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Dow Jones archives hit the Web

The firm's publishing arm will provide free searches of archived content within its proprietary service on general-interest Web sites.

In a move to expand its reach to a wider audience, Dow Jones Interactive Publishing has entered into agreements with several general-interest Web sites and Internet services to provide free searches of archived content within its proprietary service.

Under the agreements, the Web sites will provide access to Dow's Publications Library. Dow Jones will offer free searching of Dow research and articles from the 5,500 publications, wire services, and trade journals in the library. Users can then retrieve individual articles for $2.95 each. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Many newspapers, including the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times, charge for access to their archives. Companies such as Playboy Online and ESPN SportsZone also have successfully charged for access to archived content. Observers have noted that business users are more likely to pay for content than other users.

PointCast is expected to unveil the Dow Jones service this week. Over the next two months, nine other sites will offer access to Dow's publications library: MSNBC, AOL Canada, CompuServe, GIGA Information Group, NewsAlert, MediaOne, Stockpoint, Medical Data International, and Medscape.

The library allows the partner sites to provide "contextual searching" of Dow Jones content based on a user's area of interest.

Dow has traditionally made the information available to large corporate customers through long-term, flat-fee enterprise agreements. But today's announcement expands its reach.

"This gives us a baseline retail delivery system for people who are more casual users," said Allen Grossman, executive director of content and distribution for Dow Jones Interactive Publishing. "What we're really looking at is a way to introduce them, interest them, and give them an affordable taste of how our research can be useful to them."

The Dow Jones deals allow the firm to reach millions of individual consumers and smaller businesses through sites that they already use every day.

"This puts us in the natural destinations for a range of people when they access online publications," Grossman said.

Grossman hinted that Dow Jones may soon make other information from its interactive publishing unit available to partner sites. The company's online arm also offers news via Business Newsstand, corporate information in the Company & Industry Center, the Historical Market Data Center, and CustomClips, a clipping service that automatically retrieves articles based on topics, words, or phrases.

The interactive publishing unit, a division of Dow Jones & Company, runs the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition.