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Thomson Gale Launches AccessMyLibrary.Com

:: From a press release from Thomson Gale:

Thomson Gale Launches AccessMyLibrary.Com to Allow Tens of Millions of People to Access Trusted Library Information Online --Initiative will improve the quality and relevance of information found on the Internet

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., June 16, 2005 -- Thomson Gale, the world's leading publisher of library reference information and part of The Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC), today announced a groundbreaking library advocacy initiative that will enable libraries to capitalize on Internet search engines as a means of connecting library users with authoritative content. This unique initiative, which builds on Thomson Gale's commitment to libraries and their users, will increase peoples' awareness and usage of the library resources users are entitled to and at the same time provide them with direct access to more high-value information than ever before through Internet search.

Studies by a number of organizations, including research firms Electronic Publishing Services (EPS) and Outsell Inc., indicate that student and faculty researchers have joined the legions of more casual information seekers who are augmenting their use of traditional information sources, such as libraries with Internet search engines. The growing reliance on Internet search engines as a means of conducting academic research represents a departure from longstanding research patterns, and according to the EPS, signals a need for libraries to evolve the way they manage and promote their resources to more effectively support their users.

With the launch of AccessMyLibrary.com, Thomson Gale has enabled its content to be crawled and indexed by major search engines such as Yahoo! and Google. In doing so, Thomson Gale is not only making high-value content resources visible to a broader universe of information seekers, but is also highlighting the critical role libraries play as providers of quality information. Once desired content has been identified and made visible through the search engine's results, it becomes available through AccessMyLibrary.com if the searcher is an authorized user of a library that subscribes to that content.

"AccessMyLibrary.com will drive more successful searches and in doing so will remind everyone the worlds' libraries are critically important centers of learning and education," said Gordon Macomber, president of Thomson Gale. "The ubiquity of the Internet and the effectiveness of Internet search engines have forever changed the way people seek information. Thomson Gale has harnessed the power of Internet search engines to assist libraries in continuing to be the world's undisputed source for the highest quality and most authoritative reference information."

According to Yahoo!, Thomson Gale's AccessMyLibrary.com is also an important contribution to the overall evolution of the Internet.

"Through AccessMyLibrary.com Thomson Gale is really leveraging the opportunities that can be created when electronic information providers are thoughtful about making their content accessible to major search engines," said David Mandelbrot, vice president of Search, Yahoo!.

Macomber added, "Our approach to working with search did not develop overnight. Years of experimentation and listening to our customers has brought us to this point. We recognize the transformation that is taking place in the information industry and are excited about what the future holds for Thomson Gale and our customers. During this transformation, our key focus will be to assist libraries in showcasing their enduring role as the best source for high quality, relevant information."

HOW IT WORKS

Thomson Gale has released AccessMyLibrary.com as a beta program, which includes thousands of libraries that will enable their authenticated users to gain access to millions of documents from Thomson Gale's award winning product lines. There are no additional setup requirements for libraries in the beta program. Thomson Gale's service will set the standard for how publishers, aggregators, search engines and libraries can work in harmony for the benefit of their users.

With AccessMyLibrary.com, when searchers select a Thomson Gale article from a search engine's result list, they will be given the option to connect to their local library and freely access the selected article. Users will need to have their library card number or other identification to connect to the library. The library's address and phone number will also be provided so that users can contact their library to obtain a card or to learn more about the library's resources.

Macomber added, "It is important for us to establish, maintain and strengthen our relationships with individual information searchers. We believe that in doing so we will be able to facilitate a seamless connection to high-quality information that searchers are entitled to access through their library. In the process, libraries will continue to fortify their relationships with the countless students and other users they have been serving for years."A quick check of

AccessMyLibrary.com takes you to a beta site, with little information available. Click on "About This Service" or "Search Help", and an empty window pops up. I browsed some of the publication list, and found Polymer Engineering and Science, which is a peer-reviewed publication, and one to which we subscribe at the U of Alberta. Via Wiley Interscience, the June 2005 issue is currently available, and the July 2005 issue is also available as "Early View". Via AccessMyLibrary.com, the most recent issue available is January 2005.

It is not clear how publications are selected for this product. Polymer Engineering and Science is a Wiley Interscience publication, but other WI journals I checked are not indexed in AccessMyLibrary.com, such as Earthquake Engineering & Structural Dynamics or Hydrological Processes.

Click on any article, and the page that follows includes the citation and introduction, and the following: "Read the rest of this article for free courtesy of your local library." Click on "Go To Library", and you begin a three-step authentication process - that is, if you are in the USA. Click on "Not a Member?", or "Accessing outside of the United States?", and two more blank windows pop up (in Firefox or IE - in IE, the error message page appears, rather than the blank page, in FF). So for now, no access outside the USA, and the publication delay appears to be six months.

Comments

Would be great if this service was extended to Canada.

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