ProQuest Offers Free Access For Library Week, Adds Collaboration Platform, Helps Universities

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ANN ARBOR — The information and database provider ProQuest made several announcements Thursday, including opening its most popular databases free to libraries April 11-20, during National Library Week.

A trip to www.proquest.com/go/celebrate connects visitors with all the details.

To broaden support for one of public libraries most requested services – homework help  — ProQuest is providing free access to patron favorites such as CultureGrams, award-winning eLibrary, SIRS Issues Researcher, Historic MapWorks Library Edition, as well as such ebrary e-book collections as Public Library Complete and Schools and Educators Complete.

Libraries that find these works particularly popular with their community can extend complimentary access for up to 30 days.

All libraries are encouraged to add www.proquest.com/go/celebrate to their websites during National Library Week, April 14-20.

ProQuest also announced that attendees at the UKSG and Association of College and Research Libraries conferences are getting a look at the next generation of document and reference management as ProQuest demos its new RefWorks Flow, a cloud-based collaboration platform for research materials. Flow was created to provide a better solution for the changing workflow of researchers, who are increasingly working in team environments and want seamless access to full text documents, rather than citations alone.

Built with user experience as its primary development driver, Flow features an intuitive interface that needs little training to use and simplifies the management of research materials. It enables users, whether they’re students or scholars, to organize full text documents and references, keeping them together, accessible and usable for a variety of needs — team collaboration, class reading scenarios, etc. Users can save web page content and metadata, create collections to organize documents and citations, and upload PDF and Office documents. Once saved to the cloud, these documents can be read, highlighted, and annotated on multiple devices. Flow has built-in recognition of documents and citations so users don’t have to enter metadata manually.

Flow is also designed to be easy for institutions to use. A cloud-based service, it requires no installation or updates. Flow is compatible with all modern web browsers on computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

ProQuest also announced that it is helping universities build robust institutional repositories by sharing digital copies of their graduate works which have been converted from paper or microfilm and archived in the ProQuest Dissertations and Thesis database. The move enables universities to build their own searchable, historical archives even if their IR programs are new.

“Our goal is to expand the reach and impact of graduate works as a driver of innovative research,” said Austin McLean, ProQuest director of dissertations publishing. “By teaming with our university partners, we can maximize the profile of dissertations and theses as an integral part of the scholarly communications landscape.”

The new program deepens ProQuest’s policy of sharing digital copies of dissertations with universities as they are submitted when authors allow broad dissemination. Any university that has participated in ProQuest’s Digital Archiving and Access Program is eligible to receive copies of their converted dissertations for loading into their IRs. Some nominal charges may apply. Additionally, the university must comply with any limits that the author has placed on posting and dissemination.

ProQuest has been showcasing innovative graduate works through multiple new programs. In 2007, it launched PQDT Open, an online repository of Open Access graduate works. This expanded service provides authors with the widest possible distribution of the official published version of their dissertation or thesis.  ProQuest’s traditional publishing service is also included with rigorous quality assurance, assignment of an ISBN and permanent storage in the company’s microfilm and digital vaults. Breadth of dissemination is determined by dissertation authors within the context of institutional policies and ProQuest strictly adheres to author dissemination choices.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses is the world’s largest commercially available repository of graduate works. Chosen by the United States Library of Congress as the official archive of American dissertations, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, whose precursor was begun in 1939, now encompasses more than one quarter of a billion pages, creating a unique, continually growing trove of emerging research and landmark works. Researchers rely on ProQuest Dissertations & Theses as both a source of enlightening information and as a pivotal component in making their own scholarly production available to the world’s intellectual communities. The archive is managed at ProQuest by a team of scholars and technologists, who combine their talents to make the archive accessible, reliable and supported by continually advancing technology.

More about all these announcements at www.proquest.com.

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