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Gale, ingenta Partner on InfoTrac Plus
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Posted On January 21, 2002
At the ALA Midwinter Meeting 2002, Gale Group and ingenta, Inc. held a joint press conference to announce that they've teamed up to create a new service that will allow researchers and librarians to use a single search to access online journals held by both Gale and ingenta. The companies claim that their partnership will create the "most complete online, full-text journal service."

Gale and ingenta plan to create a joint product that combines Gale's periodical databases with ingenta's e-journals within the InfoTrac search interface. ingenta's more than 5,400 scholarly and academic electronic journals will be integrated within InfoTrac, Gale's search framework. InfoTrac, which reportedly is in use in more than 100 countries, provides a simple, intuitive search interface and an array of services, including the availability of usage statistics; catalog links; subject guides; and InfoMarks, a persistent URL that allows researchers to save searches.

"Gale's product strategy is to make research more comprehensive and convenient for the user by seamlessly integrating information in one spot. This is, perhaps, one of the most significant examples of that strategy in action," said Allen Paschal, Gale's CEO. "Combine Gale and ingenta within a single source and you have an incredible array of research solutions at hand."

ingenta CEO Mark Rowse said: "This strategic partnership allows two market leaders—Gale and ingenta—to create a market-changing new product. For the first time, users of online periodicals will be able to search across both periodicals digitized by Gale and ingenta—together the most comprehensive aggregation of online periodicals available anywhere in the world, including almost 10,000 publications. For ingenta, this represents a major new initiative for 2002 and beyond."

According to the announcement, the new service will begin this summer with InfoTrac OneFile and Expanded Academic and will later extend to Gale's Resource Centers. The new service will be known as InfoTrac Plus. Current InfoTrac users who are ingenta subscribers can activate a link between the two services immediately. This will allow them to search ingenta from InfoTrac but will not yet provide combined searching of indexed content that will be part of the forthcoming InfoTrac Plus service. Registration is free and available at http://www.ingenta.com.

According to John Barnes, Gale's vice president of product management, the highest priority now is being given to processing the ingenta abstracting-and-indexing records through the Gale controlled vocabulary indexing. (ingenta abstracts are prepared by the publishers and supplied when content is loaded on ingenta.) Because of the enormous number of records, the company is looking at some outside automation tools to help with the task. Once the existing ingenta records have been processed, they will probably implement a procedure—similar to what is used for the Gale records—that utilize a combination of human indexing and software.

Barnes noted that time embargoes and exclusive contracts for certain periodical titles have served to diminish the material available to libraries. Gale had been looking for ways to help libraries (which in turn would increase Gale's full-text journal business, of course) and approached ingenta with the partnership idea. Barnes called InfoTrac Plus the "one solution that brings it all together for libraries." He said that the two collections of journals were very complementary, with an overlap of only 100 or so full-text titles. He also stressed that there were no additional charges to InfoTrac users for the integration and increased access to materials.

Gale has added about 1,000 full-text journal titles to its InfoTrac OneFile collection in the past year, which now has about 4,000 full-text titles and over 7,000 titles indexed and abstracted. With the ingenta collection added, OneFile will expand to almost 10,000 publications. Total periodical counts depend on the number of ingenta subscriptions a library holds. However, a pay-per-view option will also allow users to buy individual digitized articles when the library doesn't hold a subscription. The new service will also be available remotely.

Andrea Keyhani, ingenta's chief operating officer, called it a "win-win deal." Libraries gain access to full text through a single search interface, plus an easy e-commerce option for pay-per-view purchasing. Publishers benefit by retaining control of their content and getting increased revenue and exposure through the combined search feature. She stressed that this was not just a linking arrangement, but a single search option that really streamlined things for the user and presented a merged results list. Libraries can choose to have results show only journals to which they subscribe or to show all results with the e-commerce option.

ingenta (http://www.ingenta.com), which was founded in May 1998 in the U.K., has grown quickly in just a few years. It became a public company traded on the AIM market on the London Stock Exchange in April 2000. It acquired UnCover in March 2000, thus greatly expanding its U.S. presence, and acquired a rival e-journal service, CatchWord, in January 2001. Its goal has been to become the "Web intermediary of choice for professional and academic research." The company serves both the producers and consumers of published content—publishers of scientific, professional, and academic periodicals and reference works, and libraries and researchers.

For publishers, ingenta provides a suite of services, including data conversion, secure online hosting, access control, and distribution. For libraries and information professionals, ingenta offers collection management and comprehensive document delivery options. ingenta's collection of research content includes 12 million articles from over 5,400 online publications and 20,000 fax-delivered publications. According to the company, the collection is accessed by over 3.5 million researchers and librarians a month via ingenta.com and other Web sites.

Gale (http://www.gale.com) is a leader in e-reference publishing for libraries, schools, and businesses. Best known for its accurate and authoritative content as well as its intelligent organization of full-text magazine and newspaper articles, the company creates and maintains more than 600 databases that are published in electronic form, as well as in print and microform.


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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