ProQuest Acquires Congressional Information Service (CIS) and University Publications of America (UPA) from LexisNexis
Barbie E. Keiser
Posted On December 6, 2010
In a strategic move designed to sharpen its content focus on the information that its core customer base needs to conduct news, business, and legal research, LexisNexis divested two product lines, Congressional Information Service (CIS) and University Publications of America (UPA). According to Rodrigue (Rod) E. Gauvin, senior vice president of publishing at ProQuest, CIS has long been on its acquisition wish list. Through this acquisition, ProQuest has reinforced its strengths within the academic community and made inroads into content of high importance to those in the government sector.
CIS is best known for its indices to and microfiche collection of Congressional publications (e.g., Committee reports, Congressional Journals, Congressional hearings proceedings and transcripts, legislative histories), 1789 to the present, and its American Statistics Index and microfiche library from the early 1960s to the present. Perhaps not as widely known, but no less important a compilation of documents, is the UPA microfiche collection of American Studies, International Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities, covering of 37 subject areas ranging from African American Studies to Women’s Studies; Colonial and Early U.S. History to Popular Culture.
ProQuest will use its expertise in digitization of archival material from primary sources in microfilm/fiche format to bring these rich historical data sources to researchers’ desktops. In addition, ProQuest can take advantage of the skills of CIS personnel who know the content well, matching it with other collections that are part of the ProQuest family, such as Chadwyck-Healy.
Through ProQuest, academic institution subscribers throughout the world will have access to these rich collections of primary sources to complement the secondary research materials already part of the ProQuest product line. “Unlocking content and connecting users to it in ways that inspire them… means participating in innovative collaborations of all sorts—not just acquisitions —and it also means investing in the creative use of technology.” ProQuest is looking to its new platform to permit “new techniques to discover, share and even create content.”
Product names will remain the same, but users will begin to see the ProQuest brand in 2011. Both services will have access to Statistical Insight, the service “designed to help researchers find the statistical information they need quickly and easily, provides access to statistics produced by federal agencies, states, business organizations, research institutions, and international organizations” (InfoToday Newsbreak, Jan. 14, 2010).
According to Jeff Pfeifer, vice president of Primary Law Solutions, LexisNexis’ divestiture of CIS and UPA is just one in a series of steps that the company is taking to “build or acquire the best-in-class assets that enhance its core content,” as well as provide value-added editorial capabilities and/or tools on top of the data, particularly with respect to regulatory compliance and risk on localities throughout the world. LexisNexis continues to refine its content sets and develop tools that help its customers streamline their research efforts and integrate it into their daily routine. For example:
- On the day of the divestiture (Nov. 30), Reed Technology and Information Services, a member of the LexisNexis Group “announced the introduction of Reed Tech Web Archiving Services powered by Iterasi. The comprehensive Web archiving service will help corporations, government, and professional services firms capture and preserve Web-based content to support the growing need for litigation protection, e-discovery, and compliance with various laws and regulations.”
- On the day following the divestiture announcement, LexisNexis acquired State Net, a legislative and regulatory intelligence service. “State Net monitors every bill in the 50 states, District of Columbia and Congress and every state agency regulation. Clients from small state associations to giant Fortune 500 companies rely on us to report activity on their issues every day of the year.” One aspect of the service that made it an appealing acquisition for LexisNexis is State Net’s iTrac service that empowers users “to crate a dynamic legislative and regulatory reporting website without programming, design or maintenance headaches.”
On Nov. 23, Reed Elsevier, which acquired LexisNexis in 1994, announced that Andy Prozes is retiring. Prozes, who became CEO of LexisNexis in 2000, will leave the helm of LexisNexis and the boards of Reed Elsevier (Reed Elsevier PLC, Reed Elsevier NV and Reed Elsevier Group plc) and will not be replaced. As of Jan. 1, 2011 Reed Elsevier will operate its risk solutions and legal businesses as two separate units, each with its own CEO reporting to Erik Engstrom: Jim Peck as CEO of risk solutions and Mike Walsh as CEO of the global legal business.
ProQuest has acquired the following LexisNexis products:
- LexisNexis Congressional (to be renamed ProQuest Congressional)
- LexisNexis Statistical Insight (to be renamed ProQuest Statistical Insight)
- LexisNexis DataSets (to be renamed ProQuest DataSets)
- LexisNexis Statutes at Large (to be renamed ProQuest Statutes at Large)
- LexisNexis Government Periodical Index (to be renamed ProQuest Government Periodical Index)
- LexisNexis Primary Sources in US History (to be renamed ProQuest Primary Sources in US History)
- Congressional Hearings Digital Collection
- Congressional Record Permanent Digital Collection
- Congressional Research Digital Collection
- US Serial Set Digital Collection
- US Serial Set Maps Collection
- All CIS microform and print products
- All statistical microform and print products
- All UPA microform collections
LexisNexis is retaining these academic-oriented products:
- LexisNexis Academic
- LexisNexis Library Express
- LexisNexis Scholastic
- LexisNexis State Capital
- LexisNexis for Development Professionals
For More Information
LexisNexis Academic FAQ on the acquisition: http://wiki.lexisnexis.com/academic/index.php?title=Academic
Letter to customers from ProQuest CEO Marty Kahn: http://www.proquest.com/go/CISUPAinfo