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Weekly News Digest

October 23, 2000 — 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. Launches Reorganized Site, Inc. has announced the release of its reorganized Best-of-Web Directory ( using the Dewey Decimal Classification system (DDC; published by OCLC Forest Press), for a hierarchical subject-organized menu, and the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), for an alphabetical subject index. Started in 1996, was reportedly one of the first Web sites to engage real people ("contributing editors") rather than software (search engines) to find, review, and publish links to Internet content. (, for example, also employs guides.)

"The reorganization of our Directory has been a huge undertaking," said Sandra Singh, M.L.I.S., who was hired in October 1999 as's head cybrarian. "Like all directories, our goal is to ensure that our users can easily find information they are looking for on our site, regardless of our size. Our solution was to adopt proven tools rather than try and reinvent the wheel. With the DDC and LCSH, we are not only providing superior access to information on our site, but our users will also be able to use the DDC numbers or LCSH subject headings to browse their local public library, online catalogs and, in the future, online bookstores."

According to the announcement, Singh and her team of catalogers have been working to index more than 70,000 unique pieces of content in's 1,200-plus topic Directory, including articles, discussions, and best-of-Web recommendations. Since May 2000, more than 200 new contributing editors have joined According to the Vancouver, Canada-based company, the site has 700,000 unique visitors each month, and more than 270,000 registered members. Surprisingly, other than Singh, no one on's management team or board of directors has a library background, though one member of the Advisory Board is a librarian.


Bowker Launches 2.0

R.R. Bowker, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc., has announced the availability of 2.0, the Web version of Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. Enhancements to the site include a redesigned interface, new search functionality, hotlinks, and weekly updating. Changes were made in direct response to customer feedback. A free 2-week test of 2.0 is available at

"A dynamic, more intuitive interface offers greater ease of navigation, with point-and-click functionality, easy-to-read screens, logical pull-down menus, and much more," said Judy Salk, R.R. Bowker's director of product development. "We have made several additions to the existing array of search criteria, including language, frequency, and publisher city. What's more, thousands of publisher URLs and e-mail addresses are hotlinked, allowing users to communicate directly with serials publishers or access content on their sites."

Users are now able to do the following:

  • Start a search from any page
  • Employ advanced keyword searching in title and subject (word may be in any position)
  • Target, limit, or sort search results by numerous criteria, such as country, ISSN, and status
  • Download, print, or e-mail records from any portion of the search, including search results, lists, or full display
  • Add or edit comments to results lists generated
  • Save, copy, and/or move items to public lists or the user's own lists
  • Generate search history during a session
  • Browse indexes
  • Monitor usage statistics
According to the press release, 2.0 retains features that have become benchmarks—the same ability to search for abstracted-and-indexed titles, titles that are available for document delivery through 19 document delivery services, and titles available electronically in full text. As before, 2.0 is reportedly the only place to find reviews from both Magazines for Libraries and Library Journal.

Source: R.R. Bowker

CrossRef Announces Developments

Ed Pentz, executive director of CrossRef (, has announced a number of important developments for the collaborative reference linking service, including new staff, new members, and a data center. Pentz said that CrossRef has established a state-of-the-art, dedicated data center at Exodus Communications, a provider of Internet hosting. The new data center will be fully operational by the end of this month. CrossRef, which went live in May, has been functioning until now from member publishers' servers.

CrossRef, which was formed last year by a number of leading scientific, technical, and medical (STM) publishers, offers the scientific and scholarly community the ability to click on a reference citation in a journal and immediately access the cited article. CrossRef functions as a sort of digital switchboard. It holds no full-text content, but rather effects linkages through Digital Object Identifier (DOI) numbers, which are tagged to article metadata supplied by the participating publishers.

CrossRef is run from a central facility operated by Publishers International Linking Association, Inc. (PILA), and utilizes the DOI to ensure permanent links. Its board of directors includes representatives from AAAS (Science), Academic Press (Harcourt), AIP, ACM, Blackwell Science, Elsevier Science, IEEE, Kluwer, Nature, OUP, Springer, and Wiley.

Pentz said, "I am also pleased to announce that Mark Kosinski has joined CrossRef as the director of technology. His appointment ensures that CrossRef will be providing a 24/7 Internet system for its members and making significant improvements to the system going forward." Kosinski will manage the CrossRef Data Center, oversee the upgrading and improvement of CrossRef's system and software, and serve as a technical resource for CrossRef members. He was previously an IT manager at Nextel Communications.

Pentz reported that there are now over 50 publishers participating in CrossRef, accounting for over 3,100 journals with more than 2 million article records in the database. In the near future, CrossRef will begin incorporating other reference content such as encyclopedias, textbooks, conference proceedings, and other relevant literature.

Source: CrossRef

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli
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