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Magazines > Information Today > March 2003
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Information Today
Vol. 20 No. 3 — March 2003
Product News and Reviews

ITI Publishes New Book, Renames Journal

Information Today, Inc. (ITI) announced the publication of The Accidental Systems Librarian, by Rachel Singer Gordon. This new book offers practical advice and strategies for managing library technology. ITI also announced that Information Science Abstracts has been renamed Information Science & Technology Abstracts (ISTA).

The Accidental Systems Librarian

In TheAccidental Systems Librarian, Gordon 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, even without formal computer training. Her advice on using organizational, bibliographic, and research skills to solve various systems problems is geared toward helping "accidental" systems librarians develop skills and confidence.


ISTA provides library and information science records from more than 450 publications, some of which date to 1966. The new name recognizes the significant changes in the field of information science that occurred during the last decade and which are recorded in the literature that ISTA abstracts.

Source: Information Today, Inc., Medford, NJ, 609/654-6266;

ProQuest Enhances Information Products

ProQuest Information and Learning announced that it has enhanced its Historical Newspapers and American Periodicals Series databases.

Historical Newspapers

In response to feedback, ProQuest has added new features to Historical Newspapers that will help users search the content more productively. Improved date-range tools allow searchers to pinpoint specific issues. Users can now search before, on, or between specific dates. In addition, the date-range field appears on nearly every search screen. This enables users to narrow or expand the time frame of their searches more easily.

Other enhancements include the following:

• Seamless searching of the entire backfile, which simplifies broad searches

• A streamlined display of search options, which makes visible only those options that are pertinent to searching historical content

• An improved help menu that's customized for ProQuest Historical Newspapers users

American Periodicals Series

American Periodicals Series is a digital collection of more than 1,100 titles that began publishing between 1741 and 1900. Its new interface allows users to search content by additional article types and choose full-page images or individual articles. In addition, page maps let researchers browse entire issues. Abstracts are available for each article and new guides provide even more access and content highlights. The updated interface also allows improved access to the more than 775 titles currently available.

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

WebFeat Announces New Technology, Program

WebFeat announced the release of WebFeat 2, new technology that enables libraries to capture and report usage statistics from any or all of their databases' native interfaces. The company also announced that it will build for libraries free proof-of-concept versions of its Knowledge Prism federated search engine for a 30-day evaluation period.

WebFeat 2

For every database used, WebFeat 2 captures and reports the number of queries, number of full-text requests, number of next-set requests, search strings (with Boolean operators), and date/time stamp information. WebFeat 2 can also track usage by individual library, branch, and remote users. Reports are available through the Web. These can be e-mailed or downloaded into spreadsheets or DBMS programs.

Knowledge Prism

WebFeat Knowledge Prism enables libraries to simultaneously search all of their databases from a single, intuitive interface. As part of the 30-day program, the company will build WebFeat Prism systems that are capable of simultaneously searching all library databases, including subscription databases, free databases, and catalogs. WebFeat Usage Tracker will be provided with Knowledge Prism. This product captures and reports usage statistics for all databases searched through WebFeat.

Source: WebFeat, Old Brookville, NY, 718/596-5229;

Progressive Information Technologies Releases Vasont 8.0

Progressive Information Technologies announced the release ofVasont 8.0, the latest version of its flagship content management system for cross-media publishing. Vasont 8.0 handles the creation, management, and publication of content, including basic text, graphics, and audio and video files.

Vasont 8.0 is available as a client/server or Web-based system. Some of its new and enhanced features include the following:

• Multi-language translation management

• Built-in customizations

• Asynchronous processing

• Performance enhancements

• Integration of XSLT

• Enhanced versioning

• Security Access

• Expanded API

Source: Progressive Information Technologies, Emigsville, PA, 717/764-5908;

Blackwell Synergy Offers New Journals

Blackwell Publishing announced the addition of more than 250 social science and humanities journals to its Blackwell Synergy online research tool. Many of these titles are published on behalf of scholarly and professional societies and include the top international peer-reviewed journals in economics, business, geography, politics, psychology, philosophy, and sociology, among others.

Blackwell Synergy provides access to Blackwell's 400 science and medicine journals. By including the social science and humanities titles in this service, librarians can set up a single platform for all their Blackwell journals in the site's special Library Administrator area. Here they can download daily updated usage statistics, administer their own IP addresses, and download an SFX-compatible file for setting up links in their online library catalogs.

Source: Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, U.K., 011-44-1865-776868;

ebrary Launches New Database Collections

ebrary announced the availability of database collections that combine more than 20,000 books and other documents from more than 150 leading academic, trade, and professional publishers. The company now offers a set of Aggregated Collections that span academic and general subject areas and Publisher Collections, which feature highly specialized content from individual academic and professional publishers.

ebrary's database collections enable simultaneous, multiuser access; feature advanced research tools; and integrate with existing ILS systems and digital resources.

Aggregated Collections now cover individual subject areas, including Business & Economics, Computers, Technology & Engineering, Humanities, Life & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences. The company also offers a collection of Spanish-language titles and aggregated collections specifically for both academic and public libraries.

ebrary also offers Publisher Collections from Byron Hoyt (more than 5,000 classical sheet-music titles), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (more than 4,000 books, journals, and technical papers), and Octavo (more than 30 rare and original manuscripts).

