Archive | November, 2004

CAS Announces Record Database Achievements

CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, announced that it has set new records for its databases this year.

The CA and CAplus databases grew to a total of more than 24 million document records as CAS scientists added a record-breaking 855,000 abstracts during 2004. And, the CAS Registry reached a total of nearly 25 million organic and inorganic substance records with the addition of 1.8 million records for the year, 9 percent more than the previous year and another record-breaking total.

In making the announcement, CAS Vice President, Editorial Operations, Dr. Matthew J. Toussant said: "Intellectual analysis and the thorough indexing of our scientists far surpass robotic means of identifying relevant research publications. This is especially critical in finding the new science disclosed in patents. Our scientists look at descriptive information and translate it into substance records that can be searched by structure in our STN and SciFinder services. None of the free Web services can provide this unique value-added link to the literature and patents."

Paula J. Hane, ITI News Bureau Chief

Xtra! Xtra! Read More about It!

The EContent team has entered the mix and will be covering announcements from the show in our ECXtra enewsletter. A special "British Invasion!" section of the newsletter will be devoted to Online Information 2004 conference and expo announcements for the duration of the show. Click here for more information:

Kinley Levack
Assistant Editor, EContent & Intranets

A UK Focus in Today’s Managing Enterprise Content Track

Conference planners heavily promoted the special track on Management Enterprise Content as a “conference within a conference.” Unfortunately, today’s sessions on Compliance and Records Management, got off to a slow start. The keynote by Graham Smith, Deputy Information Commissioner of the UK Information Commission was very UK-centric. While probably quite relevant for our host Brits, most of today’s topics in this track didn’t mean much to the rest of us — though of course it was tough, too, to compete with the overwhelming interest in search in the Information Discovery track.

Watch for tomorrow’s sessions in this track, on Information Architecture, to be very popular, with a keynote by Lou Rosenfeld and a good line-up of other speakers.

Nancy Garman

Information Today, Inc.

EEVL Manager Recommends Engineering Hot Spots

I ran into Roddy MacLeod, manager of EEVL, the Internet guide to engineering, mathematics and computing. He was psyching up to give a presentation in one of the exhibit hall theatres about information services for engineers. And we got to chatting. He gave me a preview of his talk.

These are his picks for best products for engineers and engineering students.

Top of his list:

Illumina, the new search interface from CSA that is being demoed here, but will not be released until early next year. "It does a lot of sifting for the searcher."

Elsevier’s Scopus (see related blog entry below). "A little more complex for engineers."

And, "I do like the look," he said, "of Morgan and Claypool’s Synthesis."

He himself is working on building what he calls a "cross-searching" service for engineers that will combine in one place links to recruiting services, eprints in institutional archives, and industry news from trade pubs. But, he noted, he could use some funding to get the new service off the ground.

Dick Kaser
ITI VP, Content

It’s (Almost) All About Search

Keynotes and more keynotes. Following the plenary session, each of the three conference tracks began with its own keynote this morning (a clever scheduling and marketing ploy, says this conference organizer).

Most attendees opted to stay in the main auditorium to hear Steve Arnold on the outlook for search for 2005 in what was billed as the keynote for the Information Discovery track. Worth watching, according to Steve are FAST, Vivisimo, Mondosoft, Speed of Mind, Endeca, iPhrase, and of course, Google. Steve’s emphasis on enterprise search was especially appropriate given Jakob Nielsen’s earlier remark that “search on internal web sites is a disgrace.” There’s a whole track on enterprise search oon Thursday, so perhaps we’ll hear about some remedies for that sad state of affairs.

Nancy Garman

Information Today, Inc.

Hot Picks in the Exhibit Hall

VNU’s show organizer Kat Allen and 2 of her colleagues have posted their lists of recommended stands to visit in the exhibit hall.

Online Information Hot Picks 1, by Bobby Pickering

Online Information Hot Picks 2, by Katherine Allen

Online Information Hot Picks 3, by Mark Chillingworth

Paula J. Hane, ITI News Bureau Chief

CILIP Wants to Grow

Tim Buckley Owen, head of marketing and membership for CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library Professionals in the UK), did not mince words when I hooked up with him this morning at the CILIP stand.

“We have 23,000 members,” he said, “but that’s not enough.”

“Membership is stable, but,” he said, “there are 50,000 to 80,000 in the U.K. working in the profession, and not just in book-lined rooms. We want all the people who manage and exploit information.”

He sounded confident that some initiatives in subscription reform will do the trick in holding current members, while the organization recruits more broadly.

Dick Kaser

ITI, VP, Content

A Million Digital Copies Securely Served

"We are being so straight with copyright payments," said Dave Wilkie of the British Library, which has been offering secure electronic delivery of documents now for just over a year. "We do it legally–absolutely, hand to heart, legal."

"We have integrity," added Kate Hutchinson, "and we’ve just recently delivered our millionth secure electronic document."

Dick Kaser
ITI VP, Content

Speaking of Elsevier

My first stop on the trade show floor this morning was the Elsevier stand, because I was dying to see the new Scopus service that has created so much buzz in recent weeks. (See our story by Susan Fingerman on the official launch date.)

In fact I arrived so early that Amanda Hart, who was kind enough to give me a demo, had not even taken her coat off yet. Joining us for the demo was another early riser, Dr. Ahmed Hindawi, President, Publishing Corp. (Egypt).

Ms. Hart explained to us that the service came about as a result of Elsevier gathering a lot of input from potential users and with the help of cognitive psychologists to assure an intuitive interface. It looked easy enough to me.

But I was particularly impressed with what I would call the capability for meta-analysis of the search results. Instead of just looking at abstracts and linking to articles, you can actually use the service to analyze the work of a given author or search topic.

By the positive noises he was making, I would say both Dr. Hindawi and I were equally impressed.

Dick Kaser

ITI VP, Content

Deutsche Stunde

It’s not all English (British-style) at the London show. Part of the fun is walking the exhibition floor aisles and hearing Spanish, Italian, German, Danish and more. Then there are several International Forums–short conference sessions arranged by and for delegates from other European countries.

I attended the German session (Deutsche Stunde) this afternoon, and my head is spinning. Three speakers covered the terrain of Digital Rights Management, complex enough in itself. The fact that I don’t understand German only made it more challenging. What I learned? The topic and concerns are world-wide, and probably some of the answers cross borders, too.

The session started with 10 people in the audience, but grew to more than double that as the lunch hour passed, and as the celebration champagne served at the CAS/STN and Thomson Scientific booths just 15 minutes prior to the official beginning of this international forum finished its flow.

Susanne Bjorner
Searcher, "Both Sides Now" columnist (starting January 2005)