Clarivate Buys ProQuest

May 18, 2021

I don’t want to go into the history of commercial database producers. (Those readings about Oliver Cromwell in my British history class were orders of magnitude more exciting.)

ProQuest Bought by Clarivate in $5.3bn Deal” reports:

London-based Clarivate said the acquisition would establish it as “a premier provider of end-to-end research intelligence solutions” and significantly expand its content and data offerings.

Clarivate describes itself this way:

Together, we can create a better tomorrow.

The firm uses these phrases to communicate its business:

Every drop of potential needs to be squeezed from your IP

Make critical decisions with speed and certainty

Innovation in focus

Human ingenuity can change the world and improve our future

Accelerating innovation with actionable information and insights

If you are still unsure what the firm does, you will need to check the About page on the company’s Web site. Oh, sorry. There is no “About” page for Clarivate. A profile of the firm, which is assumed to be a household work, is available at this link.

ProQuest warrants its own Wikipedia entry which explains that

ProQuest LLC is an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based global information-content and technology company, founded in 1938 as University Microfilms by Eugene B. Power. ProQuest provides applications and products for libraries. ProQuest started as a producer of microfilm products, then became an electronic publisher, and later grew through acquisitions. Today, the company provides tools for discovery and citation management,[example needed] and platforms that allow library users to search, manage, use, and share research.

Net net: For fee online information access appears to mesh with the increased interest in subscription services. Challenges exist; for example, individuals like Sci Hub’s founder Alexandra Elbakyan and university professionals who can go off the reservation and present content outside of the peer reviewed journals, Dark Web archives, and customers mindful of the cost associated with an online for fee search may look for relevant information on Medium or Substack type services. My view is that this is a sale by ProQuest’s owner Cambridge Scientific Abstract comparable to Bill Ziff’s legendary deals.

Stephen E Arnold, May 18, 2021


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