TITLE: Christian Science Monitor

ACCESS: www.csmonitor.com

Because the web lends itself well to text archives, newspapers have been quick to develop sites that include searchable archives. Following this review of the Christian Science Monitor's web site are notes on access to archived articles on the sites of five major papers.

The Christian Science Monitor's web site (www.csmonitor.com) is equal in quality as the newspaper itself. Renown for frank, direct reporting, the newspaper covers national and international news from its own 13 news bureaus throughout the United States and other countries. The site offers the entire daily paper free and without registration. Narrow columns, large type, small color graphics, and clean, easy-to-read pages have earned a number of prestigious web awards. The web Monitor does offer some features that the print can not, such as the columns Cybercoverage, Links Library, and Email Forum (notes from foreign correspondents). By far the most important added feature is a searchable archive of full-text articles. Unfortunately, there is no mention of how far back the archive runs. There are three different searching tools to assist users: a dictionary (subject terms), "Related Words" (thesaurus) and a "Fuzzy Match" engine that forgives spelling or transliteration errors. Articles are archived in full with headline, byline, date, section, page, and text. Search terms are displayed in bold in the text of the retrieved articles. Although graphics are excluded, their captions remain.

Three papers with archives at their sites include The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.

The Boston Globe (http://www.boston.com/globe/glohome.htm) maintains an archive of the past 15 years of staff-written stories. Searching is free, but fees are levied for retrieved text. The content of the site includes the present and preceding day's news. There is no indication of how much of the daily is posted on the site.

The Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com) homepage also offers searchable archives (back to 1990), however, registration is necessary. Searching the archives and browsing the citation list are free, but displaying, printing, or downloading the text results in a charge. The "Help with Archives" file states that the archives include "all news, feature and wire stories, editorials and letters published in the Home Edition of the newspaper."

The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com) site offers the complete edition free of charge. Only a small amount of material is not online. The archives are free of charge and provide the full text, headline, byline, and citations to articles (including news wires) from the past 14 days. Archives back to 1986 are "coming soon."

Two notable newspapers without archives at their web site are the New York Times and USA Today.

The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com) loads most of the National edition and is available "free for a limited time" to registered users. The site offers a number of navigational aids. Those who are familiar with the print edition will find the list of corresponding sections most helpful.

USA Today (http://wwww.usatoday.com) loads top headlines but it is unclear from the site how much of the paper is available on the web.

It is probable that many other newspapers have archives accessible through their web sites. Web catalogs such as Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com) list papers by place and/or subject for those needing papers with local or state-wide coverage.

Kristina Anderson
Reference Librarian
University of Alabama
KANDERSO@UA1VM.UA.EDU


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