Internet Resources: June 2018 Edition
Selected reviews of digital reference resources from the June issue of Choice.
Posted on June 28, 2018
The Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Wiley, 2018. $3,391.00 to $6,780.00 annually; purchase price $14,570 to $29,137 with updates costing approximately $1,500.00 to $3,000.00.
The Encyclopedia of Life Sciences is “an online, continually updated reference work consisting of peer-reviewed, commissioned review articles in the life sciences,” writes Susan Kendall for the CC Advisor. It started in 2001 and since then has grown into the only “fairly comprehensive” online reference covering of biology, including history of the field, ethics, and biographies. Currently featuring more than 5,000 articles, the product adds around 400 new ones every year. Some are introductory and some advanced, making the reference appropriate for many levels of user. The encyclopedia is in a league of its own. Competitors in science include Elsevier and Springer Nature, but they tend to be “narrower in scope and cover only one aspect of life sciences.” Searchability is “very basic,” however, so basic as to create confusion. Full text articles are not on the encyclopedia’s site but on the separate Wiley Online Library platform with other Wiley products. That said, the content is the database’s real strength. It is most useful to biology students, from beginner to advanced. Contract provisions emphasize educational use. Wiley has two pricing options: subscription ($3,391 to $6,780 annually) or purchase ($14,570 to $29,137 with updates costing approximately $1,500 to $3,000.). While “pricing is fairly steep,” you get a lot for your money, and the database is updated regularly, unlike other products. To read the entire review, visit CCAdvisor.org. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Pricing is based on number of users and total features purchased; contact publisher for complete information.
“The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) offers in-depth country, industry, business, and communications reports that provide economic and demographic data starting in 1980, with forecasts for most countries to 2050,” wrote Thomas D. Sullivan for CC Advisor. There are 110 full-time analysts who produce the data and reports, as well as 400 to 500 correspondents. It is “very, very focused on the future,” a spokesman told Sullivan. It maintains a “forward-looking emphasis [that] can be seen in several of its products.” The EIU’s audience is business clients in need of detailed evaluations of economic and political trends. While people making investment decisions would be the core market for EIU, the general and academic user would benefit from its analysis. The product offers “good value in a competitive field” where “quality counts.” It provides reliable information and credible forecasts. “You get (pretty much) what you pay for in this sector, and these types of resources aren’t cheap.” Terms do not permit archiving. The EIU does not permit interlibrary loan, and is not COUNTER compliant. The EIU provides usage statistics to subscribers on request. Pricing is based on a number of factors, including the number of users and how many EIU products are purchased. To read the entire review, visit CCAdvisor.org. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE
Literary Print Culture: The Stationers’ Company Archive, 1554–2007. Adam Matthew, 2018. One-time purchase price ranges from $12,000.00 to $40,000.00 plus annual, nominal hosting fee based on FTE, Carnegie Classification, and institution’s past patronage of publisher; contact publisher for full information.
“While humanities and history scholars are the most likely users, Literary Print Culture: The Stationers’ Archive, 1554–2007 covers material in all disciplines,” wrote A. Haigh Widder for CC Advisor. A product of Adam Matthew Digital, it contains full-text facsimiles of the archive of the UK’s Stationers’ Company. Stationers’ began in the late medieval period as the “trade guild for illuminators, book workers, booksellers, scribes, scriveners, copyists, and, after the invention of printing, of printers and publishers.” It was responsible for British copyright until 1911. Indeed, “this body invented the concept of copyright.” The database offers three types of searches: basic, advanced, and archival records. Advanced searching narrows results by date, document type, record type, or theme. Full-text facsimiles often offer links to outside sources. Indexes are also linked to full texts. Extras include “oral histories, a glossary, a chronology, some images, and a number of secondary source essays.” The advisory board includes an emerita archivist of the Stationers’ Company. The reviewer advocated the purchase of this database for her library because scholars want to study the history of the publishing of particular books, particular authors, and particular printers/publishers. To read the entire review, visit CCAdvisor.org. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE
Medical Services and Warfare, 1850–1927. Adam Matthew, 2017. Pricing based on FTE, purchase history, and Carnegie Classification.
[Visited Feb’18] Adam Matthew has 15 products dealing with war and conflict. This particular online resource brings together digitized primary source material from diaries, hospital records and logs, letters, and photos that outline the numerous medical advances that have come about as a result of war. The time period covered is from the mid-19th century to the years immediately after WW I. A large percentage of the materials document the Crimean War, the US Civil War, and WW I, and includes a large collection of 5,000 Florence Nightingale documents that are fully searchable using handwritten text recognition (HTR) technology. (Adam Matthew is currently the only publisher to offer this feature.) Documents that can be reviewed using HRT are so noted with a pencil icon. Other interactive features include a database of Civil War patients, the ability to track how a gunshot patient was assessed and treated in various battles and what the ultimate outcome was, and a lengthy chronological time line of the various wars and conflicts.
