NewsLink
Issue 39/January 2003
===========================================================================
NewsLink is a free weekly e-mail newsletter featuring news and resources
for the information industry. If you are receiving this issue as a forward
and would like to become a subscriber, please visit our Web site at
http://www.infotoday.com or send a blank e-mail to
join-infotoday@lists.infotoday.com.

===================================================================
SPONSOR - WebSearch University
===================================================================
Smart searchers go back to school at WebSearch University!

February 3-4, 2003 
Hilton in the Walt Disney World® Resort  Orlando, Florida 
New curriculum and courses for 2003!

Join Mary Ellen Bates, Gary Price, Chris Sherman, Ran Hock, and other
of the world's top searchers as they share their hard-won strategies, tips, 
and skills for searching both fee and free Web resources. 

Learn: effective search tactics  advanced search engine features 
 hidden Internet resources  alternative sources and tools  top search 
techniques  expert search tips  crucial decision points
 
REGISTER NOW!
http://www.websearchu.com/

===================================================================
IN THIS ISSUE
===================================================================
1) WELCOME 
2) ITI SNAP POLL
3) NEWSLINK MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT
4) NEWSBREAKS
5) FEATURED ARTICLES
6) CONFERENCE CONNECTION
7) BOOKSHELF

===================================================================
1) WELCOME 
===================================================================
Happy New Year! Welcome to the January 2003 issue of NewsLink, 
Information Today, Inc.'s FREE e-mail newsletter for library and 
information professionals.

I wanted to start off this issue by highlighting the fact that our 
flagship publication, Information Today, is celebrating its 20th 
anniversary in 2003. With that anniversary, we've undertaken 
some changes in the look and content of the magazine. The 
January issue reflects many of the upgrades, with more on the 
way in the coming months. If you are a subscriber, or you get a 
chance to check out the magazine, please let us know what 
you think. You may contact John Eichorn, our editor, with any 
comments or suggestions at jeichorn@infotoday.com. 

Information Today is busy with our spring shows. The program 
for Computers in Libraries in Washington, D.C., is now available 
online, and we also want to remind you that our WebSearch 
University series will be traveling to Orlando in February and 
San Francisco in April. 

Buying & Selling eContent will also take place this spring in 
Scottsdale, Ariz., from April 13-15. Designed as an executive 
level conference, and held in partnership with Outsell, this 
event is a must for industry professionals who buy or sell 
(or distribute or market) content in the electronic marketplace. 
For more information go to http://www.buy-sell-econtent.com.

Once again, Happy New Year to all of our NewsLink subscribers. 
We hope that 2003 brings exciting and prosperous times to you 
and your organizations.

If you have any comments or suggestions on any special content 
you would like to see covered or on how to improve this newsletter 
and the information held in it, please reply to newslink@infotoday.com.

Best Wishes,
Tom Hogan, Jr.

===================================================================
2) ITI SNAP POLL 
===================================================================
PubSCIENCE has been closed and, due to pressure from the 
commercial sector, other government databases may follow. 
Should the federal government continue to provide databases 
to the public? Please comment at http://www.infotoday.com.

===================================================================
3) NEWSLINK MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT
===================================================================
Focus on FAST
By Paula J. Hane

Most information professionals have a group of favorite search 
engines they tap on a regular basis, since they know that multiple 
resources are essential to a searcher's toolkit. My own favorites 
are dictated by my heavy concentration on breaking news, thus 
Google News and AlltheWeb.com's News Search are on the top 
of my list. I also use both of these engines for regular Web 
searching because of the size of their indexes and overall 
features and relevance.

While AlltheWeb.com is well-known among expert searchers and 
garners positive coverage in the technology press, it struggles for 
wider visibility against the brand recognition and well-deserved 
reputation of Google. Some observers have pointed to 
AlltheWeb.com as a possible Google successor, but Google has 
real momentum that will be hard to counter. My feeling is that the 
competition is good for users, as the search engines try to outdo 
each other. I also like to have choices.

Most of the major search engines have made improvements over 
the past several months, as they aim to deliver quicker and more 
accurate results for users. Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) recently 
announced that it has increased the relevance of its search results 
through advanced relevancy techniques and has expanded its 
indexed Web formats to offer Microsoft Word. The improvements 
apply to its showcase search site, AlltheWeb.com, and to its portal 
partners that use the FAST Web Search index, which include 
HotBot, Dogpile, Excite, InfoSpace, Terra Lycos, Tiscali, T-Online, 
and more. 

