GLOBAL: Powerful search tool now includes books

Thomson Reuters last week launched a Book Citation Index, a new resource that includes scholarly books within the Web of Knowledge search and discovery platform and will enable academic libraries to increase the visibility of their book collections, the company says. Starting with 25,000 books, the number will double by the end of 2013.

The book index will complete the research picture for scientists and researchers, enabling users to navigate the links in citations across peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings - and now also books.

Thomson Reuters already offers the discovery and analysis capabilities of Web of Knowledge, which provides access to huge citation databases, including the Web of Science.

Web of Knowledge indexes 12,000 peer-reviewed journals and 150,000 conference proceedings. With the launch of the Book Citation Index, users can access citation data relating to 25,000 books in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.

According to a Thomson Reuters press release, initially 13.5 million additional cited references will appear in Web of Knowledge through the Book Citation Index. The books currently included in the index date back to 2005.

Coverage is expected to rise to 30,000 books by the end of the year, with 10,000 new books being added each year.

The press release states that content for the index comprises scholarly books - electronic and print - that "present fully referenced articles of original research or reviews of the literature". The content has been "carefully selected based on well-defined criteria to offer the most significant literature available".

It quotes Charles Watkinson, director of Purdue University Press: "In the networked environment, books have been at risk of becoming invisible. The Book Citation Index will bring monographic literature back to the heart of the research process, where it belongs."

* Thomson Reuters also announced last week a three-year agreement with Kazakhstan's National Centre for Scientific and Technical Information to provide hundreds of academic, research and government institutions in the country with access to Web of Knowledge.

According to a press release, the agreement is the largest for the Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge platform in Central Asia, and the third agreement the company has signed with a national government in the past year.

The agreement, which will benefit 322 organisations and institutions, will provide access to comprehensive citation information and support Kazakhstan's integration into the international research system. It should also serve to promote Kazakhstani research, enable institutions to evaluate and benchmark their research with that of peers, and identify possible opportunities for future collaboration.