DB Trials 2009: ProQuest

1. Describe the database product(s). If you want us to link to more than one product, provide a unique description for each product. If there are special hardware or software requirements, please make sure you include them in the description.

Critical Mention - the multimedia news search solution - Search and view news clips from more than 300 U.S. and international TV and radio broadcast stations.

ProQuest is the exclusive distributor of Critical Mention to libraries.  Critical Mention is a comprehensive web-based television and radio search and monitoring service that allows users to search, track and view critical information from an expanding network of U.S. and international broadcast stations.  The platform provides real-time monitoring and e-mail alerts for organizations that require up-to-the minute news.

Critical Mention allows users to easily find news clips immediately after broadcast, and instantly share the clips within a workgroup via a secure video e-mail or a private video gallery.  Basic and advanced searching features ensure you will find the information you need, at the moment it is available.

Critical Mention provides exclusive features so you can provide your organization with comprehensive multimedia research:

  • Basic search and advanced Boolean searching
  • Real-time alerts
  • Middle East content translated into English transcripts
  • Nielsen audience and publicity data
  • Report Builder tools

Ethnic NewsWatch™ (ENW) features newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives. With titles dating from 1990, ENW presents a comprehensive, full-text collection of more than 1.8 million articles from more than 315 publications offering both national and regional coverage. While the content may mirror mainstream media coverage, the viewpoints are decidedly unique.

Ethnic NewsWatch delivers hundreds of important ethnic press publications. The voices of the Asian-American, Jewish, African-American, Native-American, Arab-American, Eastern-European, and multi-ethnic communities can be heard. Titles include Kurdish Life, Asian Week, Jewish Exponent, Seminole Tribune, Appalachian Heritage, The Boston Irish Reporter, Chinese America, The Filipino Express, Hmong Times, and many more. A majority of this content is exclusive to ENW and not available in any other database.

Of the more than 1.8 million articles contained in the collection, nearly a quarter are presented in Spanish, making ENW an unmatched bilingual diversity database. Dozens of major Latino publications are featured, including El Nuevo Herald, and El Andar. As a complement to this wealth of untranslated titles, help options and screen assists are also available in Spanish.


2. Is remote access included in the subscription price? If there are additional charges or requirements in order to offer remote access, please describe them. What methods of remote access are supported? If applicable, please discuss any methods or assistance you offer regarding remote access patron verification and authentication.


There are no additional charges, and no requirements other than for the current networking and workstations, and for authentication as described following.

3. What customer training is provided, and at what cost? Please include "freebies" such as Web-based tutorials, end-user documentation tents, cheat-sheets, etc.

Customer Education and Training

The primary focus for the Customer Education and Training department is to conduct post-sales training for ProQuest customers. The goal is to facilitate successful searching and encourage usage, thereby maximizing the library’s investment in ProQuest products.

Training can be delivered in various ways.

1.    Onsite at the customer’s location. This is customized according to the subscription and the stated needs of the requestor, usually the librarian. The style is presentational with (depending on the equipment and facilities available) the capability to incorporate hands-on practice time. This type of training is the most interactive, and is best suited for those new to database searching or to the products, who like to learn by doing, and that may be training others. Sessions vary in length, but last a minimum of ninety minutes. We are responsible for preparation of training materials and for travel and accommodations costs for our staff. The host organization is responsible for inviting and organizing the trainees, reserving the training room or laboratory, and ensuring that suitable equipment is available.

2.    Online via a web conferencing tool such as WebEx or LiveMeeting. This is also a custom presentation, with ample opportunity for participants to ask questions via online chat, speaker phone or voice-over IP. Online sessions rarely exceed ninety minutes.

3.    Online webinar. This is generally a presentation to multiple customers and is not usually customized. For those comfortable with the technology, webinars provide an excellent means of covering everything from an introductory overview to focused information about a new or updated feature. These webinars last from 30 to 60 minutes. The webinar schedule is posted at www.proquest.com/training.

