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Weekly News Digest

January 31, 2005 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Westlaw Service Gains ‘Smart Tools’

Thomson West (, a business of The Thomson Corp., has added "Smart Tools" to its Westlaw online research service. Smart Tools improve search results by offering synonyms and alternate spellings, suggesting a broader database search when the search result contains five or fewer documents, and detecting a variety of errors in a query. Smart Tools also recognize legal terms of art and suggest related legal terms—a feature the company says is not available on any other legal research service.

Smart Tools use artificial intelligence technology developed in-house by technologists, scientists, and attorneys solely focused on the legal industry. According to the company, Smart Tools are designed to make legal research more comprehensive, faster, and more powerful than ever before.

Westlaw already provides other "smart" features, including:

  • ResultsPlus (a proactive feature that makes it easier to get to the right answer faster by automatically suggesting additional information related to a search)
  • automatic searching of plurals and possessives
  • automatic irregular plurals (child/children)
  • automatic searching of compound words (a search for "whistle-blower" retrieves whistle-blower, whistleblower, and whistle blower)
  • automatic equivalents for common misspellings/alternate spellings (judgment/judgement)

Source: Thomson West

EBSCO’s History Reference Center Adds Video Content

EBSCO Publishing's History Reference Center (HRC) now includes more than 80 hours of streaming video content, covering the social, political, and cultural history of the 20th century from 1893 to 1985. Fully searchable, alongside a collection of images from EBSCO's Image Collection, the new video content is indexed with detailed reference lists and captions, dates, subjects, abstracts, video length, and shot lists of the clips contained within videos. Library administrators will have the option of deactivating this feature if they prefer.

HRC is a comprehensive, full-text history reference database designed for secondary schools, public libraries, junior/community colleges, and undergraduate research. The database features cover-to-cover full text for more than 750 historical encyclopedias and other nonfiction books as well as full text for nearly 60 history periodicals. The database also contains 58,000 historical documents, 43,000 biographies of historical figures, 12,000-plus historical photos and maps, and now more than 80 hours of historical film and video.

According to company representatives, the HRC video collection includes speeches by former presidents and Martin Luther King Jr.; clips of Albert Einstein, Oswald being shot by Ruby, and both Kennedy assassinations; events from various wars and United Nations meetings; and footage of the Wright brothers, early automobiles, Henry Ford, and so on. EBSCO has licensed content from Sunrise Media and other companies and sources to expand its video collections as applicable in not only the HRC, but also in other appropriate databases. History Reference Center is the first (and currently the only) EBSCO database with video content.

Source: EBSCO Publishing

Dialog Now Offers Deeper New York Times Archive

Dialog (, a business of The Thomson Corp., said that it is now offering a full-text archive of The New York Times dating back to 1980 through Dialog NewsRoom and other Dialog-branded services. The archive is available to North American subscribers as well as those located elsewhere around the world. Previously, Dialog had offered its non-North American subscribers a full-text archive starting in 1998, with only abstracts for prior years. North American customers previously had access only to a 90-day full-text archive.

Dialog NewsRoom is an aggregated database of news reporting from more than 10,000 sources worldwide. It is available as a stand-alone service ( or as a component of other Dialog and Thomson services. Archived and current content from The New York Times has been integrated into the content pool for seamless searching. On other Dialog-branded services, the archives of materials from The New York Times are Files 471 and 472.

An archive of materials from The New York Times is also available through the family of Dialog DataStar services (Files NYTI and NYTC), which are used primarily for in-depth research and current awareness tracking in the fields of science, technology, and medicine.

Source: Dialog

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