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Integrated Reference Databases: Accessible, Searchable, Usable, Indispensable

IT Services


Before library patrons immerse themselves in peer-reviewed academic journals or scholarly monographs, they often turn to Paratext’s reference collection for solid grounding in their topic. 

Paratext specializes in electronic reference publishing for academic, public, and specialty libraries. It publishes bibliographic databases that link to millions of full-text scholarly documents. Its products increase the usage of existing library holdings across all reference content—electronic and print.


Paratext produces four related electronic reference databases:

Reference Universe. The bridge between a library’s printed reference collection and specialized online reference databases, it contains links to hundreds of electronic titles and online reviews of titles in a variety of electronic databases.

19th-Century Masterfile. The largest resource for pre-1925 studies online, it has more than 60 indexes to periodicals, books, newspapers, patents, and both British and American government documents.

Public Documents Masterfile. A comprehensive electronic database of federal, state, local, and international public documents published in the past 200 years.

Book News Online. Provides libraries with timely news of high-level books in science, technology, reference, and humanities research.

Paratext required a solution for integrating and regularly updating these four extensive databases so that academic and scholarly communities would have ready access to this unique body of knowledge.


Paratext turned to Aptara for its ability to integrate data from disparate sources in multiple formats into coherent and searchable data files. Working closely with Paratext, Aptara provided large-scale data entry, coding, and tagging services that conformed to Paratext’s proprietary SGML DTD.


Paratext now offers integrated access and full cross-search capabilities to its four electronic reference products to the academic and scholarly communities.