Tag Archives: InfoTrac

Big news in online reference

I’ve gotten a flurry of press releases in the past 2 weeks from a variety of reference publishers.  Some are offering mobile search, others are teaming up to distribute content, or they are offering new products.  Here’s a sampling of what’s going on (in no apparent order):

  • Oxford University Press launched Oxford Handbooks Online
  • SAGE Reference is making nearly 70 of their top Social Science encyclopedias available in Credo Reference
  • Alexander Street Press announced the streaming music and video collections are going mobile in 2010
  • EBSCO Publishing announced the “going mobile” version of EBSCO host
  • Facts on File (Infobase Publishing) launched a new curriculum video on demand subscription service
  • Rosen and Gale have teamed up to distribute one anothers online health resources – Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness and Gale’s Health & Wellness Resource Center
  • Gale’s Powersearch and InfoTrac now support the MLA 7 format

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