January 20, 2022

Just In: EBSCO and H.W. Wilson Announce Merger

UPDATE: We’ve Learned The Name of the Company Will Remain EBSCO Publishing; H.W. Wilson is a Division of EBSCO Publ.

UPDATE: Highlights From an FAQ About the Merger is Available on the EBSCO Web Site. Highlights and a Link to the Complete Document Are At the Bottom of This Post.

Here’s a Portion of the News Release:

EBSCO Publishing and The H.W. Wilson Company  have merged in what is being viewed by the companies as an ideal match. This combination of organizations will allow the strengths of each to benefit existing and forthcoming products & services.

The Wilson subject thesaurus and Wilson “names” authority file are largely considered the best of their kind, and the WilsonWeb platform systematically leverages this valuable indexing within its searching to provide high quality, relevant results to end users. The Wilson controlled vocabularies will be integrated into EBSCO’s controlled vocabularies, resulting in improved subject indexing for EBSCO databases. The EBSCOhost platform will be enhanced to take advantage of this indexing in its search and relevancy ranking algorithms.


According to Tim Collins, President of EBSCO Publishing, this acquisition leads directly to heightening the value and quality of EBSCO and Wilson resources. “Upholding the integrity of the Wilson indexing is essential, and extending these attributes to EBSCOhost resources is a critical part of this venture. When it comes to thesauri (subjects and names), and how these are leveraged…We are also pleased to be able to add the Wilson databases into the EBSCO Discovery Service search experience”


All Wilson indexing, abstracts and full text will be fully searchable via EBSCO Discovery Service for subscribers of Wilson databases. The addition of Wilson’s robust abstract/index records and unique full text will strengthen EBSCO Discovery Service.

Wilson databases will be loaded onto EBSCOhost over the coming months. EBSCO will continue to maintain WilsonWeb until such time that all Wilson databases are available on EBSCOhost and customers have been transitioned to EBSCOhost.

UPDATE: From an FAQ on the EBSCO Web Site

  • “Vast Majority” of Wilson Databases to Be Maintained
  • “Many Planned Enhancements”
  • “Some Wilson databases Will Be Merged Together With Closely Related EBSCO Databases to Create More Robust Versions”
  • All Wilson Print Books  “To Be Fulfilled”
  • Moving Forward: Will Determine Which Print Titles to Produce “Based on Library Feedback”
  • “Print Resources that have Experienced a Decline in Interest Levels from Librarians May be Discontinued in the Future”
  • WilsonWeb Access Will be Maintained Through December 2011
  • Wilson Databases on EBSCOhost Will Roll Out “Systematically Over the Next Several Months”
  • Invoicing Will Stay the Same For Now But a Consolidated of Invoices is Antcipated in Early Fall (U.S)
  • CD-ROMS: All Subscriptions Fulfilled Through December 2011 But, “No New or Renewal Orders For CD-ROM Will be Taken

UPDATE: A Bit More From a Letter to Customers By Deborah Loeding, Vice President, Sales & Marketing at H.W. Wilson

  • The Merger Formally Took Place on Tuesday, May 31st

Loeding Writes:

With more than 150 years of combined experience serving libraries and research needs, the strengths of both companies will cometogether to provide greater products and services – enabling us to take the Wilson databases to unprecedented heights, and together enhance the EBSCO databases as well.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.