Tag Archives: Gale Virtual Reference Library

Gale’s Encyclopedia.com wins CODiE Award for Best Online General Reference Service

Farmington Hills, MI, June 5, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced that Encyclopedia.com (http://www.encyclopedia.com) was named the 2009 CODiE Award winner for Best Online General Reference Service. The Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) 24th Annual CODiE Awards, the only peer-reviewed honor in the industry, celebrate achievement and vision in software, education technology and digital content.

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Widgets Increase Use of eReference Collections

From the Gale/Cengage RE:sources blog, May 2009

Widgets pack a wallop

Results from K-12 school, academic and public libraries confirm that usage soars when you add the ability to search all or part of your Gale Virtual Reference Library collection with a widget. Comparing the number of user sessions before and after the addition of a widget on the pages of a high school in Minnesota, a college in Texas and a public library in Ohio, Mark Springer, a data analyst from Gale, documented gains of 178%, 167% and 140% respectively. Read more results like these in the RE:sources blog next week.

Results of widgets in three libraries

Increase eBook Product Usage, Ideas from GVRL Clients

Gale/Cengage has collected a growing list of 18 ways to increase usage of your ebook resources.  They are listed below.  Or, visit the site for the full story.

How to Increase Product Usage
Here are a few “best practices” as defined by your colleagues. Many of our customers have already discovered and implemented these ideas for increasing usage of electronic resources at their institution.

  • Create a website that has a link to your electronic resources on the Home page.
    Use our JavaScript to integrate a Gale “PowerSearch” box on your Home page.
  • Keep links to databases, eBooks, journals, and magazines no more than 1 “click” away from the Home page.
  • Register for AccessMyLibrary at http://access.gale.com/mylibrary/others/index.html.
  • Create pathfinders for individual databases and have them accessible next to computers.
  • Organize databases by subject and offer remote access.
  • Place links to interesting content directly on your Home page. Gale InfoMarks (or durable URLs) navigate users directly to interesting content or current articles—bypassing the need to find a database or conduct a search.
  • Use journal cover graphics on your Home page to take the user into a periodical database.
  • Load MaRC records with URL’s to databases, eBooks, journals, and magazines
  • Distribute product information material (user guides, search tips, etc) directly to your users.
  • Use electronic databases to support curriculum through class assignments
  • Integrate appropriate content into lesson plans.
  • Market the library to teachers and work with them to create assignments using the product content.
  • Offer library instruction and distribute product information and URL’s for parents or PTA
  • Make library instruction mandatory for incoming students.
  • Do not allow open web resources in bibliographies or works cited pages for assignments.
  • Deploy a federated search engine
  • Implement a journal locator application and linking through OpenURL

Have another suggestion? Would you like to learn more about what the Customer Resource Center can do for you?
Please call 1-800-877-4253 and ask to speak with your Client Relations Specialist today!

Infobase to release eBook platform this Fall

Attention public, school, and community college libraries.

Infobase, publisher for Chelsea House, Facts on File, Ferguson, and Bloom’s Literary Criticism will release it’s own eBook platform this Fall.  However, titles will still be available from previously established interfaces.

Current titles and backlist titles will be available at launch (1800+) and forthcoming titles will also come in e version.

Looks like the business model is similar to GVRL – unlimited simultaneous access and an archival PDF copy of each title purchased.  Which, leads me to believe this will NOT be a subscription product.  No word yet on pricing.

I’m hoping to get a sneak peek at the interface in the next couple of weeks, so details on the interface bells and whistles to follow.

DRM – What is it and why should libraries care?

What is DRM?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, coding added to digital content to control access.  DRM prevents copying, editing, and sharing of digital files.   You may have come across DRM in your personal use of digital music or digital video recorders.  More importantly, if your library offers or plans to offer ebooks, audiobooks, DVDs, and other media, usage of this content will be controlled by DRM.

Why is DRM used?

To protect copyright. Media and publishing companies want to protect their content from piracy, illegal copying or editing, and sharing, ie. to control access.

DRM is controversial.

Many people feel that DRM prohibits the fair use of media by the majority of the general public.  For example, some DRM programs prevent the creation of backup copies of music and DVDs, printing of ebooks, recording of TV shows or movies for home viewing, and the selection of some hand held devices, since Sony and Apple use different DRM software.  Additionally, DRM is now supported by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a consumer advocacy group for the networked world says “the DMCA has become a serious threat that jeopardizes fair use, impedes competition and innovation, chills free expression and scientific research, and interferes with computer intrusion laws.”

Why should I care about DRM?

