TITLE: Electronic Newsstand

ACCESS: gopher://gopher.internet.com:2100/1/1/

Electronic Newsstand, a.k.a., "Enews," a joint venture between The Internet Company, a provider of commercial internet services, and The New Republic, offers tables of contents and selected full- text feature articles from approximately 50 news, general interest, special interest, and academic periodicals. Using the familiar Gopher menus and commands, users can browse the periodicals (in both alphabetical and subject-classified lists), read tables of contents and the full-text of some articles (current or archive), and, if they desire, perform easily-executed keyword searches to locate articles. Upon selecting a periodical title, one can place a personal subscription order at special reduced rates. In the one-stop style of Freenet or a provider such as Prodigy, Enews also offers arts, entertainment, and book reviews, as well as synopses of recent selected articles in a section, "Best of the Newsstand." Other menu choices give information about Enews and the Internet Company and provide email addresses with which to send questions and comments about the services.

While clearly not large or specialized enough for in depth literature searches, this free-to-use network resource can be used to find information on a range of current topics. As more journals are added and as the archives deepen, its value as an information source will grow. It is designed primarily to invite browsing, and as such is a great way to introduce novices to the Internet. There are network resources based at educational institutions which contain much larger numbers of full-text periodicals, notably the CICNet Electronic Journals Project (gopher://gopher.cic.net:70/1/1/e-serials), with approximately 750 titles; and the connection maintained at SUNY Morrisville to approximately 250 titles (gopher://snymorvb.cs.snymor.edu:70/1/1gopher_root1/ [library-docs.electronic_journals]). These resources do not allow keyword searching, however, and are less consistent and selective than Enews, which is the source site for all its periodical connections.

With the inevitable participation of commercial enterprises in the Internet, it is good to see one like Electronic Newsstand which seems to offer the best of both worlds--a desire to provide useful information for free and corporate support to foster growth, development, and extra features. Enews' plans to support mail list access to the publishers, editors, and authors of the included publications promises another step in the direction of bringing publishers and the Internet community closer together.

Joseph A. LaRose
Reference Librarian
University of Akron
JoeLaRose@uakron.edu
January 21, 1994


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