The materials have been divided into 11 themes: Ambulance Systems; Disability; Hospital Care; Medical Developments and Equipment; Mental Health; Nursing; Personal Experience; Public Health, Welfare, and Reform; Rehabilitation; Sanitation; and Women at War. All items can be searched by theme, specific war, or document type. A search box on each allows basic keyword and Boolean searching. Advanced search capabilities include stemming and proximity searches. Below the search box is access to a Directories search that offers alphabetic searching of organizational, institutional, and name directories. Each document opens as a thumbnail that can then be enlarged. All documents open quickly, and the enlargement feature works cleanly and intuitively. The standard guides Adam Matthew provides (both under the Help tab and in the introduction) are excellent starting points and are highly recommended. Citation information is provided for each entry. There are also links to export citation information to any of the common citation and reference managers. A unique collection of primary source materials in a resource full of interactive features that makes research into this somewhat grim field almost enjoyable. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. —J. D. Whifill, Bethel University
Nursing Reference Center Plus. EBSCO, 2018. Contact EBSCO for customized price quotation for your specific library.
Nursing Reference Center Plus is “useful in all areas of nursing,” wrote Pamela R. Dennis for CC Advisor. It is “a point-of-care tool” that answers “clinical questions by providing evidence-based summaries, skills sheets (both nursing care and management), cultural competencies, continuing education opportunities, and book chapters.” The database is designed for nursing and allied health personnel. It asks users to explore “original research” through its “scholarly resources” and gives “quick access to easy-to-understand clinical skills and patient handouts.” Videos and images supplement pdf and html articles. The accompanying app allows nurses access to resources “from anywhere,” using Apple or Android devices. The product can be “easily branded.” Additionally, “CEUs can be earned within hours to maintain certification.” Evidence-based resources are critically analyzed using a “strict seven-step evidence-based methodology and protocol.” Resources are updated daily. Items not updated within a year are reviewed. An excellent help module includes all areas in the database and contains “screenshots for intuitive learning.” Criticisms were few but worth mentioning. Some articles are not in English. Information is limited to “male” and “female.” And the advanced search is awkward. Nursing Reference Center Plus is a subscription database. Pricing is based on a variety of factors including FTE or population served, existing EBSCO databases, consortium agreements, and/or buying groups. Pricing applies to a single institution, and ranges for consortia and online institutions may vary. To read the entire review, visit CCAdvisor.org. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students through professionals. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE
SAGE Research Methods. SAGE Publishing, 2018. Annual subscription or purchase price based on institution type and size; contact publisher for price options.
SAGE Research Methods is an “excellent database” of reference books, cases, datasets, and videos, wrote C. Duevel for CC Advisor. It can be used as a pedagogical tool and as a self-guided reference tool. This tool can be used to teach and explain research methodologies across academic disciplines. It offers a variety of formats to learn all aspects of research: philosophy and ethics, planning and design, data collection, specific methods (both qualitative and quantitative), writing, and dissemination. The presentation of this information could be “particularly helpful” for online, hybrid, and flipped classrooms. The “incredibly valuable” content spans 23 disciplines. It is “especially strong” in sociology, education, psychology, health, social work, business and management, political science, and communication and media studies. A major downside is getting enough bang for your buck. Even so, Duevel “would rank the Core Collection and the Video module as most valuable.” Annual subscriptions are available. Pricing is based on size and type of institution. Cases Part 1 $850–$2,835 subscription, $5955–$19,845 purchase; Cases Part 2 $4,100–$7,500 subscription, $24,800–$45,000 purchase; Datasets $1,165–$3,885 subscription, $6,865–$22,890 purchase; and Video $2,770–$9,240 subscription, $13,860–$46,200 purchase. Duevel writes that SRM “appears to be a one-of-a-kind.” Nearly all e-book publishers offer research-based books individually or in packages by subject, but “to my knowledge none gather them all together in one large set.” To read the entire review, visit CCAdvisor.org. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE
Women’s Studies Archives: Women’s Issues and Identities. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, 2018. Based on FTE, collection starts at $6,250.00 with annual hosting fee starting at $250.00; contact publisher for complete information.
Women’s Studies Archive: Women’s Issues and Identities includes an array of primary source material that charts “the course of political and social activism of the women’s movement,” wrote Angela Fritz for CC Advisor. The archival collection documents a variety of women’s perspectives pertaining to an array of social movements, including a “myriad of multidisciplinary topics relating to women’s activism during the 19th and 20th centuries.” The archive is “a rich source for primary research,” including perspectives from the suffragettes, pioneer women, missionaries, legal and medical experts, LGBT activists, journalists, birth control proponents, and labor and peace activists. Content includes “correspondence, annual reports, diaries, promotional material, investigative reports, organizational records, and a wide range of newsletters, organizational publications, journals and newspapers.” There is curated content, and users can explore “several important archival collections” as well. But one of the best features is “the interdisciplinary and transnational nature of the content.” Users can explore “the dynamism and interrelatedness of women’s social activism.” In addition to all of the above, Gale offers a straightforward interface, source citations, collection overviews, document management tools, the functionality of browsing digitized material as archival collections, and the ability to link and cross-search capabilities in other Gale primary source modules. All of this makes it a “a wise investment for any academic library.” To read the entire review, visit CCAdvisor.org. Summing Up: Essential. All readership levels. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE