Internet Resources: May 2018 Edition
Selected reviews of digital reference resources from the May issue of Choice.
Posted on May 3, 2018
Common Sense Media.
[Visited Feb’18] The mission of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, is to give adults information to help children engage in a technology-rich world. Addressing parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians, and policy makers, the Common Sense Media website is intended to be the most trusted source for information and advice on media. The site offers ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music. Ratings are based on children’s developmental needs, and reviews offer a recommendation for the minimum age a given resource is developmentally appropriate for and a rating of quality and learning potential. Reviews focus on the portrayal of messages, role models, violence, sexuality, language, drinking, and drugs. Placing the content in the context of the resource, its intent, and its intended audience makes it possible for adults to make informed choices about what may or may not be appropriate for each individual child. Additional information, including a parent blog, family guides, news, and advice is designed to address information about all aspects of their children’s digital lives. For educators, the site offers a range of digital literacy curricula and professional development offerings. For any adult concerned about children, this site will offer welcome information that will support them in navigating the complexities of modern media and technology. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers and professionals. —R. L. Wadham, Brigham Young University
CQ Press Voting and Elections Collection. CQ Press, 2017. Annual academic subscription starts at $2,620.00, based on FTE.
[Visited Feb’ 18] In the era of fake news, post-truth, and click-bait, drilling down to find accurate, straightforward, and authoritative information can be difficult for students. The CQ Press Voting and Elections Collection takes a little bit of the guesswork out of this. Students and researchers in government, history, politics, and statistics will find a treasure trove of data relating to US presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections from 1789 to the present. From the search page, users can click on the “Election Results” tab and select an elected office, year, and geographic location (if applicable). A sample search for presidential primary elections from 2008 brought up easy-to-read charts that can be downloaded to Excel. Another useful tool is the “Compare Data” tab. Here, content is divided into candidates, race trends, and party dominance. In a sample search, the reviewer was able to retrieve a customized data set for presidential voting from 1976 to 2016 in his home county. This level of detail is invaluable for researchers identifying trends. Beyond simple data and statistics, the “Browse Topics” tab provides context for users. This section is divided into six broad political, electoral, and voting topics. These topics provide encyclopedia entries, primary source materials, and analysis pulled from other CQ Press reference sources. For example, clicking on the broad topic “Political Parties” brought up six subtopics. Selecting the subtopic “President and Political Parties” retrieved over 30 results ranging from George Washington’s farewell address to an encyclopedia entry for “divided government.”
In looking at similar online sites, there are many options to locate election and voting results. Examples include official sites such as the National Archives and individual state government sites, along with user-generated sites like Wikipedia that provide a good overview of elections at the presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial level. However, these sites cannot match the functionality, breadth of information, or ease of access to both current and historical statistics that the CQ site possesses. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. —J. A. Hardenbrook, Carroll University
eScholarship: Open Access Publications from the University of California.
[Visited Feb’18] eScholarship: Open Access Publications from the University of California is a comprehensive open access repository for the scholarly publishing of journals with their articles, monographs, dissertations, conference proceedings, and more. The program is subsidized by the University of California system and managed by the California Digital Library. University of California scholars, departments, research units, and publishing programs may choose to deposit materials in this voluntary repository. While the program is not mandatory to UC authors, there are many advantages to scholars who choose to deposit their materials. For instance, authors will automatically maintain copyright control of their materials, materials will be published quickly, and the repository provides long-term global access, free of charge, though some monographs will offer a fee-based print copy. Materials in this repository are also available to professionals in applied fields who may not automatically have access otherwise. In addition, authors are provided with metrics on usage, along with preservation and repository services.
eScholarship materials can be located through search engines, such as Google or Bing. There is also access to the collection through the home page search box. From here, the results are narrowed through filters, such as material type, year, campus, department, and more. PubMed provides links directly to the full-text of articles. eScholarship records are collected by SHARE, a collaborative scholarly communication initiative. Ebsco includes the journals in their A-Z journal list, and the records and their access links are included within the Ebsco databases. The UC library catalog automatically includes all eScholarship journals with additional repository materials added individually. eScholarship records are also available through WorldCat. All users, especially the global community of scholars, will find this repository a valuable and esteemed collection. Summing Up: Essential. All academic levels/libraries. Professionals. —C. W. Bruns, emeritus, California State University—Fullerton
Free Speech Movement Archives.
