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FINDIT FEATURE RELEASED BY CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY'S WASHINGTON ALERT; 'NATURAL LANGUAGE' QUERIES MADE EASY BY SIMPLE COMMAND

FINDIT FEATURE RELEASED BY CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY'S WASHINGTON
 ALERT; 'NATURAL LANGUAGE' QUERIES MADE EASY BY SIMPLE COMMAND
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, even people with no experience searching online databases now can find the information they need about Congress, politics and public affairs by entering questions in Plain English, thanks to the new FINDIT feature in Congressional Quarterly's Washington Alert service.
 FINDIT is designed for busy lobbyists, reporters or researchers who need to find information simply and quickly, without translating their topic into the complex Boolean form required by most databases.
 FINDIT is the latest in a series of innovative enhancements released this year. Among such features are BillMatch, which uses one bill number to identify a list of bills containing similar language, and Focus, which identifies all documents containing topically related words.
 "It isn't always easy to speak the computer's language, so we made the computer listen to English," said Edward S. Hauck, CQ's director of electronic publishing.
 To use the FINDIT command, the Washington Alert user selects a database from among the 19 CQ offers -- including the full text of the respected CQ Weekly Report and BILLTRACK, which contains legislative digests and indexing from Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and CQ's legislative histories -- and type FINDIT.
 Then the user can enter a query such as "find articles on the political effects of the house check kiting scandal" or "the budget and appropriations for the seawolf submarine."
 In seconds, Washington Alert will retrieve all the documents pertinent to the user's request -- and those that best answer the query will be ranked right at the top. It is a simple matter to peruse the headlines or to see key words in context to confirm which documents satisfy the user's needs.
 "For years, online users have been asking for the ability to search in natural language," Hauck said. "Now they can do it on Washington Alert."
 Congressional Quarterly, a 45-year-old publishing company devoted to non-partisan coverage of Congress, is heralded as the authority on Congress and American politics. In Washington Alert, CQ blends state-of-the-art computer technology with editorial integrity and accuracy. To help achieve Washington Alert's leading-edge position in electronic publishing, CQ licenses computer search software from Personal Library Software, Inc., of Rockville, Md.
 Congressional Quarterly's Washington Alert is a congressional and regulatory tracking service which features pre-publication access to CQ's award-winning congressional and political coverage and the texts of pertinent legislative and regulatory tracking documents.
 -0- 8/31/92
 /NOTE: BillMatch is a trademark./
 /CONTACT: Yvonne Miller of Congressional Quarterly, 202-887-6253/ CO: Congressional Quarterly ST: District of Columbia IN: CPR PUB SU: PDT


DC -- DC016 -- 5050 08/31/92 14:53 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Aug 31, 1992
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