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Weekly News Digest

May 7, 2007 — 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.

Reuters to Acquire ClearForest

Reuters (www.reuters.com) announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of ClearForest, Ltd. (www.clearforest.com), a privately held provider of text analytics solutions, whose tagging platform and analytical products are designed to allow clients to derive precise business information from huge amounts of textual content.

ClearForest has received sufficient shareholder approval to complete the transaction, which is expected to close in about 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions. The financial terms were not disclosed. Reuters plans to retain and continue to work with the existing management team and their work forces in Waltham, Mass., and Israel. It also plans to continue to support existing products and customers. ClearForest’s current customers include The Dow Chemical Co., Elsevier Science, Dow Jones & Co., Thomson Financial, and International Finance Corp.

Reuters said it believes that search will be a pivotal element to the future of how financial information is sourced and consumed. As part of its drive into this space, it has created a new strategic group within Reuters and appointed former head of search for AOL, Gerry Campbell, who will oversee the integration of ClearForest and drive this innovation.

Source: Reuters

Thomson Gale Launches New Social Issues Site

Thomson Gale (www.gale.com) has introduced a new reference Web site called WiseTo Social Issues (http://socialissues.wiseto.com), a site dedicated to comprehensively exploring today’s hottest and most divisive topics. Each of the more than 100 main topics includes free content written by experts, but users also have the ability to purchase a premium Expert Pass to access additional content for each of the topics ($7.99 for 30 days of access for one topic). Thomson Gale intends to offer a sitewide Expert Pass for all the topic areas in the near future.

Consistent with Thomson Gale’s long-standing mission of advancing learning and libraries, WiseTo Social Issues features unbiased, academic-quality information that represents all sides of highly contested issues. The site offers library-quality reference content exclusively created by or licensed from third parties by Thomson Gale, which has produced trusted information for libraries, schools, and businesses worldwide for more than 50 years.

According to a spokesperson for Gale, the free overview and points of view articles are taken from but do not exactly duplicate content in the Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center, which Gale sells to school and public libraries. Less than 3 percent of the content in Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center appears in WiseTo Social Issues. In addition, WiseTo Social Issues provides links to Thomson Gale’s library advocacy Web site, AccessMyLibrary (www.accessmylibrary.com), through which consumers have full access to the entire suite of Thomson Gale databases their library has licensed on their behalf.

Source: Thomson Gale

Ex Libris Announces Availability of Primo

Ex Libris Group (www.exlibrisgroup.com) announced that its Primo unified solution for the discovery and delivery of library resources, regardless of format and location, is now in general release. It aggregates locally held collections of various types—print, digital, and electronic—which may include the library catalog, digital repositories, course management systems, and remote resources such as abstracting-and-indexing databases and ejournal collections. Out of the box, Primo integrates with various library systems such as the Ex Libris ALEPH 500 and Voyager systems and the SirsiDynix Unicorn system.

Primo provides various linguistic capabilities and, when relevant, suggests alternative search terms—helping users focus on the most appropriate results. Delivery options complete the discovery process. The Primo system displays an availability statement for each result along with a "get it" button that links the user to the most appropriate service for the specific context. The Primo user experience incorporates multiple elements adhering to Web 2.0 concepts, such as social computing features, including tags, ratings, and reviews that members of an institution’s user community can share with each other or with communities in other institutions.

Primo, like the other Ex Libris products, was developed in collaboration with customers. Primo’s development partners—the libraries at Vanderbilt University and the University of Minnesota—were brought on board during the earliest stages of the system’s design.

Source: Ex Libris Group

News Corp. Offers to Buy Dow JonesóDeveloping Story

News Corp. (www.newscorp.com), the media conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch, has offered $5 billion to buy Dow Jones & Co. (DJ; www.dj.com)—this represents a huge (67 percent) premium to pay for the company. The Bancroft family, which holds voting majority in DJ, is against the sale, as is the DJ employees’ union. DJ issued a statement on May 2 indicating that its "Board of Directors has determined to take no action with respect to the proposal" (www.dj.com/Pressroom/PressReleases/Other/US/2007/0502_US_DowJones_9971.htm). We’ll be watching to see what happens next …

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