Source: ebrary, Palo Alto, CA, 650/475-8752;

knovel Adds Nine New Science, Engineering Titles

knovel Corp. announced that it has added nine new titles to its database, which can be accessed through its Web site. knovel's content, all full text, is enhanced with productivity tools like interactive tables, graphing applets, and calculation packages. These features, combined with advanced search capabilities, help users find answers to their science and engineering questions. By the end of 2003, knovel will have nearly 20 million data records from more than 600 sources.

Source: knovel Corp., Norwich, NY, 607/648-4770;

ISI ResearchSoft Unveils WriteNote

ISI ResearchSoft announced the release ofWriteNote, a Web-based research and writing tool designed for the undergraduate market. Sold as an annual, sitewide subscription to the institution, WriteNote is designed to help students conduct research and compose papers.

WriteNote, which is customized for each campus, takes students to their library resources (e.g., Gale, OCLC, and WilsonWeb, among others). There, users can search for relevant content and capture references into their personal library folders. They can also annotate and save Web pages for citing in their papers.

In addition, WriteNote offers the Cite While You Write feature that creates a paper with properly formatted citations. Students who progress to advanced degree programs can move their WriteNote libraries to ISI's other desktop bibliographic products.

Source: ISI ResearchSoft, Carlsbad, CA, 760/438-5526;

Paratext Links to ABC-CLIO Databases

Paratext, a reference database publisher, announced that its 19th Century Masterfile resource now contains more than 2 million additional links to Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life, ABC-CLIO's historical abstracting-and-indexing databases.

19th Century Masterfile contains a growing body of subject indexes to periodicals, books, newspapers, government documents, and patents for historical research. Recent additions include links to full-text editions of 19th-century journals, the Congressional Record, and the U.S. Patent file.

Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life, established in 1955 and 1964 respectively, are research tools for students, scholars, and historians. They contain abstracts of journal articles and book reviews that pertain to world history. More than 16,000 new abstracts are added to each database every year. Both databases were brought to the Web in 1998.

Source: Paratext, LLC, Sterling, VA, 703/318-0285;

CambridgeDocs Releases xDoc XML Converter

CambridgeDocs announced the release of xDoc Converter, a tool for migrating unstructured content from legacy sources—including Microsoft Word, HTML, and Adobe PDF documents—into any XML schema (XSD) or DTD for improved searching and indexing across the enterprise.

According to the announcement, xDoc Converter is the first dedicated platform specifically designed to help businesses transform pre-existing, unstructured HTML and Microsoft Word documents into "meaningful" XML, such as DocBook XML, LegalXML, NewsML, HR-XML, SCORM, and other customer-specific schemas. The resulting SML can be used for content management, multichannel publishing, and syndication via Web services. The xDoc Converter software application is available for immediate download.

Source: CambridgeDocs, Boston, 617/283-1618;

H.W. Wilson Rolls Out New Database

H.W. Wilson Co. announced the debut of Index to Legal Periodicals & Books Full Text, a new WilsonWeb resource based on the reference work Index to Legal Periodicals & Books. Index to Legal Periodicals & Books Full Text delivers articles from some 180 select sources (in full text and Adobe PDF page images) as well as detailed indexing of 840 periodicals and 1,400 monographs per year. The database features more than 15,000 full-text records to start (articles date to 1994), with new entries added in daily updates. Index records date to 1981.

Index to Legal Periodicals & Books Full Text offers international coverage of legal journals; law reviews; yearbooks; and bar association, university, and government publications—including sources from the U.S., Great Britain, Ireland, Canada,Australia, and New Zealand. Searching by keyword, subject heading, personal name, date, title words, type of article, or any combination retrieves scholarly articles, symposia, jurisdictional surveys, court decisions, legislation, book reviews, and more.

Source: H.W. Wilson Co., New York, 718/588-8400;

EBSCO Publishing Releases History Reference Center

EBSCO Publishing announced the launch of the History Reference Center, a database that includes the full text for more than 270,000 entries from many historical sources.

History Reference Center features more than 300 reference books and encyclopedias, 58,000 historical documents, 43,000 biographies, and more than 100,000 images and historical maps. It also offers the cover-to-cover full text of 50 leading history periodicals such as America's Civil War,American Heritage, andAmerican Historical Review (dating to 1975), along with selected articles from nearly 500 magazines and journals. Reference books are from well-known academic publisherslike Oxford University Press, Millbrook Press, Lerner Publishing, Salem Press, and many others.

Additionally, History Reference Center provides world history and U.S. history timelines that can be used to search for information from specific eras. These searches will yield multiple results from subject-specific nonfiction books, general reference books, images, maps, newspapers, and historical commentaries from EBSCO's publications archive.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, Ipswich, MA, 800/653-2726;

Extenza Unveils e-Publishing Services

Extenza, a division of Royal Swets & Zeitlinger, has announced the operational launch of e-Publishing Services. This new resource provides scholarly and professional publishers with a cost-effective and comprehensive outsourced solution for their e-journals.

Extenza's e-Publishing Services offers a comprehensive end-to-end conversion and hosting resource system. Services include the conversion of electronic print files into Internet-deliverable content, the ability to host titles on a global network of servers, authentication and access control to publications, Adobe PDF and HTML delivery, linking, and Web-based search capabilities across abstracts and titles.

Source: Extenza, Abingdon, U.K., 011-44-1235-857710;


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