Gale/Cengage recently acquired HighBeam Research Inc. If you are unfamiliar with HighBeam, they are an online reference source with access to over 3500 resources from magazine/newspaper articles to journal articles to popular reference sources. HighBeam provides it’s services to companies, small groups, and individuals rather than libraries.
This is a very interesting acquisition to me. I anticipate many publishers will begin (or pump up) services direct to the end user or smaller organizations. Makes sense since most research is done on the open web rather than via a library database trapped in the invisible web.
From the press release: “The acquisition of HighBeam is a natural extension of our user-focused strategy. Gale has had a presence on the open Web for many years now, particularly with AccessMyLibrary, which brings users from search engines into a library environment to explore their vast content riches. Now, with the added expertise of HighBeam, Gale will have a greater opportunity to learn more about user behavior and research trends, and will use that information to further develop and enhance the user experience for all our products” said Sommers.