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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

Donation from URI alumnus and support
from president give faculty, students
top web research tool

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 28, 2003 -- Imagine having a single point of entry through your computer to citations and articles from nearly 8,500 of the most prestigious, high impact research journals in the world.

Through ISI’s Web of Science, faculty, students and staff at the University of Rhode Island can in a matter of minutes search for citations and publications on research being done around the world. And it takes just a few clicks of a mouse to track citations of URI faculty research. In a matter of minutes, a faculty member can find citations on such disparate URI research topics as human behavior change, textiles from the 17th century, drug prescribing in nursing homes or the use of technology to explore the sea.

All of this has been made possible by 1973 URI graduate Richard Harrington, president and chief executive officer of The Thompson Corp., and URI President Robert L. Carothers.

Harrington donated back files of ISI’s Web of Science from 1998 through 2002, which are valued at $145,000. In addition, Carothers provided $37,000 to support the cost difference between a subscription from the print version of the index to the web version. ISI’s Web of Knowledge, of which the Web of Science is a part, is a subsidiary of The Thomson Corp. The Thomson Corp. is a leading global provider of integrated information solutions to business and professional customers. Its 2002 revenues were $7.8 billion.

"This is the key tool for most research," said Paul Gandel, URI vice provost of information services and dean of University libraries. "The Web of Science replaces our print version and our CD ROM versions, which were difficult to use. Now a professor has access to this tool from anywhere."

The ISI Web of Science provides seamless access to the Science Citation Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. It enables users to search current and retrospective multidisciplinary information and provides a unique search method, cited reference searching. With it, users can see what articles are being used as sources for future research and trace the influence that an author’s work has had on other researchers.

"We really wanted the product, but we couldn’t afford it," Gandel said. "This is a very generous and important donation."

Gandel said the president’s decision to provide additional support for the current subscription is critical, but without the back files, provided by Harrington, the subscription would be far less useful.

Universities that have a subscription to the Web of Science database have found that their faculty members make more use of this electronic resource than any other database, according to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"Whenever possible, we are going to try to go electronic for these resources, but because electronic versions are more flexible and offer more tools, they are usually more expensive."


This is just one of many recent commitments Harrington has made to URI over several years. He chaired the Ballentine Shareholders Campaign, the private fund drive that raised $5.6 million toward the $10.6 million renovation and expansion of Ballentine Hall. Harrington made a $250,000 donation at the outset of the project and then made a $100,000 combined contribution from him and The Thomson Corp. for a new trading room in Ballentine. He and his company are also donating Thomson ONE, the leading financial analysis database in the world, for the trading center.

Thomson provides critical information, with technology and applications that help its customers make better decisions, faster. It serves more than 20 million information users in the fields of law, tax, accounting, higher education, reference information, corporate training and assessment, financial services, scientific research and healthcare.

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File last updated: Monday, April 28, 2003

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