There are three types of available training, all of which can be delivered by any of the means described above. Our trainers work with your librarians to establish what type of training is desired and to schedule sessions. Our training program is designed to be flexible and customizable to best serve the needs and expertise of each unique audience.

1.    Train-the-trainer. This is provided most commonly when the majority of the attendees are librarians.

2.    Administrative training. This is a session for training the librarian whose responsibilities include implementation. It includes linking setup, changing default interface settings, running usage reports and other customization features.

3.    End-user training. When the nature of the product or audience mix (more end-users than librarians) dictate that training should be tailored to end-users, training pitch and jargon are adjusted accordingly.

The Training Team
Most of our trainers have a Master’s degree in Library and/or Information Science; those that do not have industry experience in publishing and information services. Several trainers have significant experience as practicing librarians.

The team is dispersed geographically, and each member is loosely aligned with at least one ProQuest sales territory. Currently, there are nine trainers covering North America. All trainers are trained on all products; any trainer can step in to help out in a different territory.

Other functions performed by trainers reflect their in-depth knowledge of our products and systems—they respond to or act as a conduit for inquiries needing technical support; prepare training materials such as quick reference cards, database guides and sample exercises; conduct pre-release testing of new content and features; and are instrumental in developing and participating in ProQuest’s Library School Program (http://www.proquest.com/en-US/aboutus/advocacy/lsp.shtml).

4. What customer and technical support is provided, including hours of operation? In your reply, please include contact names (if applicable) or name of department, the phone numbers and e-mail addresses for your support services. If you have toll-free access to these support centers, please make sure they are available here.

We maintain an Electronic Technical Support Department with approximately fifteen staff that provides primary support for all ProQuest brand products (including ProQuest, eLibrary, SIRS, Chadwyck-Healey, and more). Our technicians have, on average, over four years of product experience and six years of technical/customer support experience. Our technicians are trained in PERL/HTML scripting, Windows and advanced browser support. Staff experience also includes various technical certifications and/or degrees in Computer Science or Information Systems.

Our team members are knowledgeable in many areas, including technical requirements and product setup. They resolve access issues, handle customer complaints, answer inquiries, and other account adjustments as needed. We also provide a dedicated team that specializes in creating tailored linking solutions to meet individual customer needs.

The goal of the Technical Support team is to resolve customer access issues immediately during the call. This reduces the downtime resulting from multiple transfers to other departments or callbacks. We utilize a call center hunt system that searches for available technicians as calls come in. This system helps to ensure that customers will speak to a technician without having to leave a message.      

We make team members available for ProQuest support with a toll-free phone number from 8:00 a.m. to midnight ET seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can also submit support requests or questions 24 hours a day via fax and e-mail; most often, we are able to respond the same day (depending on the time of day the request is sent).  

We also employ a master customer tracking database. While assisting customers, the Technical Support representative retrieves the appropriate customer record, and enters the issues presented by the customer. Our support staff uses this information to keep accurate call histories that can be accessed during a future call to help resolve an issue quickly, track trends, and log and submit to management customer enhancement requests.

In late 2008, we introduced a new online ProQuest Support Center (available at http://support.proquest.com). The site provides a wide range of information tailored to specific audiences (for example, students/patrons or library/IT staff), and can answer questions about a variety of topics, ranging from remote user login to establishing an XML Gateway. In addition to seamless searching and browsing of our support library, it offers FAQs for quick answers to common questions, a Problem Solver decision tree for step-by-step diagnoses and fixes, and easy access to our technical support contacts for more complex issues.

Our customers report a very high level of satisfaction with our support. To ensure that customers are satisfied with support received and that we continually improve, we survey customers that contact us for support. For 2008, over 1,500 customers returned surveys, rewarding us with an average score of 3.83 on a scale of four (with four representing “excellent”).

