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The ACRL 12th National Conference, "Currents and Convergence: Navigating the Rivers of Change" was held April 7-10 in Minneapolis, MN USA. The Association of College and Research Libraries is the largest division of the American Library Association (ALA). ACRL currently has approximately 12,400 (ACRL) members. The 2005 national conference was held at the expanded Minneapolis Convention Center, conveniently located in downtown Minneapolis.

For many years, Thomson Scientific has been a major exhibitor at ACRL. The meeting is of particular importance for the Thomson Scientific Academic & Government Strategic Business Unit. This year's meeting saw more than 2,000 participants. And as in previous years, Thomson Scientific planned several events designed to increase visibility, including a conference program ad, a breakfast workshop, in-booth presentations, and a 'buzz' lunch.

As you entered the exhibit hall, it was impossible to miss the Thomson Scientific 20 x 30 Island booth, lavishly adorned with large, beautiful blue and white balloons. In addition to its visual appeal, visitors to the booth could obtain information and demos on a variety of information solutions, including ISI Web of KnowledgeSM - which facilitates discovery by offering seamless navigation to the highest quality journal, patent and life sciences content, evaluation tools, and Web content; and the Thomson ResearchSoft bibliographic management products, EndNote®, ProCite®, Reference Manager®, RefViz™ and WriteNote®.

In keeping with the 'Year-of-Celebration' theme, the Century of Science™ initiative was a major focus. Century of Science boosts Web of Science content with backfile and cited reference data and navigation from 1944 to 1900, adding approximately 850,000 articles from more than 200 carefully selected journals.

Thomson Scientific Events
The Thomson Scientific events began with a breakfast workshop on Friday, April 8th at the Hyatt Regency hotel. Presenting for Thomson Scientific were Jeff Dougherty, manager of Strategic Global Sales; Jim Pringle, Vice President of Development; and Jodi Bukowski, Manager of Global Strategic Marketing. Collectively, the presentations detailed how Thomson Scientific helps librarians and information professionals negotiate the 'rivers of change' shaping today's libraries.

Jeff discussed the exciting new features of and planned developments for ISI Web of Knowledge. In particular, he focused on the addition of MEDLINE content, which contains nearly 11 million records from over 7,300 different publications from 1965 to the present.

Jim provided an overview of the Web Citation Index™ Project - the multidisciplinary citation index for Web-based scholarly resources. The new Web Citation Index will combine a suite of technologies developed by NEC, including "autonomous citation indexing" tools from NEC's CiteSeer environment, with the capabilities underlying ISI Web of Knowledge. The program also included commentaries by project participants from various institutions.

Finally, Jodi outlined the new Library Partnership program, KnowledgeLink. "KnowledgeLink is a support network that will be a librarian's one-stop-shop for everything they need to make the most of their ISI Web of Knowledge subscription. This Web-based resource includes in-library marketing materials, technical support and training, an administrative Web portal from which a librarian can manage their ISI Web of Knowledge subscription, as well as access the latest information on both Thomson Scientific and industry news and trends", explained Bukowski.

Later that evening, Thomson Scientific sponsored the ACRL Chair's reception. Amy Hueber, Vice President for the Americas, Middle East, and Africa delivered a brief overview of Thomson Scientific and thanked the ACRL leadership. The lavish reception was held on the 50th floor of the distinctive IDS Center. Instantly heralded as an architectural breakthrough, the 51-story IDC Center gained national attention in 1973 when it was featured in the opening theme of the Mary Tyler Moore show.

Day two also saw Thomson Scientific enjoying attention and visibility. To lure attendees to the complimentary lunch at the booth, account managers and other staff sported white lab coats to resemble researchers. While attendees enjoyed the catered delicacies, Jeff Dougherty informed participants about the Century of Science initiative and Web of Science.

"This multidisciplinary bibliographic database, accessed via the ISI Web of Knowledge premier research platform, already offered an extensive collection of backfiles to 1945. With the Century of Science initiative, approximately 850,000 articles from more than 200 journals - carefully selected from the published research of the first half of the 20th century - have been added," explained Dougherty.

After Jeff's presentation, attendees lined-up to meet Dr. Eugene Garfield, founder and president emeritus of ISI® and to receive an autographed copy of "The Web of Knowledge: A Festschrift in Honor of Eugene Garfield." The book is a collection of learned articles and essays by Dr. Garfield's colleagues and admirers, serving as a tribute and memorial to this information scientist's vision and significant contributions. The overwhelming response from attendees was a tribute to Dr. Garfield's lasting popularity and influence.

At various times during each of the two exhibit days, Thomson Scientific staff conducted in-booth presentations. The presentations by Jeff Dougherty focused on ISI Web of Knowledge with a concentration on Web of Science, and the Century of Science initiative.

In addition, Dougherty's daily presentations offered visitors to the booth an opportunity to showcase their ability to navigate through the platform to answer questions about research excellence. The names of each participant who uncovered the correct answer where entered into a drawing to win an American Express gift certificate.

From the exhibits to the workshops and presentations and sponsorship, once again Thomson Scientific continued its dedication to the Thomson Scientific and ACRL mission to enhance the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching, and research.



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