Tuesday, November 30, 2004

LexNexis for the masses

A good tip this morning from Jonathan Dube via Poynter Online. LexisNexis is entering the real world and making its massive databases available to the masses for a per-story fee.

It's at http://AlaCarte.LexisNexis.com.

Dube notes the salient facts:
  • 20,000 sources
  • 3.8 billion-plus documents
  • Info as far back as 1968
  • Free search
  • $3 to view a document, which is available to you for 90 days
I've been blessed over the years to work in large media companies, and now in the academic world, where access to LexisNexis has been provided. But this is a major development, in my opinion, for the thousands of journalists who otherwise might not have easy access without popping down to the local library, which is not always possible on deadline (though more libraries, too, are providing online access if you are a card-carrying patron).

LexisNexis is one of those stops you should make to background your story after you check out what's available for free on the Net. And since you get to see the headlines for free, you often can track down the original for free elsewhere.

This also seems to mark a realization by L/N that with all the information floating around on the Net, it can't try to keep its databases bottled up anymore behind high fees. While all information need not be free, it does need to be reasonably priced.

2 Comments:

At 12/10/04, 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would be great if it worked for me. I get an "Error" message on every single search I've done.

 
At 12/11/04, 3:22 AM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Don't know what problem you're having.

I was just able to sign on fine. Did a search on Jim Taricani for past week and came up with 85 hits.
Sounds like you might have a Javascript problem? The site looks to rely heavily on it.

Hope it works for you eventually.

 

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