Ebrary.com, an Internet research services and software company, is conducting the first public beta test for its ebrarian research software through a co-branded site with online educational site Learning Network, owned by Pearson.
Users coming to learningnetwork.ebrary.com can search or read for free the full text of books, articles and any material Learning Network makes available. When readers want to save, print, or cut and paste the text, the ebrarian software provides a downloadable plug-in to establish an account in order to pay a small fee. The fee varies with the length of the text; there are no other membership or subscription fees. The site has links to both Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com for consumers to buy the entire book if they choose. This is the first time ebrarian has been available to the public.
Learning Network has also customized ebrary's InfoTools software to link users to relevant information on its Infoplease site. Users can link to data—including articles, definitions, biographical information and statistics—on any word or phrase in a LearningNetwork text.
Meanwhile, rival library services company Questia Media announced an agreement with America Online to provide Questia's online library resources to AOL members and Netscape users. Under the agreement, Questia will sponsor portions of the AOL's Research & Learn Channel, which offers students a one-stop shop for research about specialized topics.
Questia will also be available as an online library within Netscape's Research & Learn area and will sponsor Homework Help and Back to School areas in AOL Parenting. In addition, the agreement gives AOL members a one-month free trial of Questia's services, which include access to Questia's scholarly library of books and journal articles for undergraduate students in the liberal arts, as well as tools that facilitate research and paper writing, such as the automated footnote and bibliography generator, highlighter, dictionary, encyclopedia and thesaurus.