Internet Resources: December 2018 Edition

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

internet resources december 2018

[Visited Sep’18] “ is a free introductory resource,” wrote Kaci Resau for ccAdvisor. It is most valuable for the general public and undergraduates; graduate students and researchers may find this tool useful to begin research on a certain topic, but the content is very basic. The project is supported only by the US government. Users should be aware of biases that exist with fully funded government research—or any research for that matter. Searches for some things produce nominal results on in comparison to competitors like WebMD (10.5260/CCA.199307). For example, a search on guns brought up one result in and 170 in WebMD. A search on HIV in produced 72 results in comparison to 2,302 on WebMD. “These differences show’s limited information and potential bias,” Resau wrote.

The website does well with checklists via the myhealthfinder tool, providing recommendations for preventive services to improve health. Researchers, librarians, and health-related organizations will appreciate the ability to integrate information from this website information into other websites. Though the ability to search for content in multiple areas is an asset, it can be confusing for users expecting to get different content in each of the sections. An advanced search would be a great asset to those who are conducting research and want to find more complex information quickly. In addition, the user may find the numerous links on some pages overwhelming, and the module-style overviews for each topic can seem long and even counterintuitive. Finally, though searches in English and Spanish (e.g., “alcoholism” and “alcoholismo”) bring up roughly the same results, MedLine Plus provides far more English alternative entries. “Because the site provides basic information,” Resau wrote, “it will be most useful to nonspecialists.” Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Hoopla. Hoopla Digital, 2018. Contact publisher for price.

[Visited Sep’18] “Hoopla is a web-based streaming service that includes ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, television programs, and comics,” wrote Paula Murphy for ccAdvisor. It is a great resource for undergraduate study and entertainment. It focuses on mobile technologies, so it is an ideal on-the-go resource. Its multimedia nature encourages readers, listeners, and viewers to delve deep. It is great for dormitory libraries or as an adjunct to a McNaughton or other book-rental collection. Its pricing model is library-friendly. Hoopla offers more than 600,000 titles in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Many foreign language titles and translations by prominent scholars are available. Wherever possible, closed captions are provided. Hoopla’s content providers include 14 university presses as well as Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Abrams, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Gale, Cengage Learning, Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, and Penguin Random House. Included also are many small presses and presses devoted to digital content. Movie providers include Universal Pictures, MGM, National Geographic, and BBC America. “In sum,” Murphy wrote, “using Hoopla is like going into a bookstore and getting lots of things for free.” Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Oxford Research Encyclopedias. Oxford Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Sep’18] The Oxford Research Encyclopedias website “is a project from Oxford University Press that offers an innovative and evolving model of accessing and using reference collections,” wrote Cynthia W. Bruns for ccAdvisor. It is a database of 25 online encyclopedias compiled by Oxford University Press. Each is led by an editor in chief who is an authoritative scholar in the field. The peer-reviewed articles within the encyclopedias have also been written by current respected scholars. These articles are comprehensive and written at a college level. They are specifically designed to give students detailed, in-depth background on the topic they are studying. The entire database is not yet complete. However, the unfinished sources are open to the public. As of April 2018, seven have been completed. Users can search subject portals to see how many articles are in the unfinished encyclopedia. For instance, five of the encyclopedias are in the beginning stages of development: Anthropology, Economics and Finance, Global Public Health, Physics, and Planetary Science. On the other hand, a completed resource such as Encyclopedia of Social Work currently has 852 articles, and International Studies has 479 articles. The completed resources are substantial and have significant research value. “It is important to note that all the encyclopedias, even after they have been completed, will be updating as new material is written and new topics developed,” Bruns wrote.

Articles within the Oxford Research Encyclopedias are comprehensive. For instance, the article on School Climate in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education is over 27 pages long and includes a further reading list of 10 recommended citations with links and 63 linked citations in the references list. The article is broken down into eight additional sections, including a summary with keywords and sections that deal with definitions, classrooms, measurement, research, improvement, policy, and implications. Another example is the article on global warming versus climate change and how labeling affects public perception. This article contains sections on the nature of labeling, how climate change is labeled, an explanation of the framing theory, the influence of labeling on perceptions, and much more. “All of this background information is comprehensive and constructive, and is not readily available elsewhere,” Bruns wrote. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

PsycTHERAPY. American Psychological Association, 2018. Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Sep’18] “PsycTHERAPY on APA’s PyscNET platform is an affordable, high-quality resource providing streaming videos and corresponding transcripts of filmed sessions between well-known therapists and individuals, couples, and families,” wrote Leanne M. VandeCreek for ccAdvisor. Practitioners, therapists-in-training, faculty, and students benefit from firsthand observation of psychotherapeutic approaches and techniques that are applied in practice to nearly 250 topics. PsycTHERAPY offers a robust, user-friendly interface that is intuitive and well organized. It allows for both quick browsing and sophisticated searching via multiple and comprehensive access points. Once located, navigating a video or its associated transcript is simple. Users can bookmark their place in a video they have begun watching and can easily create and share with other authorized users clips of any length, links to entire videos, or playlists. PsycTHERAPY’s documentation is extensive, providing clear instructions on how to manipulate it and perform all operations. Video tutorials and fact sheets are also available via APA’s main website. “The ability to observe well-known experienced professionals in-session with clients, while simultaneously analyzing body language, tone of voice, and dialog (audio or via transcript) between therapist and client is invaluable to those in training,” VandeCreek wrote. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE