Internet Resources: July Edition

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

Discography of American Historical Recordings. University of California/Santa Barbara Library, 2021.
https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

Applied Science and Technology Source Ultimate. EBSCO, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.
https://www.ebsco.com/products/research-databases/applied-science-technology-source-ultimate

Applied Science and Technology Source Ultimate provides access to a wide variety of journals, magazines, trade publications, and some books that are focused on scientific, engineering, and technological research,” wrote Joseph Kraus for ccAdvisor. The database encompasses over 5,000 sources, “and about 1,750 of those provide some form of full-text access.” Altogether, Kraus estimated that the database contains 8 to 10 million records, which can be browsed using the basic and advanced search options common to EBSCO products. Results should appear ordered by relevance, but sometimes this may not be the case. However, users can change the results to redisplay by date, source, or author. Further, the advanced search function allows users to limit results by Full Text, Published Date, Document Type, and ISSN, among other options. The database also includes tools “to view and manage Google Drive files and folders,” which can help students save citations or full-text items more easily to a Google Drive account. However, this may also raise concerns about granting EBSCO access to their accounts.

As with other EBSCO products, the interface is clean and easy to use. Before acquiring this product, however, Kraus recommended librarians “download the list of 5,000 sources covered to determine if their patrons would find Ultimate’s content worthwhile.” As alternatives, libraries “could consider other tiers of the database, such as the Applied Science & Technology IndexAS&T Full Text, or the AS&T Source database,” particularly if cost is a factor, Kraus noted. Some competitors would be the SciTech Premium Collection from ProQuest, OneFile from Gale, Ei Compendex by Elsevier, and Inspec from IET. Of those, the latter two overlap substantially with Applied Science and Technology Source Ultimate. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Joseph R. Kraus, Colorado School of Mines, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor


BMJ Best Practice. BMJ Publishing Group, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.
https://bestpractice.bmj.com/info/us

BMJ Best Practice is an evidence-based point of care tool that helps support clinical decisions by providing the latest and highest quality research available” to anyone delivering health care services, such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and hospital systems in general, wrote Jamie Saragossi for ccAdvisor. She added that “the resource includes clinical summaries based on the latest evidence, drug information, clinical calculators, evidence-based tool kits, and patient leaflets.” Content, which first goes through “a rigorous editorial process by expert reviewers,” is available across several medical specialties, each of which has a browsable list of topic overviews for area-specific diseases and conditions, which include “a synopsis broken down into different areas: theory, diagnosis, management, follow-up, and resources.” This content is updated with the latest evidenced-based information as it becomes available, ensuring a level of continuity across users. 

BMJ Best Practice’s “categories make navigating complex topics easy for users,” enabling them to drill down to a given focus area (e.g., theory) and quickly access relevant information, rather than spend time “scrolling through one long clinical overview, as with other point-of-care tools,” Saragossi contended. She further asserted that “clicking through to related topics … makes exploring potentially relevant content a bit more seamless,” but noted that “searching for specific key words within a topic overview is not an available feature.” Rather, searching may be performed through the main page “for clinical symptoms, diseases, or diagnostic tests” and “Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms are incorporated into the system to enhance search results.”

A possible alternative to this product is DynaMed, “a point-of-care tool provided by EBSCO.” Overall, though, “the tools and content provided on [BMJ Best Practice] are reliable and easy to navigate for users,” Saragossi concluded. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Jamie Saragossi, Stony Brook University Libraries, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor


Discography of American Historical Recordings. University of California/Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.
https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/index.php

“The Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR) is an open-access database that has information on more than 314,000 matrixes, or master recordings, that date to the late 19th century,” wrote Sarah Holmes for ccAdvisor. The website “contains a large variety of recordings from spoken stories to folk performances from a variety of countries,” she added, noting that it “is a comprehensive tool for researching recording artists of the time, recording practices, and the recordings themselves.” 

The interface is straightforward and easy to use. A brief introduction welcomes users to the homepage, along with a summary of the works currently available and those in process. Users are most likely to navigate the site through the Browse and Search tabs. Under Browse, options include Matrixes (“a matrix number is mostly the unique number assigned to a recording or set of recordings by the company,” Holmes wrote), Discs, Names, and Dates. As Holmes pointed out, “each matrix record supplies all the information the editor could find on the specific recordings,” such as title, source, composers, and personnel. Search options include Basic, Titles, Discs, and Names. “The search options for titles and discs can be a bit overwhelming at first because there are so many,” Holmes maintained, arguing that it would be helpful for the site to “briefly [explain] each Search and Browse type [to] make the learning curve a bit easier.” Helpful features include a citation builder and an embedded player where streaming audio is available.

“Although the Discography of American Historical Recordings is unique, some similar products may be complementary,” Holmes contended, such as the UCSB Library’s free Cylinder Audio Archive, the Database of Recorded American Music, and Global Jukebox. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Sarah Holmes, Northern Illinois University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor


LandScan. East View Information Services, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.
https://landscan.ornl.gov/

LandScan Global “provides very high-resolution population distribution and estimation data over space and time and makes population datasets accessible for use in research, educational, humanitarian, and corporate settings,” wrote Janice Schuster for ccAdvisor. It is ideal for “researchers who download and use the datasets offline; researchers who use the online WMS and WCS services; and those who use the web platform/application,” she asserted. 

The homepage “displays a large map of the world with a search box … and three population buttons,” Pixel Population, Current View Population, and Custom Area Population, which are the primary functions for interacting with the interface. The pixel function is particularly helpful for comparing neighboring population counts, and the custom area feature is especially unique, allowing users to find the population count for a specific area they delineate. This data “is updated each year to reflect new and/or better data and algorithms for estimating populations,” ensuring that users have access to accurate counts. However, because of this, Schuster warned against “using several years of LandScan data together to show changes in population,” as “what appears as population change may actually be a result of changes in data collection and processing method.” 

LandScan Global lacks help screens, which can make the site tricky to navigate for novice users, though this may be less of an issue for users experienced with population resources. Moreover, its many strengths make it a beneficial tool, such as making population datasets easily accessible, enabling effective interactions with the data, and allowing users to download datasets for free. Notably, “there do not appear to be any direct competitors to LandScan Global,” though other data-mapping resources include SimplyAnalyticsStatista, and ArcGIS Business Analyst. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Janice G. Schuster, Phillips Memorial Library, Providence College, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company. —Abstracted from, ccAdvisor