CrossEngine is a search tool similar to Trovando. You type in your search terms just once and then click on each search engine in turn to run the search. The search tools are grouped under tabs by type, for example standard, video, images, news, blogs. Two groupings that CrossEngine has but Trovando does not are Formats, which enables you to search for file types such as PowerPoint or Excel, and Social covering services such as Delicious, Furl and Squidoo. Audio search is included under Formats, which I find a bit odd. It makes more sense to me for that to have its own tab or be included with video as it is in Trovando. Overall, a neat tool if you want to quickly run your search in several different tools one by one. The Blog – Another Tool in Your Arsenal

This is a very useful article by Janet Peros, legal reference librarian and co-chair of the Law Library Association of Greater New York’s education committee. It outlines the use of blogs and RSS feeds in several US legal firms, and how they have been used to replace newsletters for keeping partners and clients up to date. In some instances the mini case-studies mention the software and services used to publish the blogs and generate feeds. The motivation and reasoning behind the decisions to switch from conventional alerting services that are discussed in this article are relevant to any type of organisation in any country. The article is a good source of ammunition for those of us in the process of persuading colleagues and managers that blogs and RSS are a good idea!

Market Research on the Web – Special Offer

IRN Research are offering a special introductory annual subscription to their Market Research on the Web (MROW) database. The special offer is £100 and applies to single user corporate subscribers, academic and public library users. A free trial is available covering the food and drink sector.

MROW is a searchable database of sources of market data, industry reports, company lists, statistics, industry news, legislation, and links to over 4,500 evaluated UK and European Web sites. The sites are categorised by organisation type for example trade association, professional bodies, market research publishers, market research agencies, magazines/journals, Government sites, gateways/portals.

I have subscribed to this service since it was first launched and was a regular user when it was still free of charge. The main advantage of the service for me is that it saves me so much time when I am looking for industry statistics or directories of members/companies on trade and professional association web sites. I pride myself that my search skills can track down relevant sites without the help of MROW, but I then have to visit and navigate each site in turn. All too often I find that the site does not give stats on their sector or does not have a directory. MROW tells me straight away if there are stats or market data, if there is a directory of members/companies, availability of news and press releases, and if there is information on relevant legislation and technical data. MROW finds in a couple of minutes what would normally take me about half an hour to track down the Google et al way.

MROW also provides a Guide to Market Data and Statistics – a searchable database of statistical and market research terminologies, classifications, and concepts. This is a great resource for checking on market research jargon.

UK Statute Law Database

The UK Statute Law Database (SLD), which is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom, has been made available free of charge online. The official press release is on the Department of Constitutional Affairs web site ( Most legislation that is currently in force has been published on the web site with some exceptions. For 2006 they specifically mention The Armed Forces Act 2006 and The Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (N.I. 21). I cannot think of two more diverse pieces of information to omit! I am told by colleagues that there are other gaps but the site admits to this and there are details of what is still be added.

On the home page you can search for text in the title, by year, number and legislation type. There is also an A-Z index and a chronological index. The Advanced Search has additional options that include date ranges, geographical extent and text search. The earliest legislation I could find is the Statute of Marlborough 1267 “made at Marlborough in the Presence of our Lord King Henry, and Richard King of the Romans, and the Lord Edward eldest Son of the said King Henry, and the Lord Ottobon, at that Time Legate in England”. It includes “Remedy against Accountants. Farmers shall do no Waste. Remedy thereon.” I shall leave you to find out for yourselves what that is all about.

As well as reading the full text of the legislation you can view amended legislation as it has changed over time and sections that have yet to come into force. A green “A” icon links to the “attributes” of the legislation, such as start date and extent, and enables you to move between versions. The blue “P” icon indicates provisions, and versions of amended provisions, that have not yet been brought into force. I found this particularly useful for checking when parts of the Companies Act 2006 come into force. If you are viewing older legislation that has been amended, a box warns you of the fact.

Is this database going to make access to UK legislation easier? If you know your way around the structure of Statute Law then yes. Those who do not and who have never had to to do battle with Acts, Statutory Instruments and the like will not be any the wiser. If you just want to read or download a copy of a particular Act then the Office of Public Sector Information at will probably be quicker, and it now has RSS feeds for alerting you to new Acts and Statutory Instruments. Bills currently before the UK Parliament are available on the UK Parliament web site at (email alerts only). Command Papers and departmental House of Commons Papers are at (RSS feed available).

