Internet Resources: April 2020 Edition

Selected reviews of digital reference resources from the April issue of Choice.

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Academic Writer. American Psychological Association. Contact publisher for pricing.

“Originally launched in 2016 as APA Style Central,” but rebranded in 2019 as Academic Writer, this platform is “a digital learning tool designed by the American Psychological Association (APA) to enhance traditional learning and teaching methods,” wrote Kelly MacWatters for ccAdvisor. It “provides authoritative resources and learning tools aimed at guiding students through the complete research and writing process.” With a simple and easy-to-navigate design, Academic Writer features three distinct centers focused on learning, reference, and writing. The Learning Center “contains dozens of quick guides” and tutorials covering information on publishing, research, and writing; the Reference Center “allows students to add, manage, and search for references through APA’s PsycINFO database”; and the Writing Center offers “samples of reaction papers, literature reviews, [and] case studies,” MacWatters elaborated. Through both the Learning and Writing Centers, visitors can also access the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Overall, the rebranded product is a welcome improvement over the original site, even offering transcription and responsive display across browsers and devices.

MacWatters noted that it is difficult to compare Academic Writer to other products as the site is unique; however, some alternatives might include Noodle Tools and EasyBib Pro, both of which similarly facilitate and promote learning and include multiple citation styles. She added that “libraries with budget limitations may be slow to adopt this resource because it primarily serves a subset of students,” though it will be well worth the investment to those who can benefit from it. As MacWatters concluded, with a much more readily navigable interface, systematic guidance, and emphasis on learning, Academic Writer is ultimately “a valuable resource for students and educators in the behavioral sciences and other disciplines.” Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. This review is a summary of a longer review by Kelly S. MacWatters, Siena College, originally published in *Copyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company. *—Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society. Gale, part of Cengage Learning. Contact publisher for pricing.

American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society (hereafter referred to as American Historical Periodicals) is “a one-time purchase database,” providing “digitized, full-text content from a wide range of American periodicals published between the 17th and 20th centuries,” wrote Erica Swenson Danowitz for ccAdvisor. Content comes from the American Antiquarian Society’s archives, allegedly the “largest collection of American documents spanning the Colonial period to the early 20th century,” she added. Collectively, the platform houses “7,049 total publications and 9,140,663 full-text documents ranging from 1681 to 1940,” in a variety of disciplines, Danowitz elaborated, including both rare and popular texts. The extensive array of content is truly impressive, though readability is occasionally compromised due to poor scanning. Documents are divided into two compilations: Series 1–5, containing the oldest-dated materials, and Series 6, with material dating up to 1923. ProQuest’s American Periodicals and Accessible Archives is a comparable product, and titles found in Series 1–5 of American Historical Periodicals are frequently duplicated in ProQuest’s database, which may be an important consideration for libraries that already subscribe to American Periodicals. However, documents made newly available through Series 6 are exclusive to Gale, and libraries that subscribe to other Gale products will find the integration across Gale’s resources useful. For instance, users can cross-search between Gale’s different archival collections using the newer of the two interfaces offered. Advanced search options also provide the ability to “search within a particular archive, by publication title or publication section, [or] by language, including numerous Native American languages,” Danowitz wrote. Ultimately, this will be a valuable resource for students or faculty conducting primary source-based historical research, and may even benefit genealogical researchers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers through faculty. This review is a summary of a longer review by Erica Swenson Danowitz, Delaware County Community College, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Art Museum Image Gallery. EBSCO. Contact publisher for pricing.

Hosted on the EBSCO platform, Art Museum Image Gallery is “a database of museum collections containing art images and multimedia from 3000 B.C. to the present,” wrote Jennifer Blair for ccAdvisor. It provides access to “museum collections of over 156,000 high-quality images sourced from the Art Archive of Picture Desk, Inc., and includes paintings, prints, ceramics, sculpture, and other art,” she added, with emphasis on cultural studies, area studies, women’s studies, and archaeology. Accordingly, this resource is ideal for academics or students conducting research in those fields, but it may also benefit reference collections and archives generally. As an image-based (rather than document-based) database, Art Museum Image Gallery offers “unique browsing capabilities to search by artist, creation date, subject, birth, and death,” Blair highlighted. The site also benefits from the EBSCO-based search platform, which will likely be familiar to users acquainted with other EBSCO products. Limiters for refining search results are not extensive, though “subjects and key terms are provided as live links,” a helpful feature for new searches, Blair elaborated.

