|Weekly News Digest
September 24, 2001 — 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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OCLC Announces Enhancements to WorldCat on FirstSearch
OCLC (http://www.oclc.org) announced that it has enhanced WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog) on the OCLC FirstSearch service by adding expanded search options and descriptive content to help users more easily identify materials. New icons on the search and results screens indicate the physical format of materials in the records. These improvements reportedly increase visibility for the wide variety of resources OCLC member libraries have collected and cataloged in WorldCat.
The addition of icons representing the major physical formats in WorldCat as search limiters will help users more easily target searches to materials in particular formats, such as books or videotapes. More detailed format information in search results will enable easy identification of the most relevant items in results lists.
OCLC is also adding tables of contents, cover art, book summaries, and notes about authors to bibliographic records for current popular material. Users can find these new features on a full record display. This descriptive content in WorldCat is provided by Ingram Library Services, one of the world's largest book and video distributors.
Users may also search for a particular language using a list of the 30 most common languages in WorldCat or the full list of more than 400 languages present in the database. In addition, users can now pinpoint items in WorldCat that are held in their own local libraries.
New Physical Science Information Gateway on the Net
A new Internet-based resource for those interested in finding out more about the physical sciences (astronomy, chemistry, earth sciences, history of science, materials science, and physics) has been launched by universities in the U.K. PSIgate (http://www.psigate.ac.uk), a custom-designed gateway to scientific information, is a free service that provides access to a searchable catalog of high-quality resources. PSIgate is part of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN; http://www.rdn.uk), a service dedicated to providing effective access to Internet resources for the learning, teaching, and research communities. The development of PSIgate is being led by the University of Manchester (http://www.man.ac.uk) on behalf of the Consortium of Academic Libraries in Manchester (CALIM; http://www.calim.ac.uk), and is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC; http://www.jisc.ac.uk) of the U.K. higher education funding councils.
Developed initially with higher education staff and students in mind, the new service is also expected to be useful to industrialists, K-12 school students, and members of the general public. PSIgate will continue to develop to include access to a wider range of products and services, cross-searching and linking to other catalogs and databases, current awareness, and newsfeeds.
Other services that are part of RDN include BIOME (http://biome.ac.uk), a guide to health and life sciences resources; EEVL (http://www.eevl.ac.uk), a guide to engineering, mathematics, and computing information; Humbul Humanities Hub (http://www.humbul.ac.uk); and SOSIG (http://www.sosig.ac.uk), the Social Science Information Gateway.
Source: University of Manchester
Google Acquires Technology Assets of Outride, Inc.
Google, Inc. has announced that it has acquired the intellectual property—including patent rights, source code, trademarks, and associated domain names—of Outride, Inc., a Redwood City, California-based developer of online information-retrieval technologies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to the announcement, the transaction complements Google's technology development to provide search results with greater relevance.
"This acquisition is another example of Google's commitment to providing the highest-quality search service in the world," said Larry Page, Google co-founder. "Outride has made significant advances in the field of relevance technology and we believe Google provides the ideal vehicle to continue the development of these technologies."
Outride, a spinoff of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), was created to apply state-of-the-art model-based relevance technology to online information retrieval. Outride's technologies were designed to enhance productivity from end-users by simplifying the ability to find the right information at the right time. The acquisition of assets from Outride follows a deal Google completed earlier this year in which the company acquired the Usenet discussion assets from Deja.com.
Source: Google, Inc.
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