LJ Talks with Seth Cayley, Vice President of Global Academic Product at Gale

Seth Cayley, vice president of global academic product at Gale, part of Cengage Group, offers insight into how Gale provides up-to-date content and innovative research tools for its users.

Seth Cayley, vice president of global academic product at Gale, part of Cengage Group, offers insight into how Gale provides up-to-date content and innovative research tools for its users.

Given Gale’s longevity, how do you ensure your databases stay current and keep up with changing trends and interests?

We focus on top-ranking searched subjects, topics tied to curriculum, social issues, people, and current events in the news. Special emphasis is also placed on diversity and inclusion. Gale strives to include content that is representative and respectful of diversity and cultural relevance, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, ability, religion, culture, gender, and sexuality. Offerings include content created and/or reviewed by subject-matter experts and academics reflecting diverse identities and experiences. For our biographical content, we’ve expanded coverage of LGBTQIA+ individuals, women, scientists, and historically underrepresented groups. Further, data from a million daily users inform editors of what topics are trending, a process that ensures the most-accessed content is also the most up-to-date.

It’s essential for database publishers to provide authoritative, trustworthy material. How do you select materials? Is there an ongoing process for reviewing new and established content?

Gale relies on a global network of scholars, subject-matter specialists, professionals, and educators to create content and advise on scope. Content is reviewed by subject-matter experts for accuracy, reading and skill level, bias, balance, and diversity. Our subject-matter experts include teachers, scholars, librarians, historians, Gale editors, historical societies, and advisory council members from various races and ethnicities with extensive knowledge in a particular area of study. For our academic reference content, we recruit academic advisory boards comprising scholars and specialists led by an editor-in-chief. The boards define the scope of the work, recruit and approve contributors and authors, and review the work once it’s been submitted. We update our databases continuously, being mindful of current events, changes in curriculum, and important topics and people of note.

Gale offers unique search tools combined with high-quality digitized primary sources documents. How do these tools enhance the research process?

Gale expands the possibilities of research by making otherwise difficult-to-access primary sources available to researchers across the globe. Our advanced search options support multiple entryways to our resources, and we adhere to rigorous standards for our metadata and optical character recognition to ensure search results are accurate and relevant. Along with our powerful search engine, tools such as term frequency, topic finder, and the Gale Primary Sources cross-search enable new connections across previously disparate archives. Initiatives such as the Gale Digital Scholar Lab further expand research possibilities by providing advanced analysis and visualization tools for textual data.

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