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NewsLink — Issue 62/December 2004
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 or send a blank e-mail to

Sponsor - Computers in Libraries 2005

CIL celebrates its 20th Anniversary at the Hilton Washington in Washington, D.C., March 16-18, 2005. Join other librarians and information professionals as you hear from experts, practitioners, and strategists from the information industry. 

Computers in Libraries Preliminary Program Now Available

Go to and check out what's in store for attendees in 2005.




Welcome to the December 2004 issue of NewsLink, Information Today, Inc.'s FREE e-mail newsletter for library and information professionals. 

As this newsletter reaches you, Day Two of the Online Information meeting in London is drawing to a close. >From all reports, things seem to be going very well, with good attendance in the exhibit hall, and a comprehensive conference program. To our readers in London, be sure to pay a visit to the Information Today, Inc. stand. For those of you not in attendance, be sure to check out our "Live from London II"  blog at The blog, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services, is a great way to get a peek at what’s happening in London.

Information Today had its own announcement to make at Online Information this week. We are debuting a digital archive of our periodicals accessible through our Web site. InfoCentral, powered by ProQuest, gives those looking for electronic access to our articles the ability to do that directly through our site.  Access is available on a pay-per-view basis. For more information on the Digital Archive read our press release Or better yet, give it a try at

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 let us know at 

Best Wishes, 
Tom Hogan, Jr.


Given recent developments and all the discussion of Open Access lately, does your organization already support or plan to implement self-archiving of publications?  Yes? No? Please comment on whether you personally support OA initiatives.


Getting "Scirus" About Scholarly Content
By Paula J. Hane

With the current buzz about Google Scholar (see the recent NewsBreak at, it’s good to remember some other options for high-quality Web research and, in particular, the value of searching in vertical or topical search engines. I talked recently with Ammy Vogtlander, general manager of Scirus, about recent developments with the free science-specific search engine and how it differs from general Web search engines. 

Launched in April 2001 by Elsevier, Scirus ( claims to be the most comprehensive scientific, technical, and medical (STM)-specific search engine available on the Internet. Scirus covers more than 167 million Web pages and says it can pinpoint STM information that other search engines cannot reach. Scirus also covers more than 18 million full-text articles and abstracts from sources such as MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, BioMed Central, pre-print servers, as well as patents. The proprietary content always contains a free layer of information, such as a journal abstract, which is accessible by users.

Just this week, Scirus announced that it has partnered with the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to index AIP’s full-text articles. Scirus had previously indexed just the AIP abstracts. AIP content found on Scirus will direct users to, the AIP’s new online hosting service—the online home to more than 140 journals from AIP and other science and engineering societies. Institutional and individual subscribers will automatically have access to the full-text articles of their subscribed journals via links from Scirus.

While Google is definitely pulling in publishers for its Google Scholar initiative, Vogtlander said it is not a real competitor to Scirus. "Google is a huge brand for good reason—it’s good for general purposes, but it’s still frustrating for scholarly research." She said that there are several key factors that distinguish Scirus from general search engines and even from Google Scholar: unique content, superior indexing and classification technology, and advanced search capabilities.

As for content, Vogtlander said that Google Scholar focuses on access to published content in journals, while Scirus excels at providing access to both published and unpublished resources, including: 

  • University pages (domains ending with .edu,, and educational sites within other countries)
  • Scientific organizations (.org) and conference pages
  • Company pages with scientific R&D information or information relevant to researchers (.com)
  • Government pages dealing with science, including health and sciences like law (.gov)
  • Scientist and author home pages
In addition to Web pages, Scirus indexes a number of journal sources, pre-print servers (clearly labeled as pre-prints to distinguish from peer-reviewed articles), patent sources, repositories, and databases. It includes diverse resources like lab results, technical reports, and courseware. Vogtlander said, "Scirus makes it clear to users where the content comes from and whether it’s validated."

As to its indexing technology, Scirus maintains a customized linguistic knowledgebase for each subject area it covers and uses a classification process to improve retrieval. Elsevier developed Scirus with Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) and continues to refine the technology used for its specialty engine. It also works closely with its information partners, like scholarly institutes and organizations, on doing the best job in exposing the content by crawling and extracting metadata.

