'Reeding' Tea Leaves: What Reed Business' Divestitures Signify for Business Researchers
The author will be the first to admit that most business information specialists, even if they read the initial report that Reed Elsevier planned to divest itself of its Reed Business Information unit, did not track it to its conclusion. The entire process, amazingly, took more than 2 years. Only 7 months later, the company affirmed its intention to "substantially exit its Reed Business Information (RBI) US publishing business, while retaining specific businesses." The abrupt closure of individual RBI publications' Web sites left information professionals stunned and dismayed. Many of the sites provided data and special features beyond what appeared in print, so even if the issues sat on library shelves, the information was incomplete. The question, to paraphrase Aesop's The Tree and the Reed, is whether Reed's ex-titles are merely bending in the wind to stand upright later. That depends entirely on the new owners.
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