Internet Resources: July 2020 Edition

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

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Bloomberg Professional. Bloomsbury. Contact publisher for pricing.

The flagship product of Bloomberg LP, “Bloomberg Professional is a premium financial information platform … offering real-time data, pricing and reference information, with a suite of analytical and functional capabilities,” wrote Ryan Phillips for ccAdvisor. This product is ideal for financial services professionals, and with “325,000 subscribers, [it] is estimated to be the current leading financial data platform worldwide,” he added. Bloomberg’s Experiential Learning Program also makes this a worthwhile resource for faculty, librarians, and undergraduate and post-graduate students, including “a customizable self-paced e-learning platform, Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC).” The platform also integrates news media content from about 1,500 news and information sources, which subscribers can access, in addition to analyst reports and other research, through the News function or the Company Research page. “Thousands of popular indices for all asset classes and investment funds, including popular equity indices,” such as the S&P or the Dow Jones, are also available for perusal through the index menu, which additionally offers the option to build custom indices.

Users can sort information by key-word search or navigating by hypertext, and can even extract data into excel, but according to Phillips, “the true power of the Bloomberg terminal is in command-line searching,” offering the most precise search functionality, though it can be complicated for novice users to learn. Ultimately, “the strength, quality, and reliability of Bloomberg Professional lie in the sheer scope and volume of data, information, and functionality of the terminal,” Phillips concluded, though its pricing and complexity may hinder some institutions from acquiring it. Alternatives include Eikon, which is most similar to Bloomberg Professional, as well as FactSet and Capital IQ. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

This review is a summary of a longer review by Ryan Phillips, Newman Library, Baruch College, The City University of New York, originally published in Copyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company.

Colonial America. Adam Matthew. Contact publisher for pricing.

Colonial America, a primary source database from Adam Matthew, features the entire archive of documents … from the agencies that oversaw the British colonies in North America and the Caribbean,” covering the years 1606–1822, as Jason Martin wrote for ccAdvisor. Drawn from the UK’s National Archives, sources include letters, charters, diaries, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, legislation, and public notices from the Board of Trade, the secretary of state for the Southern Department, and the secretary of state for the Colonies, all pertaining to the political, economic, military, cultural, and social aspects of British Colonial life in North America and the Caribbean. Consisting of five modules, each covering a different major event or theme, such as “Early Settlement,” “The American Revolution,” and “Legislation and Politics,” the “collection also includes essays by scholars, a map gallery, biographies of major people, and a ‘Government Structure Chart’ that lists the ruling figures of the time,” Martin elaborated. Users may browse these sources by document type, theme, colony region, or module, using the Documents tab. Alternatively, the Explore section not only allows users to browse volumes and titles, but also features the ability to “see the frequency of connections between a person, place, or key word with other people, places, and key words” using the Data Associations function.

Though the sources collected here are unique to Colonial America, other primary source collections with similar content include The Avalon ProjectColonial North America at Harvard University, and the Hanover Historical Texts Collection. Overall, Martin concluded that Colonial America “is a great resource for any institution with a focus on Early American and British Colonial history.” Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

This review is a summary of a longer review by Jason Martin, Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University, originally published in Copyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company.

Films on Demand: Master Academic Video Collection. Infobase. Contact publisher for pricing.

As the demand for educational streaming media grows, Films on Demand: Master Academic Video Collection (FODMAVC) stands out as a competitive resource for academic institutions, featuring more than 1,000 subject categories from 25 core academic subject areas, including anthropology, engineering, health and medicine, and world languages. As Lizah Ismail wrote for ccAdvisor, FODMAVC strives to deliver quality content, including documentary films, dramatic productions, educational videos, lectures or interviews, and newsreels, employing a team of professors to advise on content relevance and production quality.

