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Database race to the Web; vendors continue to move information over to the Web; here's this month's crop of company announcements.

The pace in the race to the World Wide Web does not seem to be slowing. New products as well as established products continue to step up to the starting line with announcements of plans to go Webward or of actual current availability.

As it should be, the winners in this race are the users, who gain convenience and portability in their access options for the information on which they rely to run their businesses and their lives. Most of this month's announcements are from established, traditional companies, yet they have embraced this new technology and recognize the value to their customers of Internet access to information. On one thing they all agree: Making access to their information available through the new Web-browser technology is the way to go right now.

UMI: ProQuest Direct

UMI, a Bell & Howell company, has announced the availability of its ProQuest Direct online system on the World Wide Web. ProQuest Direct is a professional information resource that combines search capability and information delivery in a single, easy-to-use, desktop package. End users can begin finding answers to their questions within minutes after they begin using the product, according to UMI. They can have the desired information delivered immediately and directly to their desktop computers, printed locally, or faxed to another location.

ProQuest Direct was designed for a wide range of end users: corporate executives, business managers, librarians, professional researchers, teachers, and students. Answers to search queries are provided in progressively detailed formats, beginning with a citation, followed by an abstract, then full text in ASCII format, then page image, and then, finally, Text+Graphics. Text+Graphics is ProQuest's compound-document format that enables users to retrieve photographs, charts, graphs, diagrams, and other images.

ProQuest Direct provides direct access to all of UMI's electronic databases, which are constantly updated and expanded daily, and to UMI's information treasury of 17,000 periodicals, 7,000 newspapers, and 1.4 million dissertations. End users who seek information from documents with specialized content or low utilization can order documents directly from ProQuest Direct and have them faxed or sent by overnight service.

Content from DataTimes' base of regional, national, and international newspapers; newswires; trade publications; newsletters; broadcast transcripts; financial statements; and company profiles are also available. Acquired by UMI this summer, DataTimes is now a fully owned subsidiary [see Internet Insights on page 44 in this issue and page I of the September 1996 issue of Information Today].

ProQuest Direct/Web takes advantage of several trends now shaping the information industry. UMI has embraced the new industry standards and open systems to extend access to its content, and it has utilized the popular browser technology to permit convenient use in corporate, academic, and school environments.

Source: UMI, Ann Arbor, MI, 800/521-0600, 313/761-4700.

CAB International: All CAB Products

CAB International (CABI), the Center for Agriculture and BioSciences, and SilverPlatter Information, Inc. have signed an agreement to create Internet access to all 13 CABI databases covering subject areas in agriculture, health, disease, and related disciplines. Searchers use the same SPIRS interface that is used on locally stored information and can choose from Windows, DOS, or Macintosh retrieval platforms. For more comprehensive searching, users can simultaneously search CABI along with locally held databases.

SilverPlatter's Internet delivery is based on its ERL (electronic reference library) technology, a client/server approach that enables wide-area access to databases. ERL technology offers multiple options for both searching and operating platforms, providing database access from any location.

"By offering our products through a wider variety of media with more flexible payment options, we aim to provide the user with greater choice," said Christina Cunliffe, database publisher at CAB International. "It also provides the first integrated agricultural searching system, as the weekly CAB Access is now linked via the same medium to the archival CAB Abstracts databases."

CABCD is a professionally produced database covering worldwide issues in agriculture, forestry, and allied disciplines. Coverage is from 1973 to the present and is sourced from over 11,000 journals and an extensive range of international literature. The information is available as the collective CABCD database or via the CAB Spectrum range, which consists of subject-specific subsets of CABCD.

CAB Access is a weekly updated current-awareness service that acts as a complementary database to CABCD. CAB Health offers extensive coverage on subject areas relating to the detriments of human health, communicable diseases, and their control.

Source: SilverPlatter Information, Inc., Norwood, MA, 617/769-2599; Fax: 617/769-8763; http://www.silverplatter. com/.

NewsNet: Business Information Services

NewsNet, Inc., a Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania-based electronic news service specializing in business information, has announced that Web access is now available for its range of electronic online services. "Web-friendly" formats have been developed for corporate users of NewsNet's online global intelligence services, automatic clipping services, in-depth analysis and expert-opinion data.

