LLRXBuzz - June 12, 2000

The Latest on Legal Research

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Adobe Creates PDF Search Engine

Adobe has started a PDF search engine online at http://searchpdf.adobe.com/ At least two site search engines -- Picosearch and Atomz -- offer indexing of PDF files, but this is still pretty cool. The engine -- which contrary to established Internet precedent doesn't have a cute name -- claims to index over a million documents.

The engine does have a random setting, which immediately drops you into downloading a PDF file, so I wouldn't get into that unless I was really bored. The engine is powered by AltaVista, so the standard AltaVista syntax works -- except for the domain: special syntax, since it appears that the documents reside on the Adobe servers. Ah, I see. The search result takes you to an HTML version of the document. The version includes keywords, a link to download the PDF version of the file, and the URL of the original document. Interesting.

History At Your Fingertips

The Gale Group has unveiled the History Research Center: US. It is said to be the largest history library in the world accessible from a desktop. The subscription service is designed primarily for libraries, schools, and universities and is the first product to integrate history's most important original documents, classic references, scholarly journals and newspapers, and magazine articles in a single interface. The Center includes resources such as the Dictionary of American History, thousands of current and archived newspaper and magazine articles, encyclopedia articles, biographies, rare documents, multimedia maps and images, and descriptive chronologies. It also includes the "Digital Forum" which allows students to share thoughts and opinions on various events in history. 

The Gale Group is currently setting up free trials of the History Resource Center. You can get to the site at http://www.galegroup.com/HistoryRC/index.htm. You can also take a tour and learn more about the content. Unfortunately, free trials are not available to individual users. (You institutional librarians have the advantage with this one.) If you are with a university or other organization, you can request a free trial at http://www.galegroup.com/HistoryRC/P26F.html.

Free News Digests From Powerize                                                       
Powerize.com has launched Powerize Industry News Digests, a free e-mail subscription service that delivers concise summaries of the day's most significant news stories in each of eight major industries.

Each weekday afternoon Powerize will deliver summaries of the 5-7 major news stories in each industry with links to the complete articles. Currently this site offers ad-supported News Digests for the following industries: advertising, broadcasting & cable, chemicals, energy, healthcare, internet, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. Each month, Powerize will add several more industries. You can sign up for the newsletters at http://powerize.0mm.com/powerize?u=pwr. The site itself is at http://www.powerize.com/.

Federal Lobbying Reports Now Available On The Internet              
Netivation.com has launched LobbyPro, a searchable database for federal lobbying reports (http://www.fecinfo.com/lobbypro/). It will allow users to search the lobbying activities of over 17,000 organizations, companies, unions, lobby firms, and other registered lobbyists.

The information is updated daily and subscribers are able to search for a particular issue, subject area, or legislative bill number to see who or what organizations are currently lobbying for that area of interest. Other features of LobbyPro include identifying who is lobbying or paying for lobbying activity, linking clients with the names of their lobbyist or lobbying firm, and grouping industry categories and linking to specific companies.

A subscription to this site also includes biannual reports and ranking of lobbying activity. Subscriptions are $1,500 for a year's subscription, or a special rate of $1,000 if the subscriber is a registered federal lobbyist. Report samples are available at the site.

McGraw-Hill Launches Science Site                                                    
McGraw-Hill Education last announced the launch of AccessScience, an online research tool built around the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology (http://www.accessscience.com). However, unlike the print version which is updated every 5 years, the electronic version is updated continuously. Among AccessScience's many features are more than 7,000 full-length articles from the Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, more than 115,000 definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 350 research updates from the McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology, 2,000 biographies of leaders in the science and technology field, and weekly news articles from science journals.

A team of 74 experts advise on content and ensure comprehensive coverage by qualified authors, including more than 13,000 contributors and 19 Nobel laureates. AccessScience offers coverage of 20 major subject areas: agriculture, anthropology, archaeology, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medicine, physics, psychiatry, and veterinary medicine. There's a free trial available, but again, it's for institutions only. (Phooey.) Subscription rates vary depending on number of subscribers, from $695 for less than 500 people, to over $8,000 for more than 20,000 people.

Commercial Airline Crash Database to Open June 19                   
CrashPages.com has announced the pending launch of crashDATABASE at http://www.crashdatabase.com. Apparently crashDATABASE will be a database of more than 4,000 fatal commercial airline accidents since 1908, and will be searchable by accident date, location, airline, flight number, aircraft type, aircraft registration, and accident cause.

It will apparently also be free of charge. crashDATABASE is part of a larger site, http://www.crashpages.com. CrashPages.Com is a site focused on airline safety news and information, with news, video, statistics, and discussion areas.

Electric Library Now Lets You Take Keyword Test Drives              
Infonautics, Inc. is now allowing non-registered users search the Electric Library's online database for free for a limited time using one of five pre-selected keywords (http://www.elibrary.com). The Test Drive will revolve around the stock exchanges and some of their most active companies. The five selected keywords are "Microsoft," "Interest Rates," "Greenspan," "Time Warner," and "Disney." Users can search the Electric Library's database of over 7 million published articles to research any of these five keywords. It is also offering a free 30 day no-risk trial membership that provides unlimited searches of the database. You can also track topics and have notification of new search results delivered to you by e-mail. 

Electric Library is fairly inexpensive -- $9.95 a month or $59.95 a year for unlimited article retrieval.. However, they do suffer from a limited resource collection. This is not a source you could use to displace the Dow Jones Publications Library or even Intellisearch. On the other hand, I do occasionally find things here that I don't anywhere else. Since article retrieval is free, it's a good deal.