Internet Resources: January 2020 Edition

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

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AnythingResearch. Contact publisher for pricing.

AnythingResearch provides industry reports on 1,300 United States industries drawn from statistical analysis of the US Economic Census as well as dozens of other sources,” wrote Ryan Phillips for ccAdvisor. Reports cover industry environments, trends, market size and other metrics, and five-year forecasts, as well as aggregated company financial metrics, web news, executive briefings, and more. “AnythingResearch is a straightforward and uncluttered tool, providing a standard methodology for analyzing US industries,” Phillips wrote AnythingResearch provides US industry reports for 1,300 NAICS-defined industries and employs a standard methodology and statistical analysis to provide current and projected data. Research reports contain market sizing, financial statements (aggregated industry income statements), financial ratios, industry compensation, and government vendor contracts. The audience includes corporations, small businesses and entrepreneurs, banks, accounting firms, private equity firms, and academic institutions. The principal offering of the AnythingResearch platform and reports is their market sizing and forecasting based on the US Economic Census, the official measure of the US economy. Because the Economic Census is a large undertaking covering virtually every industry, it is conducted every five years, leaving the resulting data frequently outdated. The most recent 2017 Census only begins releasing data in September of 2019. “The site’s reports are updated at least quarterly and/or on a rolling basis depending on new information,” Phillips wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

ArXiv. Contact publisher for pricing.

arXiv is an open access e-print repository with content in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics,” wrote L. Rosenbloom for ccAdvisor. In 1991 Paul Ginsparg, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, used the emerging technology of the time to create a preprint repository that built on existing practices of physicists sharing preprints with each other. arXiv became a project of Cornell University when Ginsparg started as a professor there in 2001. Shortly after his move, Ginsparg received a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, and the site grew to cover other scientific disciplines in addition to physics. Most content contributed to the repository is also later published in a peer-reviewed journal, “but it is important to note that arXiv itself does not have a peer-review process,” Rosenbloom wrote. Content is moderated by a group of expert volunteers selected by the subject advisory committees of the Scientific Advisory Board. These moderators can decide to remove submissions based on unrefereeable content, inappropriate format, inappropriate topic, duplicated content, rights to submit material, and excessive submission rate. Articles are available to the end user as downloadable PDFs. There may also be other formats (PostScript, source files) supplied by the author of the article. Instructions for configuring internet browsers to accommodate different file types are available at “Configuration changes that users make can also be saved for future sessions by setting their internet browser cookies,” Rosenbloom wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Bloomsbury Design Library. Bloomsbury. Contact publisher for pricing.

Bloomsbury Design Library (BDL) provides information, much of it scholarly, on art, artists, and architecture from 1500 BCE to the present,” wrote Rachel Turner for ccAdvisor. It offers access to books published by Bloomsbury Publishing, and also information about certain museums and their exhibits and some images of items in these collections. The site also offers tools for educators, such as lesson plans and bibliographic guides. The site has a clear layout that is consistent across most pages, and the content seems to be abundant. However, on closer inspection the content is less robust than it appears; it is repeated in various forms throughout the website. On the plus side, this makes things more discoverable; for example, someone looking for Southern African design can find it more easily in the “place” category than by searching through the entire Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design. On the downside, the redundancy makes it difficult to remember where one is on the site, since the same thing can be seen multiple times, and there is sometimes a lack of sufficient breadcrumbs to show users how they got to a particular page. In addition, some of the topics list only one to three items. “Though it is valuable to have access to the entire content of Bloomsbury’s scholarly books (such as the above mentioned encyclopedia) and the overall design of the website is clear and pleasing, the lack of varied content and the insufficient breadcrumbing keep BDL from reaching its full potential,” Turner wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

National Coalition against Censorship (NCAC). Open access.

“The National Coalition against Censorship (NCAC), a not-for-profit organization, provides robust open access resources to students, teachers, parents, librarians, artists, curators, and others who are faced with first amendment issues,” wrote Melissa Chomintra for ccAdvisor. The content is comprehensive and can be easily implemented and used in a multitude of settings. While there are myriad organizations dedicated to freedom of thought and expression, NCAC focuses on providing actionable resources that set them apart from their peers. This review focuses on the curated content and educational resources. The NCAC website lists the following key goals: Assist students, teachers, librarians, parents, and others opposing censorship in schools and libraries; help artists, curators, and museum directors resist art censorship; inform public officials, the media, and the general public about First Amendment rights and obligations; advocate for public policies and laws that respect First Amendment rights and principles; educate young people about the importance of free expression, claiming their rights and respecting the rights of others; engage with a nationwide network of activists and support local activism; and analyze censorship trends and develop new strategies to promote free speech rights. The NCAC boasts over 40 years of program expertise, experience working at both local and national levels, and collaboration with academic researchers. “The wealth of curated resources and materials reflects its commitment and experience to the fight against censorship,” Chomintra wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Religions of America. Gale, part of Cengage Learning Contact publisher for pricing.

Religions of America (RoA) makes available, in one place, many valuable primary sources one could not otherwise access without visiting several archives in person,” wrote Martha Tanner for ccAdvisor. Multiple advanced search options make it possible to zero in on relevant documents and publications, a task that would be difficult in browsing the original documents within archives. Despite the fact that the name of the site suggests broad coverage, it is actually specialized. Materials in the collection relate to only a few denominations in the US, many of them small and several at the extreme end of the spectrum (e.g., Branch Davidians, People’s Temple). RoA will be invaluable to researchers interested in these specific groups and topics, but not as useful for those seeking a broader picture. Some of the advanced search options and digital tools (e.g., search publications by date, Topic Finder visualization) are clunky to use and add little research value. Digitizing these primary sources and making them searchable is a boon to scholarly research. However, the material may be too specialized to be of use in many libraries. “RoA would be invaluable to researchers interested in these specific groups and topics, but less useful for nonspecialists,” Tanner wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Routledge Historical Resources: History of Feminism. Routledge. Contact publisher for pricing.

History of Feminism (HoF) was released in 2016 as the first resource in the ‘Routledge Historical Resources series,’” wrote Jennifer S. Beach for ccAdvisor. The stated purpose of HoF is to present “the fascinating subject of feminism over the long 19th century (1776–1928).” The site brings together a wide range of primary and secondary resources, “including full books, selected chapters, and journal articles, as well as new thematic essays, and subject introductions on its structural themes.” The resource is available as a perpetual access, one-time purchase. Resources will not be updated, though technical upgrades are a possibility. Its complex materials, browsability, and keyword searching make it a useful resource for advanced undergraduate students, scholars, and researchers. HoF will be most valuable for institutions that are not invested heavily in the Taylor & Francis monographs included in HoF. Commissioned thematic essays add depth and context for more novice users. Most users will find the navigation of the product to be user-friendly, with the exception of problems related to the embedded PDF viewer. The ability to download PDF content somewhat mitigates the navigation issue. “However, users of assistive technology will miss out on the quality primary source materials available only as static images,” Beach wrote. The size and range of the Image Gallery is also frustratingly limited. “Academic institutions that have already invested heavily in Routledge primary source and secondary source monographs may find too much duplication in their collections to justify the purchase of HoF,” Beach wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Optional. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE