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InfoTrac is a family of
full-text database A full-text database or a complete-text database is a database A database is an organized collection of data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "Wha ...
s of content from academic journals and general magazines, of which the majority are targeted to the
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
-speaking North American market. As is typical of online proprietary databases, various forms of authentication are used to verify affiliation with subscribing
academic An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary education, secondary or tertiary education, tertiary higher education, higher learning, research, or honorary membership. Academia is the ...
,
public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth Engli ...
, and
school A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high schools, and universities. They p ...

school
libraries. InfoTrac databases are published by
Gale A gale is a strong wind, typically used as a descriptor in nautical Seamanship is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional pow ...
, a part of
Cengage Learning Cengage Group is an American educational Education is the process of facilitating learning Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, value (personal and cultural), values, attitudes, and pr ...
. As of 1994, InfoTrac databases were published by Information Access Company (IAC) on CD-ROMs which were mailed to subscribing libraries at regular intervals. In that era, when
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
s were still relatively new, many publishers were not yet licensing full text of their articles, so most publications were represented only by article abstracts. This meant the InfoTrac family of products at their inception were primarily
bibliographic database A bibliographic database is a database In , a database is an organized collection of stored and accessed electronically from a . Where databases are more complex they are often developed using formal techniques. The (DBMS) is the that int ...
s as opposed to full-text databases. Furthermore, the personal computers typically used as InfoTrac terminals operated only in
text mode Text mode is a computer display A computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial or text form. A monitor usually comprises a electronic visual display, visual display, electronic circuit, some circuitry, a casing, ...
, meaning that "full text" meant only text and not the article as originally published with photos and illustrations. However, InfoTrac databases were published in coordination with various microfilm products from IAC which came on sequentially numbered auto-loading cartridges, on which individual frames were also individually numbered. Most InfoTrac abstracts and full-text articles from the 1980s and 1990s have a location code at the end of the article which points to the exact frame on a
microfilm Microforms are scaled-down reproductions of documents, typically either films A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perception ...
cartridge where the story begins, which a library user could use to obtain a copy of the article as originally published. With each microfilm product subscription, IAC included a large rotating carousel with slots in which the cartridges could be stored for easy access, and also sold proprietary
microfilm reader A microfilm reader is a device used in projecting and magnifying images stored in microform Microforms are scaled-down reproductions of documents, typically either films or paper, made for the purposes of transmission, storage, reading, and prin ...

microfilm reader
s for its cartridges. The readers were able to automatically take up the loose end of the microfilm upon cartridge insertion after a second or two, while standard microfilm reels must be manually wound into a reader, which is much slower. Thus, well-funded U.S. public libraries in the 1980s and 1990s typically had several Infotrac database terminals, several carousels of IAC cartridges, and several microfilm readers. Researchers would use the database terminals to compile a list of all the cartridge-and-frame codes for all articles they were interested in, then they would pull the corresponding cartridges from the carousels and use printers built into the readers to make photocopies of the articles as originally printed. IAC was acquired by
The Thomson Corporation The Thomson Corporation was one of the world's largest information companies. It was established in 1989 following a merger between International Thomson Organisation Ltd (ITOL) and Thomson Newspapers. In 2008, it purchased Reuters Group to form ...
in 1995 and merged into sister company Gale in 1998. Like most database companies, Gale started offering real-time access to InfoTrac databases through a Web interface in the late 1990s (while simultaneously improving its full-text coverage). Around 2000, Gale began making scanned articles in PDF format directly available through the Web interface, thus relieving users of having to go to microfilm or hard copy to obtain as-published copies of articles. The InfoTrac brand was relaunched in 2005 on a new technology platform named Thomson Gale PowerSearch, which was named "most improved product" at the 2005 Charleston Conference. InfoTrac has also placed ninth in ''
Library Journal ''Library Journal'' is an American trade publication for s. It was founded in 1876 by (familiar as the inventor of the ). It reports news about the library world, emphasizing , and offers feature articles about aspects of professional practice. ...
'' list of the top 50 library brands of the millennium.


See also

*
Search engine A search engine is a software system A software system is a system of intercommunicating software component, components based on forming part of a computer system (a combination of Computer hardware, hardware and software). It "consists of a n ...
*
List of digital library projects This is a list of digital library projects. See also * Bibliographic database A bibliographic database is a database A database is an organized collection of data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the ...
*
List of online databases This is a list of online databases accessible via the Internet. A * Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields is an online database detailing information and first hand memories about airports in the United States ...


References


External links


Academic OneFile
{{DEFAULTSORT:Infotrac Cengage Commercial digital libraries American digital libraries Bibliographic databases and indexes Full-text scholarly online databases