NewsNet has offered intranet and LAN-based products for some time, according to Andrew Elston, NewsNet's president, who said, "The company is totally committed to having new technology available as customers are ready for it." In addition to new technology, customers can now enjoy the benefits of annual fixed-fee pricing for high-volume usage.

NewsNet provides business customers with in-depth, timely information from leading publications as well as hard-to-find business and industry sources. Subscribers may choose from three options to access this information: a Windows-based graphical interface called Baton, powerful keyboard access, or the new World Wide Web interface now available. NewsNet will design custom "front doors" for each corporate account at no additional charge. It also continues to redefine its customer support programs, which recently received acclaim in the book The Online Deskbook by Mary Ellen Bates, newly published by Pemberton Press.

Source: NewsNet, Inc., Bryn Mawr, PA, 610/527-8030; Fax: 610/527-0338; http://www.newsnet.com.

EBSCO Subscription Services: EBSCONET

EBSCO Subscription Services has recently announced the debut of its EBSCONET online subscription service on the World Wide Web. EBSCONET, which was originally released in the 1970s and has been available over the Internet since 1992, now has a new Web interface. In addition, it will soon have the ability to communicate in six languages: Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, English, and Italian.

Services that customers can access through the Web now include the ability to order subscriptions, claim issues, and search EBSCO's database of title listings (more than 256,000) and publisher information by title, publisher name, keywords, ISSN, or EBSCO title number. The next release, due before the end of the year, includes the ability to view check-in and publisher dispatch data for thousands of titles, search for and order missing issues from the EBSCO Missing Copy Bank of back issues of more than 2,000 titles, communicate with EBSCO customer service representatives and regional offices, and review a customer's entire subscription order by title, subscriber, department, title number, or departmental or cost center code.

EBSCONET on the Web will also provide electronic links to several integrated library system vendors, document delivery services, and EBSCO's reference databases with indexing, abstracts, and full-text articles. To use EBSCONET on the Web, customers need an account number and password, which they can obtain from any EBSCO regional office.

Source: EBSCO Subscription Services, Birmingham, AL, 205/991-1492; http://www.ebsco.com.

Michie: New Mexico Statutes

Michie, part of the LEXIS-NEXIS organization and a leading publisher of state legal codes, has announced that its entire New Mexico Statutes (unannotated) and all existing agency titles to its New Mexico Administrative Code have been made available free on its World Wide Web site (http://www.michie.com).

"This is the first time we've made one of our state codes available on the Internet," said Leigh Robinson, deputy director of code development at Michie. "We recognize the value of Internet access to our customers in New Mexico and elsewhere. This represents another important step in our effort to expand our presence on the World Wide Web."

In addition to using the New Mexico codes, visitors to Michie's Web site can peruse and order from the company's catalog of state codes and other statutory publications, authored titles, and electronic research systems. Samples of full text or of selected chapters of many Michie publications can be accessed, and visitors can communicate with authors or receive technical support for electronic products as well.

Source: Michie, Charlottesville, VA, 804/972-7600, 800/562- 1197; http://www.michie.com.

American Psychological Association: PsycINFO

The American Psychological Association has announced that it is continuing to expand its Web-based access to PsycINFO. Although various options have been available since last year, PsycINFO managers continue to work to meet the increasing demand for Web services and to take advantage of the opportunities the Web provides to enhance the quality and convenience of database access.

Current users with access to the Web have a number of databases that may now be available in a Web interface. DIMDI (Deutsches Institut fur Medizinische Dokumentation und Information), HealthGate Data Corporation, and The Library Corporation (NlightN) all offer Web access to PsycINFO. Most of these vendors provide Web searchability under per-use pricing models for those with valid user codes and/or passwords.

Several vendors that provide PsycINFO institutional leases have also developed World Wide Web search interfaces: The Library Corporation, OCLC, Ovid Technologies, and SilverPlatter Information. Many of the familiar online features are maintained in the Web interfaces provided by these vendors.