At the time of this review, the site maintained more than 40,870 titles, and new titles are routinely added. Featuring a succession of carousel images highlighting new or selected content at the top of the home page, “the interface resembles popular digital platforms,” making it intuitive to navigate, and the platform is further supplemented by “convenient features such as sharing, customizable playlists, and embedment in course management systems,” Ismail added. In fact, FODMAVC’s embedded features accommodate any digital platform, such as LibGuides and other educational tools, and the site even “includes a Google Classroom option for educators to assign work to students and/or share video content.” Additionally, each video has “options to share, add to (playlists/favorites), cite, create segments, choose educational standards, and use Google Classroom,” though users may turn these options on and off, as Ismail noted. Users may even choose to screen video segments (there are 329,600 segmented clips) rather than complete works, if desired. Among other educational streaming media platforms, perhaps the most competitive alternative in terms of content is Alexander Street Press, although with an impressive depth of coverage FODMAVC certainly holds its own among the competition. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

This review is a summary of a longer review by Lizah Ismail, A.J. Eastwood Library, Limestone College, originally published in Copyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company.

Gender: Identity and Social Change. Adam Matthew. Contact publisher for pricing.

Gender: Identity and Social Change (hereafter Gender) provides researchers with access to key primary documents over three centuries of gender history, including personal diaries, correspondence, newspapers, photographs, ephemera, and organizational records,” wrote Erica England for ccAdvisor. This full-text database “covers gender history, women’s suffrage, and other key areas pertaining to gender and society from the 19th to the 21st century,” making it “suitable for institutions of higher education, government institutions, and public libraries.” As England elaborated, “this research tool also includes essays by and interviews with featured academics, and visual material such as photographs, posters, and scrapbooks … sourced from participating library/archive institutions across the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK,” further noting that many of these primary sources are otherwise difficult to locate. Though a bit outdated, the interface, which will be familiar to users already acquainted with other Adam Matthew products, features an interactive timeline designed to contextualize the material, as well as “both basic and advanced search options and searches by theme, image, document type, and directories (specific name, organization, country, dates, and legislation),” England added. Results can then be refined by date, document type, theme, and library/archive institution. Similarly, in the Image Gallery, images can be filtered by date, image type, and library/archive institution.

Gender has a few competitors, notably Gale’s Women’s Studies Archive: Women’s Issues and Identities, which provides a similar scope of materials. Other potential competitors are Women and Social Movements in the United States and Women and Social Movements International. However, as England concluded, Gender offers the greatest range, making it the leading database for primary source material relating to gender. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

This review is a summary of a longer review by Erica England, Washington State University, originally published in Copyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company.

Mason OER Metafinder. George Mason University Press. Contact publisher for pricing.

“The Mason OER Metafinder is a federated search tool created by George Mason University Press that searches Open Educational Resources (OER) repositories,” wrote Robert Flatley and Daniel Stafford for ccAdvisor. As they also noted, “the tool features an interface that searches 21 resources including major OER sites like OpenStax and digital repositories like Digital Public Library of America,” or both simultaneously. Users can perform searches by keyword, title, or author, and results can be limited by collection. The interface overall is relatively user friendly, resembling many online library catalogs, and it will be familiar to experienced librarians in look, feel, and functionality. Moreover, the federated search works efficiently, delivering results quickly. One particularly notable aspect is the Share this Search feature, a powerful tool that generates a shareable search results bookmark link, which could be “very useful for librarians assisting subject faculty who are seeking a set of OERs to evaluate for use in their pedagogy,” Flatley and Stafford added. However, many of the search results returned items that are not open, openly licensed, or clearly labelled as to permissible usage rights, bringing into question the usefulness of this tool. The platform would thus be much improved by the inclusion of a “facet to allow searching by usage rights restrictions or license,” as well as a robust help section, user-friendly tutorials, and improved labeling.

Overall, the reviewers concluded that the Mason OER Metafinder is best suited for librarians and other advanced information searchers with existing knowledge of the requirements for creating and executing complex information searches, and the time to experiment with the platform’s various search options. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

This review is a summary of a longer review by Robert Flatley, Kutztown University, and Daniel Stafford, Kutztown University, originally published in Copyright © 2019 by The Charleston Company.