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Weekly News Digest

January 29, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

West Group Acquires FindLaw

West Group (http://www.westgroup.com), a division of The Thomson Corporation, has announced the acquisition of FindLaw (http://findlaw.com), a pioneer in free online legal information and services and reportedly the Web's most highly trafficked legal portal. The acquisition gives West Group, the provider of content and solutions to the legal marketplace, an expanded presence on the Web for serving legal professionals and their clients, and provides FindLaw with the resources for continuing the development and expansion of its content and services. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Mike Wilens, West Group president, said FindLaw will operate as an independent subsidiary of West Group and will maintain its operations in Mountain View, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. FindLaw co-founders Stacey Stern and Tim Stanley will remain in their roles, as will other key technology, marketing, and publishing managers.

"Our plan is simple: We're going to build on the formula that made FindLaw what it is," said Wilens. "Everything that exists on FindLaw today—from case law to career services and Continuing Legal Education will remain. And we'll invest in the content and services to make the site even more powerful in the future." Wilens did not specify if the content on FindLaw would continue to be offered free.

Source: West Group

[Editor's Note: The acquisition continues the trend of consolidation in the information marketplace and for premium-priced services to buy up popular Web portals. In December 2000, Wolters Kluwer nv (http://www.wolterskluwer.com), the Dutch publisher and information services company, announced it was buying Loislaw.com, Inc. (http://www.loislaw.com), a U.S.-based online provider of primary and secondary source material for legal research that is delivered on a subscription basis over the Internet. (See the Weekly News Digest story at http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/wndReader.asp?ArticleId=17686.) In November 2000, Lexis-Nexis, the key competitor to West, announced a strategic alliance and investment in LawCommerce.com. The legal portal, Law.com, which absorbed Counsel Quest, remains privately held by an investment fund.—PJH]

Questia Media Launches Its Student Research Service

Houston-based Questia Media, Inc. has announced the official launch of its Questia research service (http://www.questia.com), which is being marketed directly to college students. The service offers access to more than 30,000 titles in the humanities and social sciences disciplines and will grow to 50,000 titles within the next month. The company plans to further expand the service to about 250,000 titles in 2003. Users are able to search the service's entire collection for free, but a subscription fee is required to read the full-text of books and to use the research and writing tools.

The service enables subscribers to read the full text of hyperlinked sources; automatically creates footnotes and bibliographies; provides instant access to an online dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia; allows users to personalize text with highlighting and margin notes; and allows papers to be saved online so they can be accessed anywhere, at any time. A free 48-hour trial of Questia is available until February 14 by visiting http://www.questia.com/launch. A three-tier subscription model provides flexibility for subscribers: annually for $149.95, monthly for $19.95, and short-term (48 hours) for $14.95.

Additional details about the service can be read in Paula J. Hane's interview with Questia's founder and CEO, Troy Williams, in the February issue of Information Today, as well as online at http://www.infotoday.com.

Source: Questia Media, Inc.

Northern Light Introduces Competitive Intelligence Tool for Enterprises

Northern Light Technology, Inc. (http://www.NorthernLight.com) has introduced RivalEye, a competitive intelligence tool for enterprises. The new service, which is based on Northern Light's Special Editions, provides a real-time search and alerting service that integrates into a corporate intranet for easy desktop access throughout an organization.

Every RivalEye deployment features a Web-based micro-site on a single page, accessible through a company's secure intranet. The service provides detailed information on competitors and on the core business sector in which one's own company operates, including links to industry news sites, industry associations, a calendar of events, regional and international information, and relevant market research.

Northern Light's editorial staff select, annotate, and organize useful competitive information from the Web as well as from Northern Light's Article Archive of over 7,000 full-text journals, trade publications, and news sources. A search box is provided to allow users to do a real-time search of either the entire Northern Light database or a selected relevant vertical industry. A typical implementation for a new customer begins at about $45,000 per year.

Source: Northern Light Technology, Inc.



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