Thomson to sell Profound and NewsEdge

Thomson have announced that “after carefully analyzing our product portfolio, we have decided to realign specific services within Business Intelligence Services. Our goal is to best align our products and resources to the markets and customers we serve.” They are selling Market Research (Profound) and NewsEdge and say they are currently in discussions with potential buyers. The News Research service will be discontinued from December 31, 2007 and the Broker Research and Insite services are being moved from Thomson Business Intelligence to Thomson Financial.

I am not really surprised at their decision to sell Profound. I have not used it for several years but many people who have attended my workshops have not been impressed by it. Complaints have included inconsistent and irreproducible search results, complex pricing, and disappearing titles and publishers. As for their news services, they have never fared well when compared against Factiva and LexisNexis.

UK Government to Close Down Web Sites

The UK Government is closing 95 per cent of its web sites in what it claims is a drive to make important information more readily accessible for internet users. The cuts will save £9 million and are part of what they call a “Transformational Government Strategy”. The official press release, which is short on detail, can be found at

There have been several postings on the LIS-Profession discussion list and Stella Dextre Clarke has forwarded further information from Linda Humphries of the Delivery and Transformation Group to the list:

“The Times’ figures are based on an extrapolation of the ratio of how many sites have agreed to close and those that are definitely to be retained (e.g. departments’ corporate websites) – 26 to date. There are still 374 sites to be reviewed. Of the 951 sites reviewed by their departments, 90 have already closed and 461 are planned to close. The Times’ figures are based on an extrapolation of the ratio of how many sites have agreed to close and those that are definitely to be retained (e.g. departments’ corporate websites) – 26 to date. There are still 374 sites to be reviewed. The information currently held on sites that are closing will be migrated to Directgov, Business Link or the departments’ corporate sites as appropriate. This will result in a reduction of the number of locations in which information for citizens and businesses is held, rather than reducing the amount of information available.”

There is now a list of sites to be closed available as a PDF at

Looking through the list I noted several web sites for various marketing boards that I thought had long gone. I also see that is for the chop. The URL rang a ver loud clanging bell in my head and I found it on my own list of statistics sources. My comments on the interactive data tables, for me the most useful section of the site, currently are “I strongly recommend that you download and view the PowerPoint demonstration first”. Ah yes, it is all coming back to me now. I had another look at it today and it still takes me ages to work out how to track down data. Whether the information will be any easier to access via other UK government sites, or if it will just disappear into a Whitehall black hole, remains to be seen.

Sources of Non-Official UK Statistics

David Mort‘s invaluable directory ‘Sources of Non-Official UK Statistics ‘ has been updated. It provides details of over 900 publications and services produced by trade associations, professional bodies, banks, consultancies, employers’ federations, forecasting organizations and others, together with statistics appearing in trade journals and periodicals. Titles and services are listed alphabetically by publisher and each entry contains information, where available, on subject, content and source of statistics, together with frequency, availability and cost, and address, telephone, email and web site details. The sixth edition includes 180 new entries covering sources of information that are exclusively available on the internet.

Highly recommended if you regularly search for UK statistics on any subject.

Hardcover: 430 pages
Publisher: Gower Publishing Limited; 6Rev Ed edition (17 Aug 2006)
ISBN-10: 0566087154
ISBN-13: 978-0566087158
Price: £75

High Tech Dictionary Emoticons

We are four days into the New Year and I have already had two enquiries from people asking if I know of a site that lists all the different emoticons. In particular, one person wanted to know what the emoticon for a hangover was – obviously still suffering from the effects of the Christmas and New Year celebrations. High-Tech Dictionary Emoticons seems to have the most comprehensive list and has many more than the one I printed off in 2000. I particularly like the Homer emoticon ( 8(|)

Search Strategies for the Internet: Updates

The following chapters of Search Strategies for the Internet have been updated and are available online:
Chapter 3: Essential Search Techniques (available to subscribers only) – now includes under the search tools that support wildcards and truncation, Live Search link and linkdomain commands, and how to uncluster results.
Chapter 12 Yahoo Search (available to subscribers only) – updated to include the region and originurlextension commands.

Yahoo Factsheet – updated to include originurlextension and region commands.
Chapter 20 Country Specific Information (available to subscribers only) – updated to include Yahoo region command and