Information Today
Volume 17, Issue 9 • October 2000
Fact City Partners with Houghton Mifflin to Offer Online Access to Combined Reference Information

Fact City, Inc., a syndicated fact-finding engine for Internet portals and search engines, has announced a data-distribution agreement with the Electronic Reference Publishing Group of Houghton Mifflin’s Trade and Reference Division. Houghton Mifflin will provide Fact City with the brand-new fourth edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus, The Houghton Mifflin Dictionary of Geography, Wall Street Words, and A Who’s Who of Sports Champions. Unlike stand-alone Internet reference sources, Fact City will offer the first way to query all titles simultaneously, delivering answers composed of data interwoven from these titles as well as millions of other facts, according to the announcement.

For example, a question such as “What is the New York Stock Exchange?” will return the precise description together with follow-up links to geographical information about New York City and State, the Wall Street definition of “stock,” synonyms for “exchange,” and more. The solution will be available on the Web sites of Internet portals and search engines that subscribe to Fact City’s syndicated content-delivery service. Fact City helps Houghton Mifflin enhance its brand equity by exposing it to an exceptionally large audience of Web users.

“Now Internet portals and search engines can offer a way to ask a reference question and receive an answer that combines data from the most trusted sources,” said Eric Ziering, president and founder of Fact City. “Houghton Mifflin’s reliable reference materials are sought after by everyone from schoolchildren to office professionals. Fact City provides a conduit through which these users can ac-cess this trusted information in a new, precise way.”

“We have been innovating electronically for more than 20 years,” said David Langevin, sales director of Houghton Mifflin’s Electronic Reference Publishing Group. “This unique Internet syndication opportunity with Fact City further expands our online reach and gives curious seekers even more places to access our new fourth edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and other trusted content.”

Distinct from typical search engines, the Fact City service enables users to ask questions in plain English and receive accurate facts, statistics, and other reference information in return. According to the company, the service is unique in that it delivers a precise answer, as well as highly relevant links to related information from multiple sources.

Houghton Mifflin is the newest addition to Fact City’s list of prominent data partners, which includes STATS, Inc. (current sports), Billboard Online and Muze (music), The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Zagat’s (restaurant information), and others. Fact City aggregates facts and statistics from these brand-name partners and makes the data available through a network of Internet search engines and portals.

The Electronic Reference Publishing Group ( is a leading electronic reference publisher and the electronic arm of Houghton Mifflin’s Trade and Reference Division. Houghton Mifflin’s Electronic Reference products, such as The American Heritage Dictionary, are found in hand-held devices, CD-ROMs, search engines, and on Web sites. Houghton Mifflin is a leading publisher of textbooks, instructional technology, assessments, and other educational materials for elementary and secondary schools and colleges. The company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers. Its Web site is

Source: Fact City, Inc., Waltham, MA, 781/684-0101;

Table of Contents Information Today Home Page