Specifically, FAST announced that it has added the use of the 
proximity of search terms within a document to its ranking algorithm. 
According to Tim Mayer, vice president of FAST Web Search, 
"Internal tests for this release have demonstrated improvements of 
over 12 percent in relevancy, further heightening the search 
experience for users."

Well, I can't attest to the claimed 12-percent improvement, but users 
should appreciate any advances in relevancy. Tara Calishain 
commented in a recent ResearchBuzz that she's always found the 
relevance at AlltheWeb to be pretty good and that she can't detect 
much of a difference in the tests she ran. 

FAST is now including documents in Microsoft Word format within its 
Web search results. Each Word document is labeled (MS Word) next 
to the title on a results page. Users can also restrict a search to only 
Word documents by employing the pull-down menu in the "results 
restriction" section of AlltheWeb's advanced searching page. The 
pull-down menu also lets users specify Adobe PDF or Macromedia 
Flash file. (For comparison, Google will search for Word files and also 
PDF, PostScript, Excel, PowerPoint, and Rich Text Format files.)

My colleague Gary Price has also just posted a note on his ResourceShelf 
site about the use of the syntax "filetype." He said that a FAST 
spokesperson has confirmed that this works on AlltheWeb. According to 
Price: "You can apply these limits directly from the search box by typing: 
filetype: pdf (Limiting to only Acrobat material) filetype: msword (Limiting to 
only Word documents) filetype: flash (Limiting to only Flash presentations)."

FAST also continues to add portal partners and enterprise customers 
for its FAST Data Search product. The company recently announced 
that Elsevier Engineering Information, Inc. (Ei) has fully deployed FAST 
Data Search to power the search and retrieval capabilities of its 
EngineeringVillage2 platform (http://www.engineeringvillage2.org). 
According to the announcement, Ei selected the product over several 
competing enterprise search solutions "due to its ability to produce 
high-quality search results, superior indexing of structured and 
unstructured data, and effectively scale across multiple platforms."

Commenting on the new implementation, Bernard Aleva, Ei's president 
and CEO, said: "FAST's powerful solution has improved the search 
performance of our platform to an incredible extent. This has enabled 
us to bring the quality of our service to a completely new level."

According to an article in the October 2002 issue of Fast Co. (which is 
not related to FAST), Google may have a group of almost fanatical 
supporters, but smart searchers shouldn't forget about FAST and its 
AlltheWeb.com site. The article stated that FAST was "coming up on 
the blind side" as a "low-profile, aerodynamic Norwegian machine, 
with a supercharged search engine and a well-tuned business model 
that may just leave Google in the dust."

I'm not anxious for any of the engines to be left in the dust. Just keep 
those improvements coming.

Finally, as I was writing this article, Yahoo!, Inc. announced it is 
acquiring Inktomi. Some are saying the deal sets the stage for a 
shake-up in the search engine world, or at least strategic 
repositioning. In particular, it puts pressure on Google, which has 
been Yahoo!'s supplier of search technology since 2000. Inktomi 
in turn has been the supplier for Microsoft's MSN service. So we 
could see some interesting developments in Web search. Stay tuned.

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

===================================================================
4) NEWSBREAKS
===================================================================
For a complete listing of previous NewsBreaks visit the Information Today, 
Inc. Web site at http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/breaks.htm. 

NewsBreaks from Monday, December 30, 2002.
------------------------
The Internet Marks Its 20th Anniversary 
--> http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb021230-1.htm

------------------------
Weekly News Digest
------------------------
-- Yahoo! to Acquire Inktomi 
-- Nstein and Gale Announce Partnership 
-- AIP Offers Free Bibliographic Search Service 
-- Public Library of Science Announces New Journals 
--> http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/wnd021230.htm

===================================================================
5) FEATURED ARTICLES
===================================================================
For full-text coverage of the following articles please use the hotlinks provided. 

------------------------
INFORMATION TODAY
The New Business Intelligence 
By Hugh McKellar

UDM or "unstructured data management" is a term you'll be hearing a lot over 
the next 12 months as companies previously associated with search, 
taxonomy development, and categorization software bring analytic capabilities 
to their solutions.
--> http://www.infotoday.com/it/jan03/mckellar.htm

------------------------
ONLINE Magazine
The UCE (Spam) War and Its Impact on E-Mail 
By Greg R. Notess

This month's On The Net column helps the information professional become 
more aware of the impact and changed behaviors that have resulted from 
the flood of Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE).
--> http://www.infotoday.com/online/jan03/OnTheNet.htm

------------------------
COMPUTERS IN LIBRARIES
The Usability Toolbox 
By Andrew K. Pace

