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InSite 2 from Gale Group to Replace Earlier InSite Products from IAC
by
Posted On March 15, 1999
The Gale Group (http://www.galegroup.com) announced in early March a new InSite 2 product that will replace the InSite and InSite Pro Web-based full-text collections previously published by the Information Access Company (IAC) subsidiary. InSite 2, a business intelligence subscription product, carries full-text content from over 2,500 publications. New content includes 20 newswires from Comtex, covering up-to-date world news, as well as new titles focusing primarily on Asia and Latin America. The new system provides not only greater control of the search process for professional searchers, but simplified, intuitive interfaces for end-user searchers. In an exciting new development, InSite 2 has added unlimited e-mail alerts of the arrival of new, relevant content as part of the basic package subscription.

The new InSite 2 service provides a common interface, merging the best features of the earlier IAC InSite and InSite Pro products. InSite 2 organizes content around a "Solutions Approach" interface focused on major business issues: companies, industries, and people. The improved interface integrates with Gale Group indexing and enhances the Margin Links. InSite 2 also hot links URLs appearing within articles.

Enhancements

A new alerting service, available under the same flat-fee subscription for the entire service, lets searchers save their searches as profiles and receive daily or weekly e-mail notification of new information on their topics. Users can perform archive searches as they develop profiles, specifying results for 30-day or 12-month periods, or for the full archive (5 years plus current). There are no limits on the numbers of alerts users can set up or the frequency with which they can edit or delete them. Of course, the flat-fee subscription also covers accessing the full-text articles cited by the notices.

Besides unlimited alerts, InSite 2 also offers alternative and enhanced display formats. Citations now include title annotations and word count display in the basic citation format. Alternative display formats include citations plus a summary or an excerpt, or citation plus search words in context (KWIC). After a Digest search, the system will automatically sort trade press articles by business topic (e.g., joint ventures, acquisitions, market share, etc.). Users can also choose to sort by Products & Services, Companies Mentioned, and Publication Name. Sets of companies, usually sorted by largest to smallest in revenue, now can also be sorted alphabetically by company name, by geographic location, or by SIC code.

The earlier versions of InSite offered a single "More Like This" Margin Link option. A searcher could click on an index term appearing in a retrieved document and automatically generate a search using that term. However, in many cases, this meant broadening search results. Now searchers can check off multiple Margin Links to get a search with results AND-ed using the different index terms. Margin Links can also supply direct access to company, industry, and people Digest searches.

Global configuration options let InSite 2 site administrators display a message to their user communities in the top right corner of every page. The new version also offers more flexibility in charge codes, letting site administrators require charge code assignment before the system allows any searching or even letting them turn off the charge code button entirely. Administrators who purchase a concurrent license (one supporting multiple simultaneous users) can customize a message for when concurrence limits are reached. This helps administrators closely monitor usage and identify when and how often the system has had to lock people out.

Gale Group has targeted InSite 2's tiered interface and multi-level functionality to support a wide range of searchers from novice end users to experienced information professionals. The Digest feature helps novices by grouping results in logical folders emphasizing current and relevant materials on a subject. With Digest searches, topics discussed often in the news may only return stories from the last few weeks, while topics discussed rarely may reach further back into the archive. Searchers can enter a company, industry, or name and receive a company profile, full-text industry articles, news and key events, newsletter reports, Investext analyst reports for publicly traded companies, and direct link to SEC EDGAR filings for public companies, as well as other Web-based information through Margin Links.

The new Quick Search feature defaults to a keyword search of article titles, article abstracts and lead paragraphs (first 50 words), and index terms for full-text articles. The Power Search option operates like the Advanced Search feature in the current IAC InSite product. Regardless of what an InSite 2 search returns, searchers can specify the date range and record type (e.g., full text only or full text plus summaries) or broaden the search using Quick Search or the Words Anywhere field in the Power Search.

The Prospecting option accesses Company Intelligence directory information on thousands of U.S. and international public and private companies. Searchers can sort the results by company name, revenue, city/state/country, and SIC codes.

The InSite 2 Base Pack carries all content currently included in Business InSite (Trade and Industry), Market InSite (PROMT), Consumer InSite (Magazine Database), and Company InSite (Company Intelligence). Searchers can also choose to add the following optional data packs:

  • Health and Wellness InSite—healthcare topical coverage from journals, reference books, pamphlets, and overviews of diseases and treatments
  • Newsletter InSite—over 500 industry and company publications full-text (Newsletter articles also appear in the Base Pack, but only when other databases such as PROMT or Trade and Industry share such articles. The Newsletter InSite data set includes complete coverage of all IAC's newsletter holdings.)
  • Computer InSite—covering the computer, electronics, and telecommunications industries

Gale Group does not offer any of these three options as a separate stand-alone service, but only as an adjunct to the Base Pack.

How Much?

Gale Group offers InSite 2 in both a Business Professional version and Information Professional version. The Business Professional version, designed for end-user searchers, costs $2,795 for a 1-year subscription to the Base Pack, plus $595 for the Health and Wellness option, or $895 each for the Newsletter or Computer options. The Information Professional version costs $3,995, plus $895 for the Health and Wellness option, or $1,295 each for the Newsletter or Computer options. A single concurrent license to the Business Professional version of InSite 2 costs $6,995. Other options and configurations are available with price quotes from Gale Group.

What is the difference between the Business Professional version and Information Professional version? Money, mainly. Beyond the addition of some extra Gale-generated commentary on information industry issues of the day, the content is the same. Beyond the addition of a command line searching option and the ability to search on specific "old-timer" portions of the now-merged full- text collection, (PROMT only, Trade and Industry only, etc.), the features are the same. According to one spokesperson, publishers have worried about the greater use of their material that corporate librarians or information brokers might make and have pressured Gale Group/IAC to impose greater charges on information professionals. License provisions make it illicit for information professionals to use the Business Professional version. Whether such prohibitions would apply to information professionals generous enough to their clients and to Gale Group as to try to demonstrate, instruct, coach, or train end users to use InSite remains a point for discussion.

Gale Group will phase out support for version 1.9 of InSite and InSite Pro by the end of this year. In the year 2000, they will only support InSite 2. For more information, contact the Gale Group at 800/419-0313 or go to http://www.insite2.gale.com or http://www.insite2pro.gale.com.

Thomson Corporation founded the Gale Group in 1998 by merging Gale Research, Information Access Company, and Primary Source Media.


Barbara Quint was senior editor of Online Searcher, co-editor of The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, and a columnist for Information Today.


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