ProQuest Information and Learning has signed a new agreement with The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) to distribute its full text electronically to libraries, hospitals, and educational institutions. ProQuest also announced an agreement with Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt, a German economic and financial news publishing group, to distribute Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr).


According to the announcement, NEJM is considered the world's gold standard for keeping up-to-date on the best practices in medicine. A career companion for physicians, it also helps define and reinforce clinical care for physicians in training. Thousands of academics throughout the world use NEJM as a teaching tool.


The agreement with Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt will bring sbr, the international edition of German business journal Schmalenbach Business Review, to ProQuest's ABI/INFORM suite of online business periodical databases.

sbr's goal is to publish original and innovative research. Its quarterly English-language issues focus on accounting, finance, taxation, marketing, neo-institutionalism, and more, bringing together the most important management areas.

Source: ProQuest Information and Learning, Ann Arbor, MI, 734/761-4700;

NewsNet Founder Dies

John H. Buhsmer, 71, of Gulph Mills, Pa., died of complications from heart disease on Oct. 4, 2003. He was founder of NewsNet, Inc.; an online pioneer; a former vice president of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin; and a foundation president.

In 1973, Mr. Buhsmer, who had always loved newspapers, became vice president in charge of personnel and labor relations at the Bulletin. In 1982, he founded NewsNet, an early online business information services company. He retired in 1983 when he became visually disabled.

Mr. Buhsmer grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. After earning a bachelor's degree from Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, he served in the U.S. Army in Germany for 2 years. In 1958, he married his high school sweetheart, Maurita.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Buhsmer is survived by his father, Charles Sr.; sons John Jr. and Dennis; daughters Mary Shannon, Patricia Tigani, Judith, Kathleen DeRose, and Caroline Peters; a brother; and five grandchildren.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

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