Finally, Vogtlander pointed out the advanced search capabilities of Scirus. Advanced search options include:

  • Select from a range of 20 searchable subject areas spanning health, life, physical, and social sciences.
  • Locate data within a specified date range.
  • Search by information type, such as scientific conferences, abstracts, and patents.
  • Search within specific information sources, such as journals on BioMed Central or a Web source such as NASA.
  • Search by journal title, article title, or author name.
At this point, Google Scholar does not offer advanced search options—just a basic search box. But, as Vogtlander acknowledged, it is still a beta product and will undoubtedly improve and add content from additional publishers and information producers. And there’s that enormous brand recognition for Google among the general public. This is compounded by the lack of knowledge, even among educators and researchers, of specialized sources like Scirus and the rich databases and resources freely available through libraries. 

The real message, perhaps, should be to understand the research tools and what each does best (i.e., don’t use a hammer when a wrench is needed). Scirus, Google, and professional online services all have specific search strengths to offer. Librarian David Dillard of Temple University pointed out this benefit: "At the very least Google Scholar will provide a place to explore literature topically and get a sense of what is written before approaching databases with more involved search strategies and also provide another court of appeal to find or add to results to searches tried elsewhere in the database world."

But, for Web searchers in the know, Scirus can be a gold mine for serious science research. 

Paula J. Hane is Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks. Her e-mail address is


For a complete listing of previous NewsBreaks visit the Information Today, Inc. Web site at

NewsBreaks for Monday, November 29, 2004

Thomson Announces New Pharma Research Tool
By Paula J. Hane

The Thomson Corp. is using the Online Information exhibition in London for the official launch of its new integrated research tool for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The full commercial launch of the much-anticipated Thomson Pharma product isn’t until January 2005, but visitors to the Thomson booth will be able to see the live product demonstrated. The company also plans customer lunches, presentations, seminars, and a gala party to introduce its new information solution, which provides a single interface and gateway to a portfolio of patent, scientific, and financial information products and services from across the range of Thomson-owned businesses. 

NewsBreaks Weekly News Digest

PubSub Launches New Features for Blog Tracking Service
PubSub Concepts, Inc. announced that its free online “matching engine” is now tracking more than 6.5 million Weblogs, which the company said makes it “the Internet’s most comprehensive blog-monitoring service.” The New York-based company, which is celebrating its second anniversary, also debuted a new, easy-to-use Web interface that offers new features for users.

Kompass Adds Download Feature and New Portal Access
Business information provider Kompass has launched a new download feature for its search engine and a new portal product. Subscribers to the Kompass online service can now refine searches using more than 28 criteria, including location, size, industry type, then export data from the Kompass database of 1.85 million industrial and commercial businesses worldwide to their desktops instantly. Records can be exported as CSV or TXT documents. The site still offers free searching for basic information.

Project MUSE Announces New Titles and Pricing
Project MUSE, an online collection of scholarly journals in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, has announced two new journal collections (Basic Research and Basic Undergraduate) and subscription prices for 2005. The new journal collections join the three existing options: Full Collection, Arts & Humanities, and Social Sciences. The new journal collections are subsets of the Full Collection. And, following an extensive pricing study, MUSE is introducing a new pricing model for U.S. academic institutions. The Project has also increased its coverage to more than 270 scholarly journals. 


For full-text coverage of the following articles please use the hotlinks provided. 

Kurt Molholm's Lessons Learned 
By Barbara Quint

Kurt Molholm, recently retired administrator of the Defense Technical Information Center, talks about technology's role in the federal government. During his 44 years of public service in the federal government, he was also very active in organizations serving the information profession. Read on to get his take on various issues regarding technology.

ONLINE Magazine
Online Social Networking for Business: An Interview with Konstantin Guericke, Marketing VP, LinkedIn
By Debbie Bardon

Online social networking is a hot topic in Internet circles. These online communities claim to create networks of friends and business colleagues based on referrals from other friends and colleagues. Think of it as accessing not only your Rolodex but also those of your neighbors. Most rely on recommendations—you have to be invited into the community. A newer wrinkle is bringing the technology in-house to facilitate knowledge sharing. Social networking companies include Friendster, Tribe, Spoke, ZeroDegrees, Ryze, Orkut, and LinkedIn. But what do online researchers, information professionals, and librarians stand to gain from these virtual communities? ONLINE asked Debbie Bardon, a noted telephone researcher based in Oakland, Calif., to investigate. 

Now That It's All Digital, Where Do I Put It? Exploring Data Storage Technologies
By Marshall Breeding

The thing about cutting-edge technology is that it dulls so quickly. The hardware, software, and technology concepts that today seem blazingly fast, superabundant in capacity, or transformative in their effects will in just a few short years be considered mediocre or passé. Many cutting-edge technologies fizzle out and slip into obscurity once the hype dies. Yet, it's important to follow the latest in technology and to ride as close to the leading edge as we dare—or at least as close as we can afford. The area of technology that I struggle with the most is data storage. Not all storage needs are large-scale. There are times when the need centers on small and portable. Whether you want to store a megabyte, a gigabyte, or a terabyte, there are a lot of great technologies available today.

