Internet Resources: July 2019 Edition

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

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Amateur Newspapers from the American Antiquarian Society. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, 2019. Contact publisher for pricing.

“Amateur Newspapers from the American Antiquarian Society (ANAAS) is a new primary source collection released by Gale in June 2018,” wrote Christina L. Hennessey for ccAdvisor. It’s part of the Gale Primary Sources platform, and it includes search tools, facets, cross-database searching, tagging and citation tools, and image viewers available in all those products. Content is provided from the American Antiquarian Society’s strong collection of amateur newspapers, focused on the second half of the 19th century, and of works written and published by those aged 12 to 20. The content includes not only the news of the day written from a youth perspective but original short fiction, poetry, illustrated works, and advertisements from the time period. Several Gale databases can be searched at one time (there are over 300 as of August 2018). For a newspaper collection, especially one that might not be edited or would have regional spellings, such as this one, it is important to have the option to allow variations on a search to retrieve imperfect matches, as is available in the Advanced Search. ANAAS has an uncluttered Advanced Search screen while still providing plenty of options to limit a search, although it might not be obvious to a new user that the “limit by” options can show more information if you choose the down-arrows in the interface. The layout of the facets versus the search results is very clear, and one does not need a tutorial to use this product. For students not sure how to cite these sorts of materials for their school papers, the citation tools are clear and offer several options and export formats. “The uniqueness of the subject matter combined with the ease-of-use and familiarity of the Gale interface,” Hennessey wrote, “make this an accessible, academic, and fun database for researchers, and for academic and public libraries.” To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

English Historical Documents. Routledge, 2019. Contact publisher for pricing.

English Historical Documents (EHD) provides access to more than 5,500 primary documents relating to British (not simply English) history (500 to 1914),” wrote Lisa Karen Miller for ccAdvisor. The documents were selected on the basis of being the “most important” ones relating to British history, so not every historical document the user seeks will be on the site. “A companion or supplement including the last 100 years would add to this product’s appeal and value,” Miller wrote. Universities with graduate programs in history will find this a helpful resource for student and faculty research needs. Although limited by editorial selection and date, this is a fine collection. Adding “500 to 1914” to the header (making it “The most authoritative collection of documents on British history—500 to 1914”) would prevent many fruitless and frustrating searches by those who assume EHD includes the entire 20th century. Some improvements to Browse would enhance the product, including the use of subheadings to assist in topic narrowing. The landing search page should go right to Advanced Search: students can handle it, and the simple search box is frustrating because results may be too numerous and some will be irrelevant. Field searching and limiters will get the user to content much more quickly and efficiently. “But even with these various shortcomings, this admirable resource provides an enjoyable dive into primary documentation of British history,” Miller wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. Wiley, 2019. Contact publisher for pricing.

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology is a go-to resource for topics concerning chemical technology and the uses, properties, and manufacturing of chemical substances,” wrote Bryan A. Briones for ccAdvisor. New and updated articles are added to Kirk-Othmer on a regular basis. These are authored by academics, scholars, and researchers in the industry, establishing this site as a reliable resource for the given scope. Kirk-Othmer is an easy-to-use search interface whose intuitive navigational and interactive tools positively enhance researching. Originally published as a 27-volume print encyclopedia in 2000, Kirk-Othmer’s present digital iteration is even more useful. It gives users a choice of browsing articles by topic, picking from a list of the latest or featured articles, or conducting a search of anything that concerns chemical technology, as well as the uses, properties, and manufacturing of chemical substances. Industrial processes and environmental issues are also included in the Kirk-Othmer knowledge base. Each entry has features to enhance the experience, such as a downloadable PDF version, jumps to sections within articles, and the ability to export or track citations. References and figures are intuitively organized. The reference list and figures are placed off to the side for ease of access, and an accompanying bibliography links to related articles within Kirk-Othmer and other works in Wiley Online Library. Article entries have an increased level of reliability and credibility due to their authorship by academic and industry scholars and researchers. “Overall,” Briones wrote, “Kirk-Othmer provides authoritative coverage of its subject material, and importantly, articles are kept up to date.” To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Routledge, 2019. Contact publisher for pricing.

