>Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 21:59:14 -0600 (CST) >From: firstname.lastname@example.org (NameBase) >Subject: Review of NameBase in ALA journal > >From: College & Research Libraries News > October 2000, Vol.61 No.9 >HTML version at: http://www.ala.org/acrl/c&rlnew2.html > (click on "Internet Reviews" under Departments, > and then on October 2000) >________________________ > >TITLE: NameBase: A Cumulative Index of Books and Clippings > >ACCESS: http://www.namebase.org/ or http://www.pir.org/nbhome.html > >NameBase is an index of people influential in politics, the military, >intelligence, crime, business, and the media since WWII. It started in >the late 1960's when New Left activist Daniel Brandt began clipping >magazine and newspaper articles and collecting investigative books >about the power structure. He combed each book and article for the >names of individuals, groups, corporations, and countries - developing >a name authority file along the way. In the early 1980's, he >incorporated Public Information Research to continue the work. >NameBase includes close to 100,000 names from approximately 260,000 >citations. The names are drawn from over 700 books and serials, plus a >handful of documents recovered using the Freedom of Information Act >(FOIA). While the index does draw from the mainstream and right wing >press, most books and articles come from a leftist perspective. Based >on the democratic concept that the people have a right to know, the >publications are generally investigative reports designed to uncover >secrets or conspiracies in high places. > >The simplest search available is the name search. Enter an individual >or organizational proper name and NameBase displays a list of >publications and the page numbers on which the name appears. >Unfortunately, there is no synopsis describing who the people are or >why they were mentioned. There is only a brief annotation describing >the contents and politics of the publication. Instead, the user will >need to track down the original source, either at a library or by >ordering the material for a fee from Public Information Research. >Fortunately, NameBase does more than list names - it also uses data >mining techniques to list other names that appear on the same pages. >This proximity feature, available under each name as well as a >separate search, is the most valuable aspect of the database. If names >appear on the same page of an investigative report, then logic >dictates that the people named have some kind of relationship. The >database creates a social network diagram by using cluster analysis to >help the user visualize the data. Joseph Lieberman, for example, is >most closely associated with Sybase chairman Mitchell Kertzman, Jeane >Kirkpatrick, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. > >NameBase offers two other ways to search the index. The country search >lists names associated with a non-U.S. country during a specified time >frame. The document scan allows the user to submit a URL. NameBase >extracts names from the web page (English language only) and looks >them up in the index. As part of a brief tutorial >(http://www.pir.org/tour1.html), NameBase gives an example of looking >up the web page that lists the Board of Trustees at a University to >find out their affiliations. > >For those who like to browse, it is useful to start on the Public >Information Research web page (http://www.pir.org). Browsing >collections include FOIA documents, essays, and the source list for >the index. 550 of the essays and source materials are also broken down >into 20 broad subject categories such as Big Business (lobbying, >corporations, intelligence) and Repression (federal, police). A search >engine is hidden within the essays and source list browsing >collections. NameBase offers limited access to non-registered users >during peak hours and periods of high load on the server. During these >times, users might retrieve only partial lists of names. Registering >by paying $49 for two years provides unrestricted access and entitles >the user to order photocopies or faxes of cited pages. Libraries may >purchase library accounts for $199 for two years that identify users >by IP address and eliminate the essays and editorial cartoons. >NameBase is most useful to journalists and students tracking down >investigative reports and looking for connections between names. It is >also useful to students looking for an alternative perspective on >topics like the Kennedy assassination, the overthrow of Allende, the >Iran Contra affair, or the CIA role in the crack cocaine crisis. >NameBase also provides unique access to the intelligence community, >boasting "the largest collection of CIA names . . . publicly available >anywhere in the world." NameBase is a fascinating one-of-a-kind index >that belongs in every librarian's repertoire of name resources. > >The telnet version of NameBase was previously reviewed for C&RL News >Internet Reviews by Larry Schankman April 1996, Volume 57, Number 4, >p243. > >Mark Emmons >University of New Mexico >email@example.com > _________________________________________________________________ > > American Library Association. This document may be reproduced or >reprinted for educational, non-commercial use, in whole or part, >without permission as long as the above copyright statement and source >are clearly acknowledged. Neither this document nor any reproductions >may be sold.
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