Looking for Good Art; Part 3: Glorious National Collections
By David Mattison

In this third installment of his series on Web art resources, David Mattison takes a look at free digital databases that document the art history of Western civilization from medieval times through the 19th century. With an unimaginable wealth of art digitally accessible and preserved for us and future generations by art history institutions outside the U.S., the international Web of the Western art world is truly one of the most remarkable achievements of our digital age.

Software for Hand-Held Computing
By Charles G. Doe

You've learned the basic functions of your hand-held computer (or PDA—Personal Digital Assistant)—and now you're wondering what more you can do with it, or how you can improve its function. Knowing which software to pick—or even where to find it—can be a more difficult proposition here than it is with personal computers. As with PCs, there are two basic platforms to work with—Palm OS and Pocket PC (basically, the Windows version). Charles Doe helps you narrow down the options and make an educated purchasing decision.

Going Online to Save Data Safely
By Reid Goldsborough

I'm a compulsive saver. I save backup copies of all important computer documents I'm working on, and then I back up my backups. Fortunately, I've never been victim to the kinds of horrendous natural disasters that have been all over the news in recent months. Hurricanes can destroy not only your computer, but also any backup hard disks, optical discs, tapes, Zip disks, Jazz disks, or floppies that you've dutifully made. This applies equally to tornadoes, fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, avalanches, tidal waves, and meteor strikes. Despite the improbabilities, catastrophes do happen. All this underscores the importance of off-site storage. These days, as a result of the Internet, saving important data off-site is easier than ever, with various options available.

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. 


Tune in to the London ITI Blog
Join the ITI editors and be a part of the excitement of the Online Information 2004 conference and expo in London as they blog the news and the views, with pictures of outstanding moments. Catch up on the past 2 days of entries and check back throughout the week as Marydee Ojala, Nancy Garman, Dick Kaser, Paula Hane, and Michelle Manafy give you the latest information from the conference. Sponsored by EBSCO Information Services, you can find the blog at

Keep an Eye Open for the BSEC 2005 Program
If you're a top-level executive responsible for buying and selling electronic content, then you'll want to check out the program for the sixth annual Buying & Selling eContent (BSEC) conference available soon. Taking place at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz., from April 10 to 12, BSEC is the conference with an established reputation as a place where you can build valuable relationships and explore potential partners and deals. The preliminary program will be posted at in the next few weeks, but if you would like to receive a printed copy of the program, request one from customer service by calling (800) 300-9868. 


December 2004 

November 30-December 2: ONLINE INFORMATION 2004, London, U.K.


November 30-December 2: ARIZONA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, Tuscon, AZ

For the complete Conference Calendar visit



The Accidental Library Manager
By Rachel Singer Gordon 

Most librarians enter the field intending to focus on a particular specialty, but eventually need to take on certain supervisory or managerial responsibilities in order to move forward. In The Accidental Library Manager, author Rachel Singer Gordon provides support and background for new managers, aspiring managers, and those who find themselves in unexpected management roles. Gordon fills in the gaps left by brief and overly theoretical library school coursework, showing library managers how to be more effective in their positions and how to think about their work in terms of the goals of their larger institutions. This readable and reassuring guide is a must for any librarian who wishes to succeed in a management position. Although officially a Janurary title, The Accidental Library Manager is available for purchase now. 

January 2005/368 pp/softbound
ISBN: 1-57387-210-5
Regular Price: $29.50

To purchase this title, please go to

If you like NewsLink, check out Information Today, Inc.'s other weekly eNewsletters: 

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Sponsor - Computers In Libraries 2005

CIL celebrates its 20th Anniversary at the Hilton Washington in Washington, D.C., March 16-18, 2005. Join other librarians and information professionals as you hear from experts, practitioners, and strategists from the information industry. 

Computers in Libraries Preliminary Program Now Available

Go to and check out what's in store for attendees in 2005.

©2004 Information Today, Inc. all rights reserved.

This newsletter is published by Information Today, Inc.
Editor in Chief: Tom Hogan, Jr.
Managing Editor: April Flager
143 Old Marlton Pike
Medford, NJ 08055
Phone: (609) 654-6266 Fax: (609) 654-4309
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