“Including some 2,000 articles and updated on a regular basis, Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (REM) covers all aspects of modernism,” wrote Joan Dalrymple for ccAdvisor. The interface is visually appealing and intuitive, and there are options for saving, printing, and citing. REM will appeal to users at all levels. Launched in May 2016 and edited by Stephen Ross (Univ. of Victoria, Canada), REM adds content on a regular basis. All aspects of modernism are included—visual and performing arts, architecture, literature, music, and intellectual movements—and coverage is international, reflecting the global nature of modernism. The search capabilities and the discoverability across articles suffer from some deficits. In addition, articles are uneven in depth and abstracts are of varying lengths. Related items and related searches may appear at the bottom of an article, but their inclusion is not consistent. For example, an entry about James Joyce, a significant figure in modernist literature, has links to the related searches “literature” and “leitmotif,” but there are no links to related items, even though there are entries for his works (Ulysses, Finnegans Wake). The Joyce entry itself references many of his works but lists only a few of them in the “Further Reading” section. By contrast, the Ezra Pound entry is much longer, provides a long list of his major works, and includes a number of related searches and related items, including hyperlinks to other entries that would help in the discoverability of related figures, movements, and concepts. “Though saving, citing, and printing features are adequate,” Dalrymple wrote, “integration with cloud services would bring the tools in line with the offerings of other products.” To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System. Free.

“The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is the premier open access research database for astronomy and astrophysics,” wrote Laura P. Robbins for ccAdvisor. It contains over 13 million bibliographic records, including journal articles, books, conference proceedings, historical observatory bulletins, and other gray literature. An exceptional feature of ADS is the visualizations it creates, showing author networks, overlapping citations, and frequently occurring terminology, giving researchers new ways to explore the literature. ADS was established in the late 1980s to be the authoritative source for astrophysics literature. It tracks article citations and provides access and pointers to articles and data sets on publisher websites, arXiv, and other repositories. ADS is updated weekly. Currently there are two separate interfaces for searching ADS: Classic and Bumblebee. Classic will be retired in spring 2019. Bumblebee provides an updated search engine that indexes more fields, includes full-text and author affiliations, provides faster results, and creates paper and author network visualizations. ADS provides a powerful search engine with extensive capabilities. It is easy for a novice to begin searching and yet allows researchers to craft specific searches. There are extensive help sheets available that make it easy to learn the different search features. “It is a unique resource that is as easy for a novice to search as it is for skilled researchers to create precise search queries,” wrote Robbins. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

ULLMANN’S Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Wiley, 2019. Contact publisher for pricing.

Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry is an authoritative reference source for industrial chemistry as well as other scientific information,” wrote Alyson Gamble for ccAdvisor. It is useful for a variety of researchers, including students and professional chemists. It is available from Wiley in print and electronic formats. The online version, offered through Wiley Online Library, provides extensive articles, including figures and tables, which are cross-linked and searchable. Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry was first published in 1914 by Fritz Ullmann, a German chemist and the husband of organic chemist Irma Goldberg. Ullmann’s is currently in its seventh edition, which was compiled while supervised by an international editorial advisory board. Ullmann’s is highly cited, particularly within organic chemistry journals, and is useful for research in a wide range of scientific subjects. It covers advanced materials, alloys, analytical methods, biotechnology, biotechnological products, chemical and life science engineering, environmental protection, food chemistry, inorganic chemicals, metals, organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, polymers, process engineering, and unit operations. The publisher aims to provide comprehensive coverage of all areas of industrial chemistry, and the encyclopedia’s scope is international in nature. It contains over 1,000 articles written by thousands of authors who are considered experts in their field. Coverage is considered up-to-date, with updates and new articles added every two months. “Having to select the encyclopedia when conducting an advanced search may not be obvious to users,” Gamble wrote. “Otherwise, Ullmann’s is a useful product that has a clear interface and search capabilities.” To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE