Host (database provider)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the information industry , providers of chargeable specialist databases and specialist information on the Internet are referred to as hosts , also synonymous as online hosts, database providers, database distributors, vendors, distributors, online services, information providers, information services or aggregators . Hosts consist of a data center or a network of computers.


Hosts are so-called content aggregators that bundle databases from different information producers within one interface (sales of third-party products). Content aggregators can also appear in markets with non-digital goods (e.g. shopping malls). Many database producers (database manufacturers) put their databases on the Internet as self-marketers (self-produced products). The main task of a host is the IT preparation and acquisition of databases, i. H. reading the data into host computers ( e-text ), managing the databases, providing, marketing and selling the databases. The databases are usually also on CD-ROM , magnetic tape or similar. offered. The Gale Directory of Databases recorded 9,489 online databases, portable databases (CD-ROM: 3,920, DVD: 113, diskette: 420, magnetic tape: 220, handheld: 21, batch access: 95), 2,927 providers of online Databases and 3,416 producers of online databases. Few hosts are multidisciplinary, the majority are subject-oriented (press databases, specialist journals, law, business information, technology, medicine, pharmacy, patents) or specialize in one subject (molecular biology). Hosts can be companies as well as public institutions ( specialist information centers ). Many hosts offer additional services, such as assistance with intranet solutions , a research service, digital archiving, the provision of sources or document delivery. You can find almost everything that has been published on specific topics in these information supermarkets .


Knowing about relevant hosts, their offers and their special features is one of the prerequisites for effective research. Since only a few hosts have a monopoly on databases, the selection criteria for a host are the databases offered on a topic, the access options and the costs.

  • the databases offered are the most important criterion. But the user aids (guidance and search aids) are also decisive.
  • The access options differ according to the online or offline (CD-ROM) version, the type of search options (retrieval language), for access via Telnet or Datex-P according to special communication programs or client software (retrieval tools) and the search option via the WWW with a host's own search interface. In some databases, so-called teasers automatically create an HTML file of the same name (doorway page, bridge page ) for each search term entered in a search engine (from a full-text index ). After clicking on this file in the search engine hit list, a link to the cash register appears and only then the actual information.
  • The costs result from the sum of the basic fees and minimum usage, the costs of the databases themselves and the costs of the evidence.

Data hosting

In the case of hosts, this term refers to the grouping of databases at one provider. Since the databases are supplied by different publishers, they still have to be adapted at the host and entered into the internal system. Then the host can demonstrate its advantages over the database manufacturers:

  • The various databases are grouped thematically.
  • The search syntax is uniform throughout the system.
  • Uniform search interface for data from various information providers
  • The additional aids are the same in every database.
  • Continuous research ( Alert Service , SDI - Selective Dissemination of Information), automatic delivery of references to new publications on issues of interest are offered by most hosts as an additional service
  • The user only needs one login.
  • The data can be quickly retrieved compared to individual queries from various publishers.

The disadvantages of data hosting are:

  • The data is chargeable.
  • The researcher must be familiar with the contents of the available databases (a suitable database must be selected).
  • low level of awareness and users
  • Documents may not be passed on.
  • Special fields of a database cannot be mapped.
  • New articles cannot be researched immediately.
  • no open and uniform query language of different hosts ( proprietary retrieval languages )
  • no common document standard

Deep web

The data records of the databases offered by hosts can usually not be called up via search engines. Therefore, the data is assigned to the so-called Deep Web and in particular - according to the classification by Shermann & Price (2001) - to the Truly Invisible Web . This category contains websites that cannot be indexed for technical reasons. In addition to the relational databases of hosts, this category includes dynamic websites and websites in data formats that web crawlers cannot currently process (e.g. Flash , image content). The information provider LexisNexis alone has 4.6 billion records, more than half the number of records from search engine leader Google. The deep web is the fastest growing category of new information on the web.

Important hosts

  • Datastar
    • is a product of Dialog
    • more than 350 databases
    • Finance, law, economics; Pharmacy, Medicine, Healthcare, Environment; Chemistry, biotechnology; Patents, trademarks, European newspapers (full text)
  • German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI)
    • Authority of the Federal Ministry of Health
    • around 70 databases, around half of which are free of charge
    • Medicine, health care; Life sciences, biotechnology; Pharmacology; Agriculture, nutrition; Psychology, social sciences
  • dialog
    • Daughter of ProQuest
    • World market leader in database providers
    • more than 1200 databases online
    • Company, product, financial information; Science, technology, medicine, environment; Politics, law, news, patents
  • Factiva
    • a product from Dow Jones
    • over 35,000 leading news and business sources from 160 countries in 23 languages ​​including over 700 news agencies
  • Company knowledge
  • WTI-Frankfurt
    • Over 30 million specialist articles from 1,800 international technical and scientific publications, including "gray literature" such as dissertations and conference evaluations
    • more than 30 databases
    • Topics: electromobility, electrical engineering, electronics, mechanical and plant engineering, construction, information technology, materials, physics, operational management, environment, textiles, wood technology, printing technology, medical technology, chemistry and biotechnology, information science, European tenders, standards and norms
  • GBI-Genios , GBI the Contentmachine & German Economic Network Information Online Service
    • The e-library of the German economy, society for business information
    • more than 950 databases
    • Business information; Newspapers and magazines (full text); Company information, information economy
    • Web search, research and hit list display free of charge, only the display of the document is chargeable
  • LexisNexis
    • According to their own statements, "the largest full-text library in the world"
    • more than 36,000 "sources"
    • Press releases (full text); Business, finance, company information; Law; Patents
  • PSYNDEX ( ZPID's psychology database )
    • PSYNDEX is the reference database of psychological literature and test procedures from German-speaking countries as well as psychologically relevant audiovisual media and intervention programs
    • Evidence for over 200,000 documents
    • The ZPID is funded by the federal government (Federal Ministry of Health) and the federal states (Rhineland-Palatinate).
  • Questel Orbit
    • Subsidiary of France Telecom Multimedia
    • about 120 databases
    • Patents; Trademark; Natural Science; economy
    • QWEB web search
  • STN International , The Scientific & Technical Information Network
    • The worldwide online service STN International is operated jointly by the Fachinformationszentrum Karlsruhe and the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) in Columbus, Ohio. In Japan, STN is represented by the Japan Association for International Chemical Information (JAICI) in Tokyo.
    • more than 200 databases online
    • Chemistry, pharmacy, physics, life sciences, mathematics; Medicine, environment, agriculture, geosciences; Electronics, telecommunications, materials; Patents, magazines, company information
    • STNEasy web search with a selection of databases

See also


  • Poetzsch, Eleonore: Information Retrieval - Introduction to Basics and Methods , E. Poetzsch Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-938945-01-X .
  • Information World Review, Oxford: Learned Information Europe, ISSN  0950-9879
  • Password, newsletter on the information economy, Password Red.-Büro Bredemeier, Hattingen, ISSN  0930-3693
  • Research project online hosts in Germany (Mechtild Stock, Wolfgang G. Stock)
  • Ursula Georgy: Quality management at database manufacturers and providers. , In: Information: Wissenschaft und Praxis, 54, 2003, 163–168.

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