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Weekly News Digest

December 4, 2000 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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CIS Statistical Universe Incorporates PowerTables Feature

The LEXIS-NEXIS Group ( has introduced a new PowerTables feature in its CIS Statistical Universe Web product from Congressional Information Service, Inc. (CIS; According to the announcement, PowerTables makes finding pinpoint tabular statistical information as easy as opening a Web browser. With the help of expert academic librarians, a cross-discipline team of LEXIS-NEXIS and CIS employees started with a source list of more than 30,000 tables containing the most commonly sought statistics, developed a taxonomy, and created an index of the tables. Statistical Universe users just enter a word or two describing their subject into a simple search form to find all the relevant tables that contain statistics about that subject. Previously, searchers had to search through statistical abstracts, which then directed them to the appropriate tables.

The PowerTables search form allows the user to search by several criteria: geographical area; historical trends or future projections; date or categories, such as demographic information (age, sex, or ethnicity); geographic area down to the community level; frequency of information; and industry. Users can choose to download either an Adobe PDF file or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of the desired table.

"Our goal was to get the answer to the user by the third click, and Statistical Universe certainly does that," said Paul Kesaris, CIS vice president and editor in chief. "Until now, there just hasn't been easy access to this granular level of detail in statistical tables because of the time required to search statistic material. Today, the PowerTables feature can reduce research time from a day's work to 10 minutes or less."

CIS plans to continue adding 30,000 additional indexed tables annually to the base edition of Statistical Universe. An expanded research edition with 100,000 tables, including many more international statistical sources, will be released early next year.

Source: LEXIS-NEXIS Group

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