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Weekly News Digest

April 15, 2002 — 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 ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

New Patent Look-Up Tool Available on STN Easy

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS;, a division of the American Chemical Society, has announced the release of Patent Tab, a new feature on the STN Easy site ( According to the announcement, Patent Tab provides fast, easy-to-use patent look-up for Web users, especially those who are not patent search experts but who can benefit from the vast amount of scientific information contained in patent records. STN Easy users can now select the Patent Tab and search for patents by inventor, patent assignee, patent number, keywords, and more in a patent-centered research environment. Online help messages and examples are available to assist in choosing search terms that are specific to patents.

CAS marketing director Suzan A. Brown said: "Once a user locates the patents of interest, the electronic full text of many patents can be accessed directly from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office at no additional charge. We feel that the STN Easy Patent Tab is a good complement to our more extensive STN services designed for comprehensive prior-art searching by patent information specialists."

STN Easy is one of several services that provide access to STN International, an online network that offers more than 200 scientific and technical databases. STN Easy delivers access to more than 80 of the STN databases, including major patent databases from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the European, German, and Japanese patent offices, among others.

Source: Chemical Abstracts Service

Thomson Financial Launches Thomson Investor

Thomson Financial ( has announced the launch of Thomson Investor (, a technology tool set that provides institutions with financial applications to improve the value to and the experience of their online customers. Available to regional and national broker/dealers, investment advisory firms, banks, package product providers, insurance companies, and media/portal sites, Thomson Investor delivers financial tools and applications for a firm's Web and wireless services. These tools give clients access to the necessary information used to manage money more effectively and make informed investment decisions.

Thomson Investor offers a menu of standard and premium services that are customized to fit either a firm's existing online offering or a complete end-to-end Web-development service. Some of the services available include investment research tools; a stock center; a mutual-fund center; an analyst center; and markets information with delayed quotes, indices, market movers, and news.

"Thomson Investor can provide value to a company's Web site as well as improve customer relationships," said Bill O'Conor, president of Thomson Financial's Wealth Management Group. "Through Thomson Investor and its sister product Thomson Advisor, firms can provide institutional-quality tools in their online offerings without disintermediating the client from the firms' core services and message."

Source: Thomson Financial

LSSI Announces Secure Web Transcripts for Virtual Reference Service

Library Systems & Services, LLC (LSSI; has announced the launch of Secure Web Transcripts, a new approach to delivering virtual reference transcripts. Instead of e-mailing the transcript to patrons, LSSI's Virtual Reference ToolKit can now be configured to publish it to the Web following the reference session. To access the transcript, the patrons click on a secure URL that appears on the closing screen at the end of the session. They can then exclusively view the entire session transcript in their browser. Patrons can also access their transcripts on the Web for at least 30 days following the reference session by clicking on a "View Old Transcripts" button and entering the unique session ID number.

With this new feature, it's now possible to design completely anonymous virtual reference services that collect no personal information on the patron but preserve all of the benefits of detailed session transcripts. Secure Web Transcripts do not affect reporting or other software features. Patron profiles are still available but without any e-mail addresses or other personal contact information. Transcripts may either be raw, with just the chat and Web pages pushed, or may be enhanced with stock information about the library, such as whom to contact if you have a question.

To see how the Secure Web Transcripts feature works, view the slideshow at Secure Web Transcripts will be available on request in version 2.0 of LSSI's Virtual Reference ToolKit, due out this month. There is no additional cost for the new feature.

Source: Library Systems & Services, LLC

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