Press Cuttings database
May 10, 2005 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Part of my job is to get press coverage for clients, mainly in newspapers. I'd like to be able to store scans of these in a web-accessible database so that they can view them online.

Ideally, I'd have a database that would allow me to upload scans (probably PDF format) and assign them to a particular client, together with certain metadata such as date, publication etc. The client could then login (ideally, password-protected) and view all of their press cuttings, or search via the metadata.

Is there an off-the-shelf application that does this? Or am I better off having someone write a custom front-end to a database?

Don't worry about the legal aspect - we have licences with the relevant authorities that allow us to copy and distribute these stories to private audiences.
posted by blag to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Take a look at Greenstone. It's open-source, powerful, and scalable, and can handle PDFs like a charm--that is, if the PDF was "printed" from an online source. You may have to do some metadata work to compile a usable database of scanned images. You can tweak the interface to get it to work the way you want. Here are examples of Greenstone digital collections in the wild.
posted by arco at 6:50 AM on May 10, 2005

Coppermine sounds good for this. You can create users and groups and easily assign permission on viewing things.

Literally simple enough for my mother to use.
posted by unixrat at 6:52 AM on May 10, 2005

Sounds like you have the copyright issue sorted, but just to be a nag - don't assume that if your agreement covers photocopies that it also covers electronic distribution: that definitely isn't the case in most of Europe.
posted by bifter at 6:57 AM on May 10, 2005

The PR guy at my work uses a news clipping service. They provide him with scans of all stories that cover the subjects that he specifies.
posted by trbrts at 7:43 AM on May 10, 2005

Thanks for the suggestions, folks - will try these out. A helpful lurker also suggested Owl which looks like a bit of a sledgehammer but I'll give it a try. Bifter - we've got the (extortionate) electronic distribution agreement so all covered there but thanks.

All further suggestions gratefully received, if only for comparison purposes. Chuffed to see that there are open source solutions.
posted by blag at 10:00 AM on May 10, 2005

You sound like you're in the UK? If so, then a couple of the bigger clipping agencies have started to offer extranet services for clients. I have very few nice things to say about most of the clippers, but you may find it worthwhile to compare the cost of your and your colleagues' labour in doing all this stuff, versus the cost of paying an agency - it's not inconceivable that they could deliver the service you want relatively cheaply, depending on your brief, as most of the production is automated these days.
posted by bifter at 10:22 AM on May 10, 2005

Like a good poker player, you've spotted my tell. Next time I'm deep undercover, I'll avoid using the word "chuffed"...

Yeah, I'm in the UK. We've looked into clipping agencies in the past but they work out very expensive given the volume and obscurity of the papers we cover. That's why I'm looking for a solution which an intern/office junior/unixrat's mum can handle.

posted by blag at 1:59 PM on May 10, 2005

hehe... well, I wasn't sure. You could have been an ex-pat or a very camp american...

Avoiding clippers if at all possible sounds like a sterling plan anyway, but I still don't envy you - dealing with monitoring to a consistent standard in-house is a gigantic headache. I'd be really interested to know how this works out for you in any case.

Not sure about the meet-up - I gave up even expressing an interest in them over the last couple of years, mainly because post-baby I am notoriously bad at remembering to turn up to things. Might try to make it, depending on when it is finally scheduled.
posted by bifter at 2:16 AM on May 11, 2005

We've been doing it in-house for about 10 years, apparently, so we've got the system pretty much worked out. The purpose of this question was really to find a more efficient method of reporting back to clients without having to email or post each clipping. The suggestions above look promising so thanks to everyone.
posted by blag at 6:57 AM on May 11, 2005

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