Internet Resources: June 2019 Edition

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

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Bloomsbury Popular Music. Bloomsbury. Contact publisher for pricing.

Bloomsbury Popular Music (BPM) is a truly unique popular music resource that provides an easy-to-use interface along with valuable content for researchers,” wrote Ginger Williams for ccAdvisor. With uses ranging from introductory music survey courses through graduate-level research, BPM would be an excellent resource for academic libraries that support music and performing arts curricula. Larger public libraries with extensive research collections and a local interest in fine arts or cultural studies may find this resource suited to their needs as well. Easy to navigate and fun to use, BPM is a scholarly database with an innovative, intuitive design. The content is predominantly popular music from Western traditions. The breadth of world music coverage is notable, however, as the resource offers a wealth of information about genres of music that “are popular in countries and communities all over the world.” The content could support students and researchers in a variety of fields related to popular music. Not peer-reviewed but certainly scholarly, the content is a satisfying mix of encyclopedia entries and ebooks supported by interactive features. Content from the “33 ⅓” series of brief books about particular albums is excellent in depth and insight—for example, like other volumes in the series, The Pixies’ Doolittle by Ben Sisario is informed by interviews with the band. “Although these are deep dives any fan would enjoy, the “33 ⅓” books are valuable to researchers of popular music as well,” Williams wrote. “DRM-free access to these works provides for a user-friendly ebook experience often lacking in databases.” To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE MUSEEC Some content open access, contact publisher for pricing. is a database that provides streaming videos of live and on-demand classical music performances, including concerts, ballets, documentaries, and master classes,” wrote Jeremy Whitt for ccAdvisor. The site is easy to navigate, “although there is room for improvement in the aspects of finding and filtering content.” This review also provides an in-depth content examination of the composers and genres featured on the site. Overall, the breadth and depth of content available in is outstanding; the site compares favorably to competing products, and its live performances will appeal to music fans, music scholars, and musicians around the globe. The live performances from the world’s most renowned performers set the site apart from competing products. The site features many of the most critically acclaimed ensembles as well, including many ensembles from Gramophone’s list of “World’s Greatest Orchestras” such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and many more (Gramophone 2008). also includes performances from renowned festivals, such as Aix-en-Provence, BBC Proms, Glyndebourne, Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, among others (Shea 2017). Simply put, there is something here for anyone interested in performances of classical music, from neophytes to aficionados and those in between. To provide a glimpse of content included on the site as of November 2018, one of many highlights is a 2011 concert of the LA Phil conducted by Gustavo Dudamel performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, featuring Herbie Hancock on piano. “Overall, capably achieves its goal of providing access to an immense video library of live and on-demand classical performances,” Whitt wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Testing and Education Reference Center (TERC). Gale, part of Cengage Learning. Contact publisher for pricing.

TERC is an elearning resource produced by Gale available by annual subscription, which includes materials for test preparation, college planning, and career development,” wrote Dawn Behrend for ccAdvisor. “The site is geared primarily to those of high school age and up, but some materials are also applicable for grade school age and up. The product is targeted at those who are considering higher education. The database contains tutorials, videos, practice tests, and ebooks, among other materials. Users are required to create an individual account before being allowed to access content such as practice tests. Maintaining an account allows users to save their progress on their practice test, resume, etc. All materials in the database are published by either Peterson’s or Delmar. This database attempts to fill every possible test preparation and career readiness niche by targeting a range of users. While this breadth of coverage makes the product relevant to a wide range, “it struggles in presenting its content in a way that is not overwhelming to the user,” Behrend wrote. “The home page is quite busy, with numerous avenues for accessing content and with a great deal of overlap” For the novice user, it is likely that the product “may be overwhelming and difficult to navigate,” due to the many avenues for accessing content, as well as the number of clicks required to ultimately get to the desired product. “The requirement that the user create and log into an individual account may also be a barrier to access for those who do not choose to take this additional step,” Behrend wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Optional. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

UN iLibrary. United Nations. Contact publisher for pricing.

