LexisNexis Moves Into the Public Library Market
Paula J. Hane
Posted On June 30, 2008
In what has to be viewed as a surprisingly low-key launch for a product in a brand new market, LexisNexis (www.lexisnexis.com ) rather quietly announced its new Library Express service. This is the company’s first product for public libraries. No advance notice on the news was given to the library press or industry analysts, and there’s been almost no mention of it in the blogosphere. It will be officially available as of today, June 30, and is being shown at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference this week in Anaheim, Calif. It is very similar in features and functions to the company’s Academic library product though it offers slightly less content.
Library Express provides access to more than 6,000 news, business, and legal sources. News and business coverage encompasses newspapers, periodicals, television and radio broadcasts, newswires, blogs, corporate directories, and financial information. It features national and international news sources that date back to the 1970s, depending on the paper. Business sources include financial information, market research, industry reports, and SEC filings. Legal content includes case law, statutes, codes, regulations, patents, and law school directories. (Library Express does not include access to Shepard’s Citations Service.)
Product manager Alistair Morrison expects that the Company Dossier feature will be one of the most heavily used in the product. It runs some 60 searches behind the scenes in a variety of sources to create comprehensive profiles for more than 53 million companies—private and public, U.S. and international. It allows users to generate lists of companies matching specific criteria such as industry, size, and location. Results can be exported to Excel spreadsheets. He feels it will be very popular with entrepreneurs, small businesses, and job seekers. As in the Academic product, this version of Company Dossier does not include Dun & Bradstreet content. It does include Directory of Corporate Affiliations, EDGARPlus Database, FBR Asian Company Profiles, Hoover’s Company Profiles, and Investext Current Reports.
Many searchers, including me, probably didn’t realize that LexisNexis has had a product for high school students. LexisNexis Scholastic Edition (formerly known as Scholastic Universe) is the younger sibling of the LexisNexis Academic service, which has been marketed to U.S. colleges and universities since its launch in 1997. So introducing a product for public libraries that complements what high school and college students have available to them seems to be a logical move. In fact, Morrison says the company plans to phase out the Scholastic product and replace it with one similar to the Academic and Library Express products. Existing customers will be converted over the course of this year.
According to Tim Fusco, vice president of operations for LexisNexis Government and Academic Markets, the company is responding to an expressed need. "For several years now we have been asked by public librarians to create a product that incorporates our powerful news, business, and legal databases, specifically for their market," says Fusco. "After conducting a number of focus groups with potential users and incorporating their feedback, we created the LexisNexis Library Express."
However, the company would not say who might have requested the product or even seen it. Morrison says they showed prototypes to some public librarians but didn’t involve any libraries in product testing. As Marydee Ojala points out in her blog (www.onlineinsider.net/2008/06/29/library-express), the stated goal to "introduce public libraries to LexisNexis content," seems more like "an attempt to push LN content at public libraries rather than ask public libraries what content they need that they don’t have now."
LexisNexis could have quite a job getting a toehold in U.S. public libraries. There’s plenty of competition from other aggregators that offer public libraries pieces of what the new Library Express provides. EBSCO and ProQuest provide a range of news and business sources. Westlaw has an edge in legal materials. And ProQuest sells and distributes Factiva to the academic and public library markets. Factiva.com users in academic and public libraries have access to nearly 9,000 business and news publications and 5 years’ worth of historical market data.
Several public librarians who saw Library Express at ALA said their libraries already have Factiva for business and news content—some have it through statewide access deals. And, as for legal content, what their patrons really want is access to legal forms, which isn’t provided in Library Express.
A key factor might be perceived as value—is the pricing attractive enough to interest librarians. One librarian of a small public library who saw the price said it seemed very reasonable and that she was impressed with the full-text content. Very large public libraries that function like research libraries could see this aggregation of content as quite compelling.
But as one veteran industry observer said, "I think LexisNexis will have a challenge with name recognition in the public library sphere and problems in getting their message across."
Ojala commented that, "The interface is slick, but the question is whether public libraries need another aggregator of information. Since Library Express is brand new, we’ll have to wait until public librarians have a chance to test it out."