DRM is particularly relevant to libraries since many are providing digital media in the form of ebooks, audiobooks, digital music and videos, and software and games.  Chances are the media you are purchasing to deliver digitally is controlled with DRM software.  For libraries, the DRM software prevents copying and editing of digital content, controls printing of ebooks, and magically makes the digital content “disappear” after a due date, even if patrons have downloaded a copy to their personal computer, external storage device, or a hand held device.

If you purchase ebooks or audiobooks from aggregators and distributors such as:  EBL, ebrary, Follett Digital Resources, Gale Virtual Reference Library, NetLibrary, and OverDrive, you will have digital content with DRM, so it’s important to understand DRM and how it is used by each of the vendors.
More information on DRM can be found here:

American Library Association

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

How Stuff Works

Microsoft

Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Gale and Greenwood eBook Partnership Expands

Gale and Greenwood eBook Partnership Expands
Current Greenwood Titles Now on Gale Virtual Reference Library

Farmington Hills, Mich., September 12, 2008 – Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, and Greenwood Publishing Group have enhanced their partnership to include more high-demand Greenwood titles, including more than 130 titles released in 2008 as eBooks on Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).  Previously, only titles published prior to 2005 were available on GVRL.
“This is a significant benefit to our GVRL customers as it greatly enhances our K-12 eBook collection,” said Erin Sullivan, product manager at Gale. “Greenwood has responded to the requests of their customers to have a larger number of current titles available on GVRL and allow users to cross-reference the most recent titles from Greenwood, Gale and others through GVRL, to provide the most current information available.”
“Customers need to have access to our titles in the platform and format that works best for them,” said Ron Maas, VP Business Development and Sales at Greenwood.  “We’ve been pleased with the response to our initial collection on GVRL, and look forward to expanding our offerings.”
GVRL allows librarians to adapt their reference collection to meet the changing needs of their patrons—offering researchers simultaneous, 24/7 remote access to titles with no special reader or hardware required.
Some of the Greenwood titles now available on GVRL include:
• African American Icons of Sport: Triumph, Courage and Excellence
• Barack Obama: A Biography
• Encyclopedia of Cybercrime
• Global Warming 101
• Going to School in the Middle East and North Africa
• How Your Government Really Works: A Topical Encyclopedia of the Federal Government
• Icons of Crime Fighting: Relentless Pursuers of Justice
• LeBron James: A Biography
• Race Relations in the United States, 1940-1960
• Sports Scandals
• Women Icons of Popular Music: The Rebels, Rockers and Renegades
• Young British Muslim Voices
• And many more
This new content expands the depth and breadth of the reference available through the GVRL, which in addition to several Gale imprints, includes over 2,000 titles from other leading publishers.  For more information, visit www.gale.com/gvrl.

About Greenwood Publishing GroupThe Greenwood Publishing Group is one of the world’s leading publishers of reference titles, academic and general interest books, texts, books for librarians and other professionals, and electronic resources. With over 18,000 titles in print, GPG publishes some 1,000 books each year, many of which are recognized with annual awards from Choice, Library Journal, the American Library Association, and other scholarly and professional organizations.  For more information contact Publicity Director, Laura Mullen, laura.mullen@greenwood.com

About Cengage Learning and Gale
Cengage Learning delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, libraries, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world’s information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs – from homework help to health questions to business profiles – in a variety of formats – books and eBooks, databases and microfilm.  For more information visit: www.cengage.com or www.gale.com.

Media Contact:
Lindsay Brown
Director, Corporate Communications
Cengage Learning
203-965-8634
lindsay.brown@cengage.com

eBooks – Wouldn’t One Platform Be Nice?

If you’ve ever heard me give a presentation about eBooks, then you’ve probably heard my soap box rant about the plethora of eBook platforms.  I can’t stand it.  I look forward to the day when all of my e-content – reference, monographs, textbooks, whatever – will be on one consistent platform, fully searchable by keyword and every other possible facet.  With ALA Annual coming up in June, I am asking all of you who feel the same to please remind the publishers that we want one platform for our electronic content.  I know I’m not alone here.  I’ve just heard some rumors from a publisher that librarians in Japan asked for the exact same thing – one central platform!

