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Best way to tell whether an online news article was published in print
February 17, 2012 12:51 PM   Subscribe

At work I am often asked whether a news story on a website appeared in print, and we need to know within a quick timeframe. We do not have Lexis Nexis or any other such database for me to check against and there's no chance that we'll have money in our budget to buy a subscription. Usually I resort to using Press Display, but they don't have every paper. Is there an online resource for me to use to determine what was published in print?

Often I am checking on larger papers like Wall Street Journal or USA Today, but occasionally I have to find out with very small local papers or I will have to check to see if a particular article was published in print in several papers across the nation.

There is no chance that we have it in our budget to add another subscription, we already cut our LexisNexis subscription, so looking for something free or nearly free.
posted by forkisbetter to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
A lot of the bigger papers' websites--and even many of the smaller ones--will actually tell you this, if you look closely enough. Barring that, you can always call the paper.
posted by valkyryn at 1:01 PM on February 17, 2012


It will only work for a small subset of stories, but the Newseum web page shows the front pages of a number of papers.
posted by Betelgeuse at 1:06 PM on February 17, 2012


valkyryn, many papers actually do not have this information and for larger papers such as Wall Street Journal or USA Today there is no way to just call and ask easily.

I am asking this question because I need resources for times when you cannot easily call and it is not marked on the website.
posted by forkisbetter at 1:09 PM on February 17, 2012


You're in DC, there should be a library nearby with LexisNexis access.
posted by empath at 1:21 PM on February 17, 2012


The public library does not have Lexis Nexis, it does have a limited newspaper database but most newspapers are historical rather than current. For things like WSJ et cet you can only search up to 2009 as far as I can tell.
posted by forkisbetter at 1:24 PM on February 17, 2012


Can you get Factiva pay as you go?
posted by laukf at 1:55 PM on February 17, 2012


I was doing something sort of similar around 7-8 years go. Lexis-Nexis wasn't even 100% for this kind of info -- I'm not sure if any source was. A lot of small papers are really run "old school" and may not participate in indexing services. At least in 2004, getting information about what was in the El Paso daily required a call to the local public library where they did hand-indexing on index cards. No kidding.

Something like Factiva or LN on a limited basis (I know your public library doesn't have it, but are you close to a good-sized public university? They may, or their librarians may have some advice about where you could find it) could help with the big ones where it's a problem of "not easy to call and contact."

For the "very small local" you may just have to call the papers.
posted by pantarei70 at 2:01 PM on February 17, 2012


Does your public library have ProQuest? Most do, but it doesn't usually cover small, regional papers.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:04 PM on February 17, 2012


The Library of Congress has a Lexis-Nexis subscription. Go there.
posted by dfriedman at 2:15 PM on February 17, 2012


Unfortunately I can't just get up from work and leave to got to the library for several hours to look this up.
posted by forkisbetter at 2:21 PM on February 17, 2012


Why do they want/need to know? Is it worth hiring someone as needed who will use available resources to make this check if you don't have the time to do it?

All of this goes into a cost and benefit analysis.
posted by megatherium at 2:49 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some libraries have on line ProQuest that you access with your library card.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:39 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


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