LexisNexis is offering 30-day free trials. Information on LexisNexis Library Express is available at http://academic.lexisnexis.com/online-services/library-express-overview.aspx. There are tutorials available, and users can register for a webinar.
Systemwide access to Library Express is provided using IP authentication, with unlimited simultaneous users and unlimited searches. The legal content is not accessible to users outside the library. (One librarian calls this an "odd ‘inside-outside’ practice," presumably designed to thwart law firms from accessing information but actually hurting the public user.) The service is compatible with ejournal systems, article linking, and several federated search systems.
Detail on Sources in LexisNexis Library Express
News sources include the following:
- Full text of more than 350 newspapers from the U.S. and around the world, many same day of publication, plus extensive archives dating back more than 25 years for some publications. Coverage includes national papers, such as The New York Times and i; regional U.S. papers; and a wide range of English- and foreign-language papers from around the world
- More than 300 magazines and journals and 600-plus newsletters, including: American Journalism Review, Business Week, The Economist, Library Journal, New Republic, Newsweek, and Variety
- Broadcast transcripts from the major television and radio networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, and NPR, as well as political transcripts covering Congressional committee hearings, press briefings from the State, Justice, and Defense departments, and presidential news conferences
- Wire services, updated several times a day, including the Associated Press, Business Wire, and PR Newswire
LexisNexis Library Express provides a full range of credible sources for business information, including business and financial news, U.S. and international company financial information from government or private sources, market research, industry reports, and actual SEC filings. Search features permit comparison of companies based on criteria such as sales, income, and number of employees.
Financial information sources include the following:
- Standard & Poor’s Corporate Descriptions
- Hoover’s Company Reports
- Disclosure Reports
- International company and stock reports, and more
Legal research sources include the following:
- Law review articles from more than 500 publications
- Legal news from more than 300 legal newspapers, magazines, and newsletters
- U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating from January 1790 to present, searchable by majority opinion, minority opinion, concurring opinion, counsel, or headnotes
- U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decisions
- U.S. District Court decisions dating from 1789 to present
- Decisions from Bankruptcy Courts; U.S. Court of International Trade; Tax Courts; Courts of Customs and Patent Appeals; and Veterans, Commerce, and Military Courts
- State court decisions at all court levels for all 50 states and territories
- Federal regulations: Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Attorney General opinions, and Federal Acquisition Regulations and Supplements
- Codes for all 50 states and territories, plus constitutions, court rules, and Attorneys General opinions
- The IRS’s Internal Revenue Bulletin, IRS regulations, ABA’s The Tax Lawyer, AICPA’s The Tax Adviser, and more
- Patents dating from 1971 to present, searchable by keyword, patent number, classification number, lawyer, assignee, inventor, or summary
- European Union law from the CELEX database and international case law from a number of other countries
- Law school directories, including the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and NALP Directory of Law Schools
In addition to these news, business, and legal sources, LexisNexis Library Express provides access to the following resources:
- Medical information, including medical news and medical & health journals. Abstracts from medical journals dating to 1966 are provided in the National Library of Medicine’s Medline database
- Biographical information
- Country and state profiles
- The World Almanac and Book of Facts
Pricing for LexisNexis Library Express
|Max Service |
|Price per year |
|50,000 ||$5,000.00 |
|100,000 ||$8,000.00 |
|250,000 ||$10,000.00 |
|500,000 ||$20,000.00 |
|1,000,000 ||$35,000.00 |
|2,000,000 ||$60,000.00 |
|> 2,000,000 ||$75,000.00 |
Optional Service: Statistical DataSets
LexisNexis also announced the recent release of a new online service, LexisNexis Statistical DataSets, to enable researchers to build statistical tables from multiple sources in a single interface. The company announced the service in January, but the product wasn’t actually available until May. And just a week ago, the service moved to a new computing platform. This online interactive statistical solution aggregates 120 licensed and public domain datasets and makes 1.5 billion data points accessible within a single interface. Users can easily and quickly scan content, select subjects and criteria, and view data in side-by-side tables and charts. An alliance with Conquest Systems, Inc. provides the dynamic statistical information through the LexisNexis Statistical platform. It is now available as an option to both academic and public library customers.
Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.
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