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Transactional Access to CSA Files on Dialog
by
Posted On July 11, 2005
Today, July 11, Dialog added six more CSA files to its system: Aluminum Industry Abstracts (File 33), Ceramic Abstracts/World Ceramics Abstracts (File 335), Corrosion Abstracts (File 46), Engineered Materials Abstracts (File 293), Life Sciences (File 24), and Materials Business File (File 296). All but the Life Sciences file are included in CSA's Materials Research Database on its CSA Illumina platform. Dialog intends to add six more CSA files at the beginning of August, continuing monthly until all 30 files are loaded, which should be at the end of October. According to Cynthia Murphy, Dialog's senior vice president of marketing, materials research and high technology files have priority. Then Dialog will move on to the engineering, life sciences, and environmental files, ending the sequence with social sciences and information/library science databases. She said, "Loading so many files in such a short period of time is a big deal for Dialog. We've never done so many, so quickly, before." The Life Sciences file, she added, was ready ahead of schedule, which is why it's being loaded with this batch.

As I reported on June 13, (http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=16185), the previous CSA files joining Dialog were available by subscription only. Transactional access did not apply. With the new files, this has changed. Murphy assured me that anyone with a corporate transactional account would be allowed to search these CSA databases. Even with the subscription databases (Technology R&D, METADEX, and Aerospace) on Dialog, transactional customers can contract for alerts. However, those with an academic account would still be excluded. Matt Dunie, president of CSA, has said on several occasions that he prefers academic users to come through CSA rather than another provider. Dialog's customer base is more in the corporate arena, with particular strengths in the pharmaceutical, chemical, financial services, consumer goods, consultancies, and law firms.

When asked about other data types, specifically the directory databases that were removed from Dialog after Cambridge Information Group, CSA's parent company, purchased them when it acquired R.R. Bowker from Reed-Elsevier, Murphy expressed the hope that they too would return. However, no discussion on that subject has been initiated by either side.

Capitalizing on the DialogLink 5.0 technical features, particularly XML, and Dialog API capabilities, Dialog has created custom CSA report templates, e-Journal Links, and links to related research materials. Customers can use these templates and links as analytical tools. They can affix their own logo to a report, thus going well beyond simple information retrieval and moving towards providing a more sophisticated, branded work product. The combination of CSA contentósome of which, such as Earthquake Engineering and Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, will be available only through CSA and Dialogówith Dialog's robust search technology should greatly benefit working searchers.


Marydee Ojala is the editor-in-chief of Online Searcher magazine, chairs WebSearch University, and is Program Development Director for Enterprise Search & Discovery.

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