Here’s an excerpt from my Nov. 1, 2008 article in Reference Books Bulletin about eBook platforms:

Make access a priority. The best way to drive business to e-reference is through the online catalog. Make sure all MARC records are in the catalog with persistent links to the e-books. Strive to use as few interfaces as possible. Our comparison chart lists 6 vendors, each with a unique interface and special features; how can we make things simpler? Purchase titles to own, and get the licensing agreement to provide a copy of the e-book in either the HTML, XML, or PDF version.   With this data, libraries can mount all e-book content on 1 platform, like Ebrary, or an open-source product, like XTF. Or purchase from vendors that support multiple publishers in one platform—Gale Virtual Reference Library is a good example. Another good option for access is through Paratext’s Reference Universe, which indexes the table of contents, entries, and thousands of print and electronic titles. It’s a deeper search than the catalog, uses one interface, and has persistent links to the article level of e-books and to the catalog record of print titles. When shopping around, talk to publishers about access, and remind them that fewer interfaces make for simple searching by users and librarians.

Interview with Gale/Cengage – Updating eBooks

May 6, 2008

I had a nice conversation with Frank Menchaca, Executive VP and Publisher of Gale/Cengage Learning.  We discussed the importance of updating eBooks and what plans Gale has in place to do this, including Smart Reference and GVRL 2.0 – both forthcoming.

I recommend you download the file first, then listen.

May 2008 – Frank Menchaca, Executive VP/Publisher, Gale/Cengage Learning

Gale’s National Library Week Celebration – Free Access

Cool idea! Thanks Gale/Cengage. I hope this isn’t an April Fool’s joke ;)

To celebrate libraries and their resources, Gale is offering you free access to Books & Authors, our new and innovative online readers’ advisory resource for the entire month of April. Its browesable menus and advanced visual search technology allow readers to discover authors and literature to match their interests. And libraries can customize the interface to promote book club meetings, special events and other happenings at their library. What a great way to build your reading community! It’s free. Try it now and every day in April.

Singing Books & Authors’ praises To celebrate the launch of this momentous new product, we invite you and your patrons to compose a song about your favorite book or author, record a video of its performance and submit it for a chance to win $5,000 — $2,500 for you and $2,500 for your favorite library. Post the contest on your community board to encourage even more entries and have a better chance at winning a share of the prize money! Visit http://www.uptilt.com/c.html?rtr=on&s=4rs,ylw1,2e2o,4jcv,228r,eyl9,9sle for complete rules beginning April 13, 2008.

Enjoy even more access during National Library Week That’s right. During National Library Week – April 13-19 – your library will have free access to all these terrific resources:
Academic OneFile
Biography Resource Center
British Library Newspapers
Gale Directory Library
Gale Virtual Reference Library
General OneFile
Health & Wellness Resource Center
History Resource Center: U.S.
History resource Center: World
Literature Criticism Online
LitFinder
Literature Resource Center
Nursing Resource Center
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Critical Thinking
Popular Magazines
PowerSearch
Science Resource Center
Small Business Resource Center
Sources in U.S. History Online: The American Revolution
Sources in U.S. History Online: The Civil War
Sources in U.S. History Online: Slavery in America Enjoy National Library Week!

XReferplus – Credo Reference

Xreferplus – (Credo Reference)
First published November 1, 2006 (Booklist).

Xreferplus is an online reference service with more than 2 million entries from more than 207 reference titles. With a focus on ready-reference content, Xreferplus includes subject-specific dictionaries, biographical data, statistics, quotations, and audio and image files from more than 50 publishers. There are two subscription options, Xreferplus 100 and Xreferplus Unlimited. The former allows libraries to select 100 titles from the collection and drop or add titles as needed. The latter is the entire collection, which, beginning in 2007, will grow by 300 titles per year. Available as optional add-ons to either collection are specialist reference titles such as Blackwell Psychology Handbooks. Xreferplus can also be accessed through the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
What makes Xreferplus unique is the cross-referencing—or Xreferences—across titles, disciplines, and publishers. Added to that are the data-visualization search capabilities of the Xrefer Concept Map (which is like brainstorming on steroids), 180,000 pronunciation audio files, thousands of images, dynamic table functionality, a chronology builder, and an interactive world atlas for an “Xtreme” ready-reference experience.
Xrefer’s newest feature, the Chronology Builder, is currently available in one title (The Marcquarie Encyclopedia of Australian Events), but other titles will be on board in three to six months. This feature uses the major subjects of the title to highlight noteworthy events in chronological order. Users may add or remove columns and compare the chronology of various subjects, for example, correlating population growth to recessions and booms. The dynamic table functionality is currently available in three titles (Census, World Factbook, and UN Stats). Again, users may use this tool to create, customize, and sort data within each title. The library administration system allows customization with library logos and links, provides usage statistics, and offers promotional and educational materials. Xreferplus is available as a subscription database with a cost of $2,425 for the 100 package and $3,638 for the unlimited package. Specialist Reference titles are priced separately and may be added to either package. – Sue Polanka