|Weekly News Digest
July 24, 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.
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CNET Networks Acquiring ZDNet
CNET Networks, Inc. (http://www.cnet.com) and ZDNet (http://www.zdnet.com) have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement by which CNET will acquire ZDNet for $1.6 billion in a fairly complicated stock purchase involving both Ziff-Davis, Inc. stock and ZDNet stock, which trades separately. The acquisition is seen as a way to create a global leader in providing technology news and product information to businesses and individuals.
According to the press release, which cited reports from Media Metrix, together the companies have an unduplicated online audience of 16.6 million unique monthly users and would rank as the eighth largest property on the Internet. An article about the acquisition on TheStreet.com site (http://www.thestreet.com/brknews/internet/1006762.html) quoted an analyst at Goldman Sachs, who stated that ZDNet has a lead over CNET in the enterprise market, while CNET has a larger audience in the consumer home market. While the two are usually seen as rivals, the company stresses that the move will unite two complementary Internet powerhouses. CNET also produces television and radio programming and owns MySimon, a comparison online shopping service.
Ziff-Davis has had a complex corporate history, and it's often hard to remember who owns what or even what's left of the company. Prior to the completion of this merger and as a condition to the merger, Ziff-Davis, as previously announced, will spin off its trade show and conference business (including COMDEX) as a separate company, Key3Media. Softbank, the Japanese Internet company that owns a majority of Ziff-Davis' voting stock, has agreed to vote its shares in favor of the buyout, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Last December, Ziff-Davis sold off its publishing business, which included popular technology titles like PC Magazine and Yahoo! Internet Life, to the buyout firm Willis Stein & Partners.
Source: CNET Networks, Inc.
ProQuest 4 Debuts at ALA with IntelliDocs
Bell & Howell's Information and Learning (http://www.infolearning.com) business unit (formerly UMI) premiered the latest release of its research system, ProQuest, at the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Chicago. This version will be released to customers July 31. It provides a number of enhancements to the user interface, and to the electronic usage reports. According to the company, the most significant addition to ProQuest is a new, intelligent document-linking capability, called IntelliDocs. Clicking on people, places, and companies that are highlighted in the full text of articles will link to a suite of additional reference sources. Sources include World Book Encyclopedia, Best of the Web (relevant sites on the Web), company profiles from Dow Jones, and the library's local OPAC. More quality sources will be added in the coming months.
Source: Bell & Howell Information and Learning
ingenta and Sage Team-Up for Electronic Journal Delivery
ingenta, the research article service, has announced an agreement in principle to host journals from Sage, a global publisher of social science, media, communications, and humanities journals. The addition of Sage's portfolio of over 200 journals will bring the number of titles available through ingenta's Web site (http://www.ingenta.com) to a total of 2,800 academic and professional journals and over a million articles online.
Stephen Barr, managing director of Sage Publications, Ltd., said: "ingenta is a key provider of electronic journal access with a genuinely international reach and customer base. We believe that the availability of Sage journals through ingenta offers users the combination of critical mass and key content through a site of recognized excellence."
In addition to Sage, ingenta has signed eight new publisher offerings in the past 6 months, including Bowker-Saur, Henry Stewart, and Bentham Press.
Plumtree Software Announces Content Partnerships for Its Corporate Portal
Plumtree Software, Inc. (http://www.plumtree.com) has announced six new partnerships and the release of new Plumtree Portal Gadget suites for integrating premium content and industry news from those partners in the Plumtree Corporate Portal. New partners Business.com, iSyndicate, Moreover.com, NewsEdge, LEXIS-NEXIS, and Screaming Media all participated in Plumtree's initiative to bring comprehensive access to business content to the portal. The partnerships give enterprise customers a single desktop for external business content and internal business applications.
Just as a consumer portal organizes in logical categories links to information from different Web sites, the Plumtree Corporate Portal creates links to content on the corporate network and the Internet, assembling a logical view of information from disparate systems. Plumtree's content partners embedded their services in the Plumtree Corporate Portal as Plumtree Portal Gadgets, which are plug-in modules that embed components of applications and interactive Internet services in a personalized portal page. Each partner developed a separate suite of gadgets. For example, NEXIS offers search gadgets for searching LEXIS-NEXIS databases, and a Company Dossier gadget. Pricing is based on the standard pricing models of the content partners.
Source: Plumtree Software, Inc.
OCLC Cooperative Online Resource Catalog Debuts
The OCLC Cooperative Online Resource Catalog (CORC) is now available as a regular service. Built cooperatively with nearly 500 libraries over the past 18 months, CORC is a Web-based system for building bibliographic records and pathfinders (subject bibliographies) for electronic resources.
CORC lets librarians work together to target the best Web resources available that fit local needs, minimizing duplication of effort and maximizing knowledge sharing across libraries from around the world. According to OCLC, CORC gives libraries the ability to make local resources available to the world and to make quality global resources available to local library users.
CORC offers a toolkit, based on technology developed at OCLC, that supports automated record creation, authority control, URL maintenance, and pathfinder creation. Libraries using CORC have the option of subscribing to the WebDewey service for access to the latest version of the enhanced Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) database (updated quarterly) and use of an automatic classification tool to generate candidate DDC numbers during record creation. A special feature of the WebDewey service is its inclusion of selected Library of Congress subject headings—linked to the LC authority files—that have been intellectually mapped to Dewey numbers by the DDC editors and statistically mapped to Dewey numbers in OCLC's WorldCat database.
More information about CORC is available on the OCLC Web site (http://www.oclc.org/oclc/corc/index.htm).
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