“The United Nations iLibrary (UN iLibrary) serves as the online gateway to books, periodicals, and statistical data published by the United Nations Secretariat and its funds and programs,” wrote Donna B. Smith for ccAdvisor. Produced in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and using their OECD iLibrary platform, the UN digital collection contains more than 6,000 ebooks, 4,000 articles, and three databases from over 40 UN departments and agencies. Content is organized by theme, series title, publication year, and alphabetically. Publications can be browsed, searched, printed, and downloaded as a PDF. They can also be read online via the iLibrary viewer, an option that is free to all users.

The materials support research in 20th- and 21st-century history, politics, economics, social science data, and international relations. Plans are to add around 500 new titles annually. UN iLibrary publications include annual and outlook publications, book series, journals, working papers, policy briefs, and statistical periodicals. Some publications go back to 1947. UN iLibrary provides significant statistical holdings with three databases. The various publications are well organized and diligently indexed. Researchers have a variety of means by which to explore the documents across several layers simultaneously. Most publications are in English or French and often in both, but a few are in other languages (over 30 languages are available in the search options). UN iLibrary provides information in multiple formats: PDF, online web viewer (READ), Microsoft Excel, and data (exportable in many other formats). An icon makes it easy to see quickly what formats are available in a list of search results. The publication content is accessible in PDF and READ. The READ online version allows reading on a mobile device, sharing with peers via social networks, or embedding content in a report. “Remarkably, all the UN publications are readable online via iLibrary’s viewer (the READ option) without a subscription,” Smith wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Wiley StatsRef. Wiley. Contact publisher for pricing.

“This authoritative digital product from the Wiley Online Library is a select compilation of 6,000 peer-reviewed articles that is invaluable when researching the field’s history and origins and to gain a better understanding of how important concepts, mathematical formulas, and statistical applications were developed,” wrote Caroline Geck for ccAdvisor. This product is a collection of selected articles from eight online encyclopedias. Hyperlinked cross-referencing enables researchers to locate relevant content from journals and other sources. However, as a teaching tool, Sage Research Methods is superior: “it is more comprehensive, because it covers all aspects of the research process; furnishes videos and extensive case studies; and offers lessons that scholars can use to practice a variety of statistical techniques using real data sets,” Geck wrote. Therefore, Wiley StatsRef should be considered an optional purchase for upper undergraduate and graduate academic library collections, contingent on available funding. The Wiley StatsRef homepage is very appealing. It offers visitors capabilities to preview select content, such as the abstracts of the ten Most Recent articles, or free access to the Full texts of the five Most Cited Articles. However, only one citation among the fifteen showed how many times the specific article was cited. Attention should be given to metrics, such as the number of times that the articles have been cited, which are common features of scientific databases such as the Web of Science. A large number of cites indicates that the article is a seminal work. Abstracts, however, are not available for all articles, and some abstracts for articles are less than 50 words. “Wiley could improve this product by providing abstracts of at least 100 words,” Geck wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Optional. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Women’s Suffrage Collection. Accessible Archives, Inc. Contact publisher for pricing.

Women’s Suffrage Collection provides access to digitized newspapers originally published between 1849 and 1913 that were concerned with women’s rights and suffragist endeavors,” wrote Courtney McAllister for ccAdvisor. The site’s five parts encompass iconic publications such as The Lily, the first newspaper for women; The Revolution, the official publication of the National Woman Suffrage Association; and an anti-suffrage newspaper known as The Remonstrance. The subsections of the Collection represent unique and engaging primary source materials with tremendous value to researchers. The interdisciplinary appeal includes contextual narratives and blog posts that spotlight captivating figures and historical milestones of early women’s rights.

Although the platform’s download and print options are not as robust as interfaces associated with competitors like ProQuest or Readex, the core search and browse features are effective and designed to meet the needs of academic and public library users. While many sociocultural variables have changed since these papers were published, they have retained their relevance. One can trace the evolution of thought and American ideology in their pages, or develop a keen appreciation for how contemporary discussions of citizenship, identity, and power recur in our public sphere. The site can be effectively used by a wide range of searchers, from high school students to tenured professors, which makes it suitable for public and academic library collections. While the interface is pleasantly uncluttered, some might note the absence of the download and save features that have become ubiquitous in database environments. End users can also glean value from the supplemental narratives and blog entries that highlight key events or noteworthy people, making the primary source content more accessible. “Librarians will appreciate the versatile usage analytics, the range of authentication options, and the availability of free MARC records,” McAllister wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE