Ebsco Acquires Ageline
Ebsco announced today that it has acquired Ageline a database that they describe has having been (past tense) produced by AARP. My question is, will it continue to be free as it has been under AARP. Yes Ebsco had been but one distributor of this product, what happens now that they own the content. Will this once again be an example of something that was free becoming available as a subscription only. I’m also wondering if Ebsco will move towards a monopoly on its distribution as it did when it acquired Cinahl? Time will tell whether this is a feature or a bug.
Ebsco Launches a Federated Search
Last year Ovid announced with much fanfare that they were launching a federated search that promised to solve all of the problems inherent in other federated search products. This year Ebsco is making an announcement that is along the same lines. They claim that, “EBSCOhost Integrated Search takes federated searching to a new level.”
Ebsco describes its benefits saying, “unlike federated search products, true integration is possible with EBSCOhost Integrated Search as libraries can now apply the powerful EBSCOhost search experience to all of their other electronic information resources. ” So Ebsco’s integrated search isn’t a federated search? I remember last year Ovid saying something similar. They said (and I’m pulling this from memory) that they couldn’t be called a federated search because that was a proprietary term owned by some other entity. I’m wondering if that’s why Ebsco is backing away from the term federated search. It does allow them a clever marketing ploy — it provides them the opportunity to distance themselves from federated search products. We were able to see a bit of the Ovid product through their new Nursing product that included a mini-version of the search. To say we were underwhelmed with the Ovid product would be an understatement. I’m skeptical of Ebsco’s claims. Not because of anything having to do with Ebsco but because I understand the complexities of federated (integrated) searching. I also have been down this road before with other vendors. I wish Ebsco well and do fervently hope that their product delivers as promised in an affordable manner.
I also hope that they offer a 100% operational trial. We had this when we purchased WebFeat and being able to set-up a real life trial using our products under our authentication conditions was critical in making our decision. I don’t know that we would be willing to contemplate switching products without being able to conduct a real time real world trial. If Ebsco tries just providing links or access to some facisimilie that they have set-up then I don’t know how we could possibly decide if it would be worth switching from our current product. Overall we are very happy with WebFeat, the only thing I don’t like is that they sell you the statistics module for a (hefty) additional fee. This has always seemed a bit odd to me.
Good luck and Best Wishes Ebsco on your new venture.
Many years ago I started my library career working at Duke University and during my time there David Ferrieo was hired as our library director. I see he is once again in the news having been named U.S. Archivist. Interesting news item here.