The Free Speech Movement Archives promotes itself as the only online archive created by participants in the student-led Free Speech Movement [FSM] at UC Berkeley during the fall of 1964. More than an archive, the site is a clearinghouse to other online collections about the FSM. Its contributors are activist guardians of the history of the Free Speech Movement. The site is not attractive, nor does it have an embedded discovery tool that allows searching across collections. However, for students, scholars, and anyone interested in learning about the history of the Free Speech Movement through primary sources, this site provides an authentic and eclectic picture of the events that brought about the protests, the response by campus administrators, and perhaps most notable, information about the people behind the movement.
Most of the content is arranged under two columns of primary sources and links to external collections: one column contains original documents from students, faculty, and administration, and items documenting events before, during, and after the protests. The second column contains profiles of FSM participants, information about the FSM Archives Organization formed to collect and preserve materials related to the movement, commemorations in 1984, 1994, 2004, and 2014, links to information about fiftieth anniversary celebration events, and a list of sites on related topics. Content includes official documents and personal papers, audio and visual sources, artwork, photographs, and transcribed text from original sources. The amount of content under each category varies. For example, under “FSM Participants-Participant Accounts” there is only one entry. Under “Free Speech Movement Photogallery” there are numerous links to images collections. Of particular interest are documents relating the movement’s fiftieth anniversary that help to contextualize the historical legacy of the movement.
One can quibble with the lack of a search engine, the rudimentary graphics, and the organizational structure of the site, but this does not diminish the value of its contents. Although some broken links were found, the site appears to be active with new content added recently. This site should be consulted, along with the FSM digital image and oral history collections of the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library, to learn about this movement’s origins and its continued historic legacy. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —R. V. Labaree, University of Southern California
Migration to New Worlds: The Modern Era. Adam Matthew, 2017. Contact publisher for pricing (based on FTE, purchase history, and Carnegie Classification); a typical one-time purchase with nominal hosting fee (0.5% of purchase price) ranges from $25,500.00 to $85,000.00.
[Visited Feb’18] Migration to New Worlds: The Modern Era is the second module in the Adam Matthew Migration to New Worlds series, which documents the movement of people from Europe, Great Britain, and Asia to the Western Hemisphere and Australasia. The first module, The Century of Immigration (CH, May’16, 53-3787), was released in 2016 and focused on 1800–1924. The Modern Era builds on the previous module and adds primary source material from the major movements of émigrés and refugees throughout the 20th century. Primary documents gleaned from 26 libraries, archives, and museums include personal accounts, correspondence, oral histories, ship plans, scrapbooks, photographs, maps, drawings, governmental papers, pamphlets, and more. The oral history audio clips are indexed and transcribed, allowing students to discover discrete information efficiently. Researchers can create personal accounts where they can save searches, audio clips, and useful documents when involved in extended research.
The Adam Matthew user license allows researchers to insert clips and images into noncommercial creative work. Citations can be loaded into the popular online bibliographic management software. The database was designed to support accessibility standards. The Modern Era does a great job creating an online archives experience that comes close to recreating the experience scholars have when traveling to physical libraries and special collections. Students serious about embarking on a scholarly journey will be rewarded with deep and wide pockets of information. This is not a product for students looking for quick citations. Students still in the first stages of understanding a topic are advised to visit the links under the Explore tab. Included here are 15 scholarly essays on a variety of broad migration topics by experts in their fields. These provide context and an introduction to issues undergraduates might want to explore in order to frame focused research. Each essay includes extensive bibliographies that point to original material in the database, print resources, or reliable external sites. The Search Directories tab is another aid for novice researchers. Students can use prerecorded searches for people, ports and places, ships, and keywords that can then be manipulated and filtered in a guided manner, making this rich product useful to undergraduates. Sophisticated scholars and faculty have the opportunity to use the advanced search module. Summing Up: Recommended. For serious upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. —J. H. Pollitz, Southern Illinois University
Routledge Historical Resources: History of Economic Thought, ed. by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz. Routledge, 2017.
[Visited Feb’18] Routledge Historical Resources: History of Economic Thought brings together in one interface a broad range of Routledge economics resources, including primary and secondary sources, book chapters, journal articles, and original content in the form of thematic and introductory essays. Focusing on 1700–1914, it offers expansive coverage of the formative years of modern economic thought with additional coverage of the pre-1700 and post-1914 periods. Emeritus economics professors Faccarello (Panthéon-Assas Univ., Paris) and Kurz (Univ. of Graz, Austria) serve as academic editors They advised the Routledge team on content and organization and wrote introductory essays (1000–1500 words) for the collection’s 12 Subjects and 8 Currents of Thought. The primary sources are derived mainly from Routledge Major Works and a Pickering & Chatto collection purchased by Routledge in 2015 and include the writings of such luminaries as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, and Alfred Marshall.
