I am posting the letter I received from ALM, Vice President, Sara Diamond in response to the questions posed in April 18th post: The ALM-Lexis Deal: Stop Hyperventilating and Consider Some Action Items

Dear Ms. O’Grady,

ALM has, as you noted, been making a concerted effort to reach out to the library community as we define, refine, and implement our digital strategy. We appreciate the opportunity to address the community regarding our strategy and encourage you and your colleagues to contact us with any questions or concerns in the future. One of the items we’re currently contemplating is how best to stay in constant, regular touch with the needs and opinions of the librarian community. We, like most publishers, need to work on that and have prioritized it as a goal. Any input you have on how best to accomplish this would be greatly appreciated.

In response to your questions, please note the following:

• ALM certainly has a longer-term goal of creating a robust, integrated platform that will include news, newsletters, treatises, research products, and more. The first foray in this developmental direction was the integration of several core ALM data sets into a common platform for the New York SmartLitigator, a new regionally-focused research product launched last September. Our future plan includes giving librarians and attorneys the choice of accessing our content either from an integrated ALM platform or, as of May 1st, from LexisNexis. Some of the necessary initial steps we’re undergoing as we move toward this goal of integration include moving our regional Smart Litigator, Law Journal Press Online, and Law Journal Newsletters to a common platform, digitizing all content, standardizing content types across divisions and regions, applying common taxonomies to content, and storing all content in a common content repository. We’ll continue to move aggressively to refine and implement our strategy in the months ahead.

• ALM will be upgrading its news platform to provide custom alerts. The first custom alert will occur with the re-launch of the New York Law Journal website later this year. We will include other custom alerts as we update web sites for other publications. This is certainly on our priority list for development given comments we have heard from librarians and attorneys regarding the usefulness of this feature.

• The individual news publications (e.g., New York Law Journal) will retain only a rolling six-month article archive going forward. Archives beyond the six month period will reside on Lexis. That said, the regional SmartLitigator products being developed by ALM will also include full news archives. The first of these regional products, the recently launched New York SmartLitigator, includes an archive of New York Law Journal articles going back eight years. Similar archives will be available in other regional SmartLitigator products going forward, with the New Jersey Smart Litigator and Pennsylvania Smart Litigator launching later this year.

Librarian questions, concerns, and critiques of our policies are always valuable in helping us shape our plans for the future. We thank you for your interest in ALM and appreciate your comments.

Sincerely yours,

Sara Diamond

Group VP, Substantive Law