ANN ARBOR — ProQuest will rescue one of researchers’ most valued reference tools when it takes on publication of the Statistical Abstract of the United States beginning with the 2013 edition. The move ensures continuation of this premier guide to an extraordinary array of statistics, which has been published since 1878.

The U.S. Census Bureau, responsible for publishing the work, announced in March 2011 that it would cease production of the Statistical Abstract after the 2012 edition, prompting widespread concern among librarians, journalists, and researchers about the disappearance of this essential research tool.

“I’m thrilled that ProQuest will continue aggregating this important content,” said Wright State University librarian Sue Polanka, author of the widely read No Shelf Required blog. Polanka was part of a Reference User Services Association committee who organized a discussion at the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference about how to save the Statistical Abstract from extinction. “Even in our increasingly digital world, the Statistical Abstract remains one of the best reference sources for libraries.”

“The Statistical Abstract of the United States has a long tradition of gathering what could be a confusing mass of content and presenting it in a way that makes it simple for users to connect with just the right nugget of information,” said Rod Gauvin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, ProQuest Information Solutions. “That is simply too valuable a service for researchers to lose. ProQuest is honored to continue its contribution.”

ProQuest is uniquely suited to the demanding editorial support that will be required to continue the high quality of the Statistical Abstract. The company, which employs 25 statistical editors in its Bethesda, Md. office, has acquired, indexed and republished Federal statistics since 1973. The staff is experienced in the accurate compilation of statistics from various sources and their correct annotation, enabling ProQuest to preserve the Statistical Abstract’s dual role as answer book and source guide.

The ProQuest Statistical Abstract will be available in both print and digital formats. The digital version will include monthly updates to tables, deep searching at the line-item level, powerful facets for narrowing search results, image and spreadsheet versions of all current and historical tables, along with links to provider sites.  The digital Statistical Abstract will be available as a stand-alone service or as a fully integrated part of ProQuest Statistical Insight, a comprehensive collection of statistical publications, including a million plus tables, covering subjects in economics, business, market research and the social sciences.

The print edition will continue much like its previous incarnations, with roughly the same number of tables as in past editions.  The ProQuest statistical editorial team will also include detailed bibliographic documentation, an updated back-of-the-book index, and updated introductory sections.  ProQuest will co-publish the book with Bernan Press, an imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc, which will print, market and distribute the book.

”We are delighted to be partnering with ProQuest to keep the ‘Stat Ab’ alive and well for the foreseeable future,” said Jed Lyons, President and CEO of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. “It is unthinkable that such an enormously important and useful source of critical data should no longer be available. Thanks to ProQuest and Bernan, a print edition will now appear.”

ProQuest plans to release the online and print editions of the Statistical Abstract of the United States in the fall of 2012.  Both are available for pre-sale beginning in April 2012.

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