Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.
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Google Adds News Features
Search Engine Google ( http://www.google.com ) has added news features to their search engine. Apparently if you put a relevant search term in the search box, news headlines will pop up first. I played with this a little bit. The query gore-clinton got news results. The query gore by itself didn’t. The query gore bush got results, as did gore-bush. The news search does seem to keep the NOT operator (represented by – in the example above) in mind. Phrases work, too — “Gore Bush” got one result, and that was in a headline that had the two keywords together. Single word queries didn’t seem to work well. The query Korea did not generate news hits (too general?) But Korea News did — two headlines.
DoctorDirectory.com, Inc. has introduced www.MedicalSchoolDirectory.com . This site will give prospective medical school students a new search tool featuring basic listings from schools across the United States and admission department links.
From the main page ( http://www.MedicalSchoolDirectory.com/ ) you may browse by state or by alphabet. Browsing by state gives you a page with the name of the school and the city in which it is located. Clicking on the name of the school gives you a basic listing with name, address, phone, URL (and URL for that department, not for the entire university), and e-mail contact address. (All the ones I looked at had Web addresses, but not all of them had contact e-mail addresses.) The information here is limited and that makes its usefulness limited as well; for example, you can’t search for schools on the west coast that have noted courses in pediatric medicine. However, it has enough general information that it would be either a good place to start your search or a good place to get contact information once you’d done more searching elsewhere.
Rand Publications Available Through netLibrary Inc.
RAND, a non-profit institution “dedicated to improving public policy through research and analysis” (press release), announced that its publications covering a broad range of topics will be available to libraries and other institutions through netLibrary, Inc.
RAND titles to be offered include “Closing the Education Gap: Benefits and Costs,” “Citizens, Computers, and Connectivity,” and “Global Science and Technology Information: A New Spin on Access.” RAND intends to offer all of its monographs published since 1999, as well as the best of its backlist. View the press release at: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/000612/pa_netlibr.html .
Free Court Forms Available Here!
FindLaw now has a site where users can access nearly 8,000 forms from US federal and state courts for free. The site contains forms from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts, as well as forms from state courts on topics ranging from adoption to divorce to civil harassment. Also available are civil and criminal subpoenas, summons, complaints, affidavits, and schedules. All of the forms are available in PDF format.
The forms are available at http://forms.findlaw.com. The main page is divided into two sections: a federal section (quickly browsable by circuit court number, with a map if you need it) and state forms (not all states are covered yet). The federal court materials are divided into several subcategories — bankruptcy court, several different districts, etc. From there the resource is divided into still more subcategories — civil, miscellaneous, etc. — and at this level the forms are searchable. Similarly, the state court materials are divided into several categories, but they are searchable on the first level. Remember, these forms are available in PDF format, so make sure you have the Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your machine before you download them. If you don’t have the reader, you can get it at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html.
CrossRef Has Been Activated
CrossRef, a reference linking service for journal articles, has been launched with information at http://www.crossref.org/ . Ten of the 33 member publishers have submitted 1.3 million article records in about 2,700 journals to CrossRef’s Metadata database. Once the records have been submitted, members then enable links to other publishers’ content. About 1,100 journals now have live reference links enabled by CrossRef. Some of the journals are Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (Elsevier), Brain Research (Elsevier), Cancer (Wiley), European Journal of Biochemistry (Blackwell), Journal of Comparative Neurology (Wiley), Journal of Investigative Dermatology (Blackwell), Journal of Molecular Biology (Academic), Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (Springer), and World Journal of Surgery (Springer).
This site is operated as a not-for-profit organization jointly formed by member publishers and incorporated as PILA. Once the service is fully launched more than 3 million articles across thousands of journals will be linked through CrossRef, with more than half a million more articles linked each year hereafter. See the press release with more information. http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/000605/ny_crossre_2.html .
NewsTracker Gets a New Look
Excite’s NewsTracker ( http://nt.excite.com/ ) has a new look to their results page. I wanted to take that as an excuse to mention the ‘tracker for people who want to keep up with current events online. To me the NewsTracker occupies a unique corner of the universe; it’s not as extensive as many other online resources, sometimes it pulls up weird results, and the ads above and below the results can get really annoying. But on the other hand, I get pointers to very valuable articles there that I wouldn’t have found ANYWHERE else. If you need to track news online, make NewsTracker your “interesting extra.”
Also, keep in mind that Excite is getting ready to do some upgrades and improvements to its search service that should be implemented by the time you read this. More about that in this PC World article: http://www1.pcworld.com/pcwtoday/article/0,1510,17203,00.html . You can also learn more about these changes at http://websearch.about.com/internet/websearch/library/weekly/aa061600a.htm