Last Saturday EBSCO held a luncheon at ALA in which they dropped several interesting bits of information. First, in all EBSCO products they'll be switching the default from date to relevancy ranking sometime in the Summer of 2010. You'll still be able to change this in the Admin interface, but something to be aware of.
Much bigger news is that EBSCO is about to be the exclusive full text content provider for a whole lot of popular magazines. Apparently the Major Magazines got together late last year and put out an RFP to the aggregators. The Major Magazines felt that they were losing subscribers because public library patrons were able to access their content w/o paying directly for a subscription, and the RFP suggested if the aggregators weren't willing to pay a lot more for their content, they were going to pull it all. EBSCO stepped forward and won all the bids, at great cost. This means that in the very near future the only place you'll be able to get the full text of the following publications (just a partial list from the pix I took of the slides) will be through EBSCO databases:
- History Today
- Sports Illustrated
- US News and World Report
- Harvard Business Review
- Kiplinger's Personal Finance
- Science (please see clarification)
- New Scientist
Apparently any provider that currently has full text content from these titles is losing it.
Has anyone seen an official announcement, or a complete list of publications involved? Oh, and if memory serves, there was a hint that because this cost EBSCO so much, you might expect to see some price increases this year.
Jan 20, 2010 update - here's a similar report from School Library Journal.