According to the website, many of the primary sources are available in electronic format for the first time. The secondary sources come from Routledge monographs and edited volumes and number about 2,000 selected chapters. The 200 journal articles, published between 1990 and 2017, come from two Taylor & Francis journals: The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought (174 articles) and Review of Political Economy (26 articles). The 18 Thematic Essays were specially commissioned and are each roughly ten pages in length, including bibliography. Discovery is based on a combination of keyword searching and browsing by entire database or by major category, including Content Types, Notable Figures, Currents of Thought, Subjects, and Periods, which are also usable as filters for keyword searching. A less visible category, Contributors, appears on the search results page to provide access to lists of authors of primary and secondary sources and editors. Inclusion in the list of Notable Figures does not necessarily mean that corresponding primary sources are available. Brief biographies for each of the notable figures would have been a nice additional feature. This self-contained collection (new resources will not be added in the future) is a well-organized, deep online resource for the study of economics and economic thought during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Economics and history departments with a strong focus in this area will find this a welcome addition to their resources. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries. —F. Rowland, Temple University
Safari: O’Reilly’s Learning Platform for Higher Education. ProQuest, 2017. Contact publisher for pricing.
[Visited Jan ‘18] Safari Tech Books Online and Safari Business Books Online were reviewed individually about a decade ago (respectively, CH, Nov’07, 45-1234, CH, Apr’07, 44-4181). O’Reilly Media has revamped and relaunched the resources, combining them and rebranding them as a “full-featured learning platform.” More than 250 publishers are represented, including Prentice Hall, Wiley, and Pearson. The homepage allows users to access the information in a variety of ways: a simple search box with a drop-down menu will find material by title, author, or publisher; an advanced search requires a general search and then filtering to limit by format type, subject area, and publisher. The results can be sorted in a variety of ways, including relevancy and publication date. Categories of resources, which are listed on the homepage, include Case Studies (videos), Playlists (a recommended list of resources that cover a topic), Learning Paths (courses of study with self-assessment tools), Popular Videos, Tutorials, New Releases, and Trending. On the left side of the homepage are navigation icons that are not intuitive but will give the user information when mousing over them. Icons include Recommendation, Queue, History, and Topics. The tutorial section is limited, but there is a feedback option for users to submit suggestions. In the records themselves, clicking on the publisher gives information about the publisher and all the other titles that the publisher has available in Safari. Navigating within ebooks is relatively easy, though it takes some getting used to; the text can be searched. There is no printing or downloading button, but each chapter can be printed or saved by using the computer printing options. This new version will be useful for computer science, software engineering, and business. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —S. A. Marien, American University
The SAGE Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, ed. by Amy Wenzel. SAGE Publishing, 2017.
[Visited Jan’18] Available as a seven-volume print set as well as this online edition on the SAGE Knowledge platform, this expansive, unique encyclopedia offers more than 1,400 signed entries by some 1,500 expert contributors. Though one can find several encyclopedias and handbooks that focus on either clinical psychology or abnormal psychology, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology is the first to intermingle the full scope of both clinical psychology and abnormal psychology into a comprehensive reference work. Wenzel (Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine) writes in the introduction that this encyclopedia “was developed to bring together foundational constructs and contemporary developments in the fields, highlighting the richness and diversity of theory, research, and application aimed to advance the understanding, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health disorders.”
The SAGE Knowledge platform is intuitive and easy to use. Encyclopedia entries are broken down alphabetically and by subject. Topics vary in familiarity from the well trodden to the contemporary to the cutting edge. A Reader’s Guide further aids in identifying entries by classifying them into 26 general topical categories based on the DSM-5. Especially helpful for beginners, each of the 26 categories includes an overview article that introduces the area of study. Entries also cross-reference keywords, cite further readings, and highlight other entries from this and other works on the platform. PDFs are easy to download, and DOIs and page numbers are available for citing. The appendix is an excellent resource guide to further readings, websites, and popular journals in the field. Quality, quantity, uniqueness, and accessibility make this encyclopedia well worth the price and a required clinical psychology resource. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. —N. Nero, independent scholar