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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org. =================================================================== 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: email@example.com To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-infotoday-7581972P@lists.infotoday.com.