Pace points out some of the usability tools that you might not know about, 
and also draws your attention to what often passes (unfortunately) for 
usability in a library setting.
 --> http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/jan03/pace.htm

------------------------
SEARCHER Magazine 
Counting Heads Around the World 
The Genealogy of International Census Databases Part II, Canada 
By David Mattison

This article takes a look at how official Canadian statistics provide an 
alternate view of important social, political, and economic issues affecting 
both itself and the U.S.
--> http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/jan03/mattison.htm

------------------------
MultiMedia Schools Magazine 
All Aboard! Moving Every Child Ahead in a Digital Age
By Ferdi Serim

--> http://www.infotoday.com/MMSchools/jan03/serim.htm

===================================================================
6) CONFERENCE CONNECTION
===================================================================
Get the latest event information available for the library and information fields 
in the Conference Connection. The Conference Report/Update gives you an 
inside look at the most recent information industry events, while the Conference 
Calendar is updated monthly to provide you with important contact information for 
up-and-coming industry events. 

CONFERENCE REPORT/UPDATE
------------------------
Computers in Libraries 2003
March 12-14, 2003
Washington, DC 

Computers in Libraries 2003 is full of examples of creative, working strategies and 
many practical ideas for what can be accomplished in our libraries and information 
services. Join us at Computers in Libraries 2003 and hear from experts, practitioners, 
and strategists - all from the information industry. 

THE PRELIMINARY PROGRAM IS NOW AVAILABLE!
Visit http://www.infotoday.com/cil2003/program.htm to learn about the workshops, 
exhibits, and keynotes at CIL 2003!

CONFERENCE CALENDAR 
-------------------

JANUARY 2003  

January 21-23
AUSTRALIAN LIBRARY & INFORMATION ASSOCIATION (Darling Harbor, Australia)  
Contact: http://www.alia.org.au 

January 21-24
ASSOCIATION FOR LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE EDUCATION (ALISE) 
NATIONAL CONFERENCE (Philadelphia, PA) 
Contact: http://www.alise.org 

January 23-25 
SPECIAL LIBRARIES ASSOCIATION (SLA) WINTER MEETING (New Orleans, LA)  
Contact: http://www.sla.org 

January 24-29
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (ALA) MIDWINTER MEETING (Philadelphia, PA)  
Contact: http://www.ala.org 

January 28
SOFTWARE & INFORMATION INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION (SIIA) INFORMATION 
INDUSTRY SUMMIT (New York, NY)
Contact: http://www.siia.net/iis2003/

For the complete Conference Calendar visit 
http://www.infotoday.com/calendar.htm.

===================================================================
7) BOOKSHELF
===================================================================
The Accidental Systems Librarian
By Rachel Singer Gordon | Foreword by Kathy Dempsey

The Accidental Systems Librarian takes the approach that anyone with a solid 
foundation in the practices and principles of librarianship and a willingness to 
confront changing technology can serve effectively in a library technology 
position-with or without formal computer training. Author Rachel Singer Gordon's 
practical advice on using research, organizational, and bibliographic skills to 
solve various systems problems is geared to helping "accidental" systems librarians 
develop the skills they need to succeed and the confidence they need to excel. An 
essential book for any librarian who wants to deal more effectively with technology 
in her or his institution. 

For more information or to pre-order your copy, visit 
http://books.infotoday.com/books/AccSysLib.shtml
--------------
The Accidental Systems Librarian
Available February 2003 
220 pp/softbound
ISBN 1-57387-161-3
Online Sale Price: $23.60

===================================================================
SPONSOR - WebSearch University
===================================================================
Smart searchers go back to school at WebSearch University!

February 3-4, 2003 
Hilton in the Walt Disney World&#® Resort  Orlando, Florida 
New curriculum and courses for 2003!

Join Mary Ellen Bates, Gary Price, Chris Sherman, Ran Hock, and other
of the world's top searchers as they share their hard-won strategies, tips, 
and skills for searching both fee and free Web resources. 

Learn: effective search tactics  advanced search engine features 
 hidden Internet resources  alternative sources and tools  top search 
techniques  expert search tips  crucial decision points
 
REGISTER NOW!
http://www.websearchu.com/

===========================================================================
2003 Information Today, Inc. all rights reserved. 
This newsletter is published by Information Today, Inc.
Editor in Chief: Tom Hogan, Jr.
Managing Editor: Stacey Sochacki
Phone: 609-654-6266 Fax: 609-654-4309
Web site: http://www.infotoday.com
E-mail: newslink@infotoday.com

To unsubscribe send a blank email to 
leave-infotoday-7581972P@lists.infotoday.com.