5. Please describe the statistics you provide, and discuss whether your statistical reporting complies in part or in whole with the guidelines developed by the International Coalition of Library Consortia found at http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia/webstats06.htm or the COUNTER Code of Practice found at http://www.projectcounter.org/code_practice.html.

We also develop reports functionality in compliance with leading library standards. Our reports are compliant with Release 2 of the COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources) Code of Practice, and we make all applicable COUNTER reports available to customers. We are also a voting member of COUNTER, and help to guide the standard's development.

In 2009, we will offer support for Standardized Usage Statistics Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI). SUSHI is an emerging NISO standard for a web services based method for automated retrieval and consolidation of COUNTER usage reports. It was created to facilitate aggregation of usage reports across content providers. ERM vendors will use SUSHI to enable libraries to easily gather, combine, and compare content usage across multiple providers. We plan to be fully compliant with COUNTER Code of Practice release 3, which includes SUSHI support, by the August 2009 deadline set by COUNTER.

Our reports are also compliant with all of the applicable guidelines of the 2001 ICOLC (International Coalition of Library Consortia) statistical measures of usage.  Additionally, we use the data dictionary provided in NISO Z39.7-2002 to define our usage reporting elements and categories.
All usage data is available for the past 36 months, in accordance with the 2001 ICOLC guidelines. Most reports can be run within the month/year date range of your choice.

ProQuest consortium customers can produce reports on any tier of multi-tiered accounts. For consortium accounts, it is possible to run the report at any tier in a multi-tiered account and to have the report reflect the breakouts of all the sub-tiers and sub-accounts below that tier. This allows a consortium to run one report and receive the usage totals for the whole consortium, breakouts of the sub-tiers for library types (academic, public, K12, etc.), and the usage totals for the individual library members.

Offered reports include the following.

Database Activity Reports

  • Summary. This report provides an overview of database activity. Information provided is searches and document usage broken out by location and database; it includes which format was provided (citation / abstract, any full text format).
  • Detail. Similar to the summary report, with addition of login name. The report provides searches and document usage broken out by location, database, and login name and includes the provided format (citation / abstract, any full text format).
  • Annual. Also similar to the summary report, but broken out by month for the previous 12 months. Information provided is searches and document usage broken out by location and database; it includes which format was provided (citation / abstract, any full text format). Provides a comparison with previous years’ usage. The date range for this report is fixed at one year, and the year’s range is determined by selecting the ending month.

Document Usage Report

  • By Organization. Reports the total number of documents provided, broken down by location and the delivered format (citation, abstract, full text, Text + Graphics, page image, page map, and article image).
  • By Database/Journal. Reports the total number of documents provided, broken down by location, database/journal and the delivered format (citation, abstract, full text, Text + Graphics, page image, page map, and article image).
  • By Delivery Method. Reports the total number of documents provided, broken down by location and method of delivery (e-mail, online display, or fax).

Search Statistics Reports

  • Searches by time. Provides the total number of searches for each hour of the day for the last 14 days. It is broken down by day, client, and login name.
  • Searches by Search Mode. Provides the total number searches by the search mode (Basic, Guided, Advanced, Natural Language, Publication or Topic) broken out by location and login name.


  • COUNTER Journal Report 1. Lists document usage by journal title. This report can be run for up to a twelve month time period.
  • COUNTER Journal Report 2. Lists turnaways by month and journal.
  • COUNTER Journal Report 3. Lists the number of documents by month, journal and page type.
  • COUNTER Database Report 1. Lists searches and sessions by database.
  • COUNTER Database Report 3. List searches and sessions by service.


6. Describe your pricing structure or formula for the product. (I.e. we want to know what your prices are and how they are calculated: Based on FTEs? On buildings? On a combination, or on something else?)


7. Please provide the name and contact information (toll-free telephone number, e-mail address, hours, etc.) for libraries to make further inquires. (Sales representatives for our area are preferred.)

Dan Paskett, 206-923-0548

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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).