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Weekly News Digest

July 16, 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.

LexisNexis, Reed Elsevier Ventures Invest in iPhrase Technologies

LexisNexis (http://www.lexisnexis.com) and the venture-capital fund of its parent company Reed Elsevier have invested $8 million in Cambridge, Massachusetts-based iPhrase Technologies, Inc. (http://www.iphrase.com), a start-up firm providing enterprise information access software. While the companies say it's too soon to disclose plans, they expect later this year to launch iPhrase-powered systems to simplify searching the 200 trillion bytes of information owned by Reed Elsevier units.

"This investment is another move in our continuing efforts to make our content easily accessible by customers," said Bill Pardue, CEO of LexisNexis' Corporate and Federal Markets business. "iPhrase is an enterprise-class solution—exactly the market we are serving with our LexisNexis Customized eSolutions."

iPhrase offers intuitive access to electronic databases based on a combination of language understanding, information retrieval, and user-interaction algorithms. Its patent-pending One Step platform enables users to search Web sites and large databases through simple English-language queries and obtain a customized response in one step. iPhrase draws heavily on natural language database search technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer science labs.

Reed Elsevier launched a $100 million venture-capital fund earlier this year with the intention of investing in late-stage and pre-IPO companies. Reed Elsevier executives said the ventures are meant to help multiple Reed Elsevier divisions open the door to new technologies, products, services, or customers.

Source: LexisNexis

WHO, Six Publishers Announce Access to Biomedical Journals for Developing Countries

The World Health Organization (WHO; http://www.who.int) and the world's six biggest medical journal publishers have announced an initiative that will enable close to 100 developing countries to gain access to vital scientific information that they otherwise could not afford. The arrangement agreed to by the six publishers would allow almost 1,000 of the world's leading medical and scientific journals to become available through the Internet to medical schools and research institutions in developing countries for free or at deeply reduced rates.

Scheduled to start in January 2002, the initiative is expected to last for at least 3 years while being monitored for progress. The participating publishers are Blackwell, Elsevier Science, the Harcourt Worldwide STM Group, Wolters Kluwer International Health & Science, Springer Verlag, and John Wiley.

The initiative is an important step in the establishment of the Health InterNetwork, a project introduced by United Nations' Secretary General Kofi Annan at the U.N. Millennium Summit last year. Led by WHO, the Health InterNetwork aims to strengthen public health services by providing public health workers, researchers, and policymakers with access to high-quality, relevant, and timely health information through an Internet portal. It further aims to improve communication and networking. As key components, the project will provide training as well as information and communication technology applications for public health.

Source: World Health Organization

The Royal Society of Chemistry Sells Chemical Business NewsBase to Ei

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC; http://www.rsc.org) and Chemistry, Ltd. have announced that they have sold their Chemical Business NewsBase (CBNB) and the associated Focus newsletter series, to Engineering Information, Inc. (Ei; http://www.ei.org), a U.S.-based and fully owned subsidiary of Elsevier Science. According to the announcement, RSC wishes to concentrate its publishing activities in products for the research community. Ei sees CBNB as a valuable database to further expand its activities in industrial research and development markets.

CBNB, an abstracts database focusing on the chemical industry, was launched by the RSC in 1985. It has developed into a leading database of worldwide chemical business news and information, and is available on all major hosts and on CD-ROM. Ei intends to maintain the current distribution strategy, but will also explore additional distribution channels.

Source: Engineering Information, Inc.

netLibrary Announces Distribution Alliance with Baker & Taylor

netLibrary (http://www.netlibrary.com), a provider of e-books and Internet-based content/collection management services, has announced a new e-book distribution alliance with Baker & Taylor (http://www.btol.com). Baker & Taylor, together with its subsidiary YBP Library Services (YBP; http://www.ybp.com), is a leading supplier of book products and services to public and academic libraries.

"This alliance between two industry leaders underscores the growing interest in netLibrary e-books and netLibrary's commitment to support the way libraries conduct business today," said Rob Kaufman, netLibrary's CEO and president. "This distribution relationship will support current and prospective netLibrary customers by streamlining their e-book collection development and acquisitions processes, allowing them to effectively consolidate their ordering requirements with an established, leading library supplier."

Source: netLibrary



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