Since this database compiles only images of museum works, “the [total] number of items available seems limited in comparison [to] other image databases,” Blair noted. However, each image record also contains “descriptors of date, author, origin, [and] location,” in addition to details about copyright and permissible use, and resource links for downloading larger versions, where available, which is a valuable teaching tool. Artstor, which offers an impressive number of open source resources, and Oxford Art Online, which contains over 30,000 items, including both journal articles and images, are close comparisons. Nevertheless, Art Museum Image Gallery stands out for its focus on museum collections and for the comprehensiveness of its image records. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers through faculty; professionals. This review is a summary of a longer review by Jennifer Blair, Azusa Pacific University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Gale Business: DemographicsNow. Gale, part of Cengage Learning. Contact publisher for pricing.

Gale Business: DemographicsNow is a comprehensive business tool that provides up-to-date, easy access to an array of geographically aligned demographic data,” including business and census data, from 1967 to the present, wrote Jerry McRae for ccAdvisor. He added that the platform is ideal for market researchers and companies looking to develop “business plans, marketing strategies, and grant applications.” Elaborating further, McRae noted that DemographicsNow offers “nationwide coverage, complementary data updates delivered quarterly, [and] nationwide consumer lifestyle data reporting on 126 million households,” enabling users to “create custom territories with ease … and access unlimited reporting.”

With a clean interface, searching is relatively easy, enhanced by basic and advanced search options that allow filtering results by source types, publication dates, and more. One of the platform’s standout features is the ability to generate demographic reports restricted to geography and various categories of consumer spending habits, which can be adjusted according to a user’s individual research needs. “One of the most interesting reports in the menu,” McRae detailed, “is the Mosaic [Household or Population] Comparison,” which “is a market segmentation model that groups a population by such shared traits as values and lifestyle.” Mosaic profiles for “71 types and 19 overarching groupings that share similar demographic and socioeconomic characteristics” are available through the database. Overall, DemographicsNow is a very reliable tool providing stable links and excellent features. SimplyAnalytics (CH, Feb’20, 57-1817), which houses data from multiple sources, including the US Census Bureau and several consumer reporting services, and American Fact Finder, which compiles data from several censuses and surveys, can be considered commensurate alternatives to DemographicsNow. Institutions will have to decide which product best suits their patrons’ needs. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. This review is a summary of a longer review by Jerry McRae, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center, originally published in Copyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

PsycBOOKS. American Psychological Association Contact publisher for pricing.

PsycBOOKS is a subscription ebook collection produced by the American Psychological Association (APA) containing over 4,000 titles and 48,000 chapters covering psychology and its related disciplines,” wrote Dawn Behrend for ccAdvisor. First launched in 2004 with 600 books and 10,000 chapters, the collection has grown substantially, now including over 3,000 “classic” and out-of-print titles from 1597 to 2010. With no moratorium on release, newer titles from APA Books are uploaded to the site monthly, at an average of 38 books per year, helping users keep abreast with the field. Behrend noted that “PsycBOOKS also provides access to the ‘APA Handbooks in Psychology’ series,” including 31 volumes at the time of this review, dating from 2011 to 2019. She added that “a key advantage of PsycBOOKS is the ability to perform a more precise search using APA’s controlled vocabulary,” made possible through the integration of the APA Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms into the PsycNET platform, which hosts PsycBOOKS. Overall, “the interface is intuitive to navigate with … 28 [search] fields to select from, including key word, author … and language,” Behrend wrote, and results can be filtered by “Age Group” and “Population Group,” among other limiters.

One notable drawback Behrend found is that “the majority of the collection dates from 1597 to 1999,” making it best suited for graduate students and faculty conducting historical psychological research. This dearth of more recent publications, compounded by selections being limited to material published by APA Books, may diminish the relevance of this resource to institutions that prefer more current and diverse content. For this reason, eBook Academic CollectionAcademic Complete, and APA Books E-Collections may be attractive alternatives for libraries seeking titles from a variety of publishers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. This review is a summary of a longer review by Dawn Behrend, Lenoir-Rhyne University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor