Tag Archives: HighBeam Research

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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More on Gale/Cengage and HighBeam

I just had a nice conversation with John Barnes, Executive VP Strategic Marketing and Business Development, at Gale/Cengage.  I asked John if Gale would be introducing new business models directed towards end users with their recent acquisition of HighBeam.  Below is a brief summary of our discussion.  Thanks John.

HighBeam’s clients are a combination of students and small businesses.

Gale/Cengage for several years has offered Goliath:  Business Knowledge on Demand, which consists of business information, targeted to small business clients.

With the acquisition of HighBeam, Gale now owns encyclopedia.com, which John says, “has untapped potential to connect users to the library.” Their mission, to place “high quality embedded information in front of end users.”

So, rather than a new business model for end users, Gale will continue to make information more discoverable to end-users through encyclopedia.com, Goliath, and their existing AccessMyLibrary product.  AccessMyLibrary allows a small slice of InfoTrac to be indexed by search engines.  When users “want to see more” they are prompted to enter information about their library, which in turn takes search engine traffic to libraries.

Discoverability.  It’s all about end users discovering our content, trapped in that invisible web.  I’m anxious to see how Gale can embed quality content into encyclopedia.com.  Wishful thinking, but maybe in time this could rival Wikipedia, with links to scholarly resources and digital and special library collections.

For more on discoverability, read John’s (and other reference publishers) comments in these articles in Booklist Online:

The Future of Electronic Reference Publishing:  A View from the Top, Part 1

The Future of Electronic Reference Publishing:  A View from the Top, Part2

HighBeam Research now part of Gale/Cengage

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.