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Weekly News Digest

August 26, 2010 — 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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The British Library to Offer Free Access to Bibliographic Records

The British Library is to make its extensive collections of bibliographic records available for free to researchers and other libraries: www.bl.uk/bibliographic/datafree.html. The U.K. national library has around 14 million catalogue records comprising a wealth of bibliographic data. The initiative will help expose this vast dataset to users worldwide, allowing researchers and other libraries to access and retrieve bibliographic records for publications dating back centuries and relating to every conceivable subject area.

The new free service will operate in parallel to the British Library’s priced bulk MARC data supply activity, which is used extensively by large commercial customers. For libraries, free access to these records will help reduce the effort involved in cataloguing their holdings. For the wider research community, they are a valuable source of data to help advance knowledge.

In some instances researchers may use the Library’s records for purposes very different from those for which they were originally created. The Library recently provided the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) with some eight million bibliographic records—allowing the IPO to conduct research into publishing trends dating as far back as 1650, and to plot these patterns against the course of changes in IP legislation.

As the national library of the U.K., the British Library seeks to provide world class information services to the academic, business, research, and scientific communities and offer access to a large and comprehensive research collection. The library’s collections include 150 million items from every era of written human history beginning with Chinese oracle bones dating from 300 BC, right up to the latest ejournals.

Source: British Library



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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