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New ISI Web of Knowledge Integrates Web of Science with Current Contents Connect, Other Research Sources
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Posted On June 4, 2001
ISI (http://www.isinet.com) has expanded its offerings to large, well-networked institutions. The new ISI Web of Knowledge integrates ISI Web of Science and ISI Current Contents Connect with additional, sophisticated analytical data covering published scholarship. The integration encompasses journals, patents, proceedings, and life sciences literature with Web and other resources, including the searching of full text on evaluated Web sites through ISI Current Contents Connect. In time, ISI plans to build Web of Knowledge into a general integration platform that can integrate any or all of its products wherever it makes sense. As an augmentation of existing databases, the company is not charging for the service. "[There will be] no additional incremental costs to customers," said an ISI executive with whom I spoke. China's Tsinghua University in Beijing has already subscribed to Web of Knowledge.

Leslie Singer, president and CEO of ISI, stated: "We see this significant release of ISI Web of Knowledge as the first step in providing the integration of multiple content sets in combination with powerful search engines and research tools. Our strategy is to transform the research and discovery process."

The new service offers "enhanced retrieval by providing more powerful search options, analytical tools, and bibliographic management software," said Vin Caraher, ISI's senior vice president of sales and market development. "Today, technological developments and easily accessible applications must be offered to support integrated scholarly content. Our ultimate goal is to provide total flexibility to allow for the incorporation of all proprietary, public, and commercial content. Links to full-text sources, context-sensitive linking, and new knowledge management technologies will enhance the platform infrastructure." ISI Web of Knowledge supports natural language searching acquired from SmartLogic.

The new Current Contents Connect version 1.6 drills down into the full text of evaluated and classified Web sites, chosen by ISI editorial specialists based on their value to research. At present, the number of selected Web sites approaches 14,000. These sites include preprints, funding sources, and other scholarly research activity resources. Current Contents Connect also includes its traditional print coverage encompassing bibliographic information for articles, editorials, meeting abstracts, commentaries, etc., from over 8,000 scholarly journals and over 2,000 books. It covers seven broad disciplinary areas: agriculture, biology, and environmental science; arts and humanities; clinical medicine; engineering, computing, and technology; life sciences; physical, chemical, and earth sciences; and social and behavioral sciences. The service updates daily.
 
A new analytical evaluation tool from the Research Services Group, ISI Essential Science Indicators taps over 8,500 worldwide journals to create the basis for ranking institutions, individuals, nations, and journals within disciplines in measuring performance and evaluating scientific research. It compiles and analyzes cited references to determine impact and trends in 22 fields of scientific discovery. Coverage extends back to 1991 and updates three times a year.

The basic core of ISI Web of Science data covers multidisciplinary published scholarship back to 1945 for science and technology, to 1956 for social sciences, and to 1975 for arts and humanities. Web of Science also covers content from ISI Proceedings, Derwent Innovations Index, ISI Chemistry, CAB Abstracts, and BIOSIS Previews. Subscribers to any of these separate components can use Web of Knowledge to integrate searching of whatever they have licensed. Search results derived from Web of Knowledge will smoothly integrate into ISI's bibliographic management software, including Endnote, Procite, and Reference Manager. ISI Links connect to authorized full-text sources. The underlying new technologies for Web of Knowledge include a modular infrastructure, knowledge management search engines and tools, context-sensitive linking via SFX, and robust access management of full-text sources.

ISI plans to continually upgrade the Web of Knowledge. The company anticipates that within the next 12 to 18 months it will expand Web of Knowledge into a true portal environment with expanded content and full-text linking. It will also have more search options, including the ability to combine subject and cited reference searching, personalization features that allow users to customize the interface, and unified sessions while navigating through multiple content sources for user bases sharing access to Web of Science and Current Contents Connect.

ISI, a subsidiary of the Thomson Scientific and Healthcare Group, has its headquarters in Philadelphia and offices worldwide. It serves some 6 million researchers, information specialists, and administrators in diverse fields. Content and software tools for Web of Knowledge come from a wide range of sources, including other Thomson companies, such as ISI ResearchSoft and Derwent Information, and partner organizations such as BIOSIS, R.R. Bowker, and CABI Publishing. ISI's parent, the Thomson Corp., had revenues of $6 billion last year.


Barbara Quint is 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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