Additional Web access to PsycINFO is being developed by a number of vendors. Ovid Techologies will offer pay-as-you-go pricing via its Web Gateway later this year, and Aries Systems Corporation plans to debut its new Knowledge Web system by the end of the year. New Web-access options for institutional leases will also soon be available on EBSCO Publishing's EBSCOhost and Information Access Company's InfoTrac SearchBank.

Source: PsycINFO News, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 16(2), (Summer 1996):1-2, 5.

RELATED ARTICLE: Calendar

November

12-13: New York (Carlyle Hotel). The Business Information Conference (BIC) targets a senior audience from both information providers and users and will bring together executives from the business information providers and managers responsible for managing and delivering business information throughout their organizations. Keynote speakers, workshops, and debates will consider the issues surrounding intranets, knowledge management, pricing in electronic age, the global information market, and end-user systems, among others. BIC springs from the internationally renowned European Business Information Conference (EBIC), which has previously been held in Amsterdam, Brussels, Barcelona, Paris, Budapest, and Milan. Contact: Mike Grainger, TFPL Inc., 345 Park Avenue South, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10010-1707, 212/213-5990; Fax: 212/213-6887; e-mail: 74044.3166@ compuserve.com.

December

3-5: London, U.K. (Olympia 2). Online Information '96 conference and exhibition, a leading information industry event for electronically available media, will feature two tracks covering information acquisition and information provision. The themes include "Information as a Strategic Resource," "Consumer Online Services," "Digital Publishing," "Next-Generation Search Software," "Real-Time Data," "Cashing in on the Net," and "The Internet as an Information Source." This 20th Anniversary event is expected to be even bigger than in 1995, which attracted 347 exhibitors with 16,780 visitors, and 958 conference delegates (85 percent of whom were from outside the U.K.) Contact: Learned Information Europe Ltd, Woodside, Hinksey Hill, Oxford, OX1 5BE, U.K., +44-0-1865-730275; Fax: +44-0-1865-736354; e-mail: marketing@learned.co.uk; http://www/learned.co.uk/online.

1997

January

26-28: Fort Lauderdale (Marriott Marina). The Special Libraries Association's 1997 Winter Education Conference, titled "Riding the Technology Tidal Wave," includes a variety of half-way workshops, full-day courses, technology-related exhibits, and demonstrations of the latest products and services designed to enhance the success of special libraries and information centers. Information professionals can take the opportunity to learn the latest technology trends from experts in the library and information profession. Contact: SLA's Professional Development Department, 202/234-4700, ext. 633; e-mail: gianna@sla.org.

February

14-20: Washington, DC (Washington Convention Center). The ALA Midwinter Meeting is expected to attract some 8,000 librarians and leaders in the library and information industry. Winners of the "Academy Awards" of children's literature--the Newberry and Caldecott Medals--and other awards will be announced. Topics to be covered include intellectual freedom and legislative concerns. Exhibitors will showcase the latest in books, videos, computers, and other materials for libraries and their patrons. Contact: ALA Public Information Office, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611, 312/944-6780, 800/545-2433.

March

9-13: Arlington, Virginia (Hyatt Regency Crystal City). Computers in Libraries '97, North America's largest technology conference and exhibition for librarians and information managers, is held in cooperation with the Special Libraries Association. It features more than 100 speakers participating in three simultaneous tracks covering all aspects of library technology, an extensive exhibit hall, and pre- and post-conference workshops. Tracks focusing on the Internet and the World Wide Web provide practical examples of how this new technology is being integrated into library platforms. Case studies and creative applications of multimedia, CD-ROMs, information delivery, digital and virtual libraries, and library systems provide many ideas to employ in your own organization. The education and technology track looks at the use of technology in schools and learning environments. Contact: Information Today, Inc., 143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055, 609/654-6266; Fax: 609/654-4309; http://www/infotoday.com.

April

11-14: Nashville, TN (Nashville Convention Center). The Association of College and Research Libraries, the largest division of ALA with 11,000 members, is holding its eighth national convention. More than 120 conference sessions will address issues of librarianship for the 21st century. Contact: ACRL, 800/545-2433, ext. 2519; e-mail: ddavis@ala.org.
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