Thursday, November 29, 2007

VIP Report Compares Big Three Database News Vendors

A comparative product review of Thomson NewsRoom, LexisNexis and Factiva has just been published by VIP, a digital magazine published monthly for senior-level decision-makers responsible for the purchase of business information products and services. Each issue features in-depth, unbiased reviews of premium content products. To help customers choose among the major vendors, November's issue takes on "the big three" and compares them side-by-side in a detailed 43-page review.

The report compares , Factiva, LexisNexis, and Thomson's Newsroom in terms of news research capabilities--number of sources, analysis by subjects, type of publication, language, geography (including a table comparing numbers of sources for hard-to-find countries); length of archive, number of full-text items, number of abstracts, number of translated items; and timeliness (how long before an item becomes available online), among other factors. The same searches are carried out on all three services, and the results are analysed in terms of overlap, type of publication and more.

Among the key findings of the research are the following [this from the FreePint press release]:

  • Language: Factiva is the most multi-lingual of all three services (offering 22 languages) against 16 for LexisNexis and 11 for NewsRoom.
  • UK and US coverage: Coverage of UK newspapers is evenly spread across the three services.
  • Asia Pacific coverage: Most of the major Asia Pacific newspapers are available across all three services. For some titles, LexisNexis offers a slightly older archive than Factiva.
  • Latin American coverage: Factiva has a slight edge over the other two.
  • Middle Eastern newspaper coverage: Three out of four sources are not available on NewsRoom. A deeper archive is available on LexisNexis than on Factiva.
  • Web content: Web content is available on all three but it is not possible to distinguish web content from other published content on NewsRoom
  • Multimedia content: Factiva is the only one of the three to offer multimedia content as part of its prime service.
  • Company, industry and market data: Investext reports are no longer being updated on LexisNexis and NewsRoom.
  • Indexing and updating: All three services provide detailed indexing but only Factiva and LexisNexis extend their updating to foreign- language documents.
  • Language interfaces: Factiva.com offers the same nine language interfaces. NewsRoom offers a greater choice of interface languages than the old TBI service. LexisNexis has extended its number of interface language options and has new customised country interfaces for UK, US and Australia.
  • Source lists: LexisNexis and Factiva both enable the user to create custom source lists.
  • Search output: De-duplication when searching is a basic option on Factiva and NewsRoom but an irritating omission on Nexis. The ability to display all search results in KWIC format is a big plus for Nexis users, as is the automatic and useful sorting of results by format, subject, company, geography, language and people.

The issue containing the full report is available for purchase online .

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