Internet Resources: May 2019 Edition

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

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Docuseek2. Docuseek, 2019. Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Feb’19] “Docuseek2 provides streaming video for academic institutions of over 1,200 documentary and social issue films,” wrote Louise Mort Feldmann for ccAdvisor. It offers a variety of pricing options. The interface is straightforward. It allows embedding of films and clips in learning management systems. Docuseek2 is a good option for academic libraries looking to license streaming video. It is a simple and well-organized interface which provides features that anticipate users’ needs. There is not too much to complain about. Strengths include exclusive content, an easy-to-navigate interface, and multiple pricing options. Weaknesses include a text-heavy interface and some out-of-date information. Occasionally titles are dropped. These titles remain available during a subscription, but afterwards become unavailable. Life of File titles continue to be available for the life of the H.264/.mp4 codec file. The website provides a list of titles withdrawn and dates dropped. Docuseek2 does not have a flashy interface, but it is easy to use. It is a good choice for institutions looking to add documentary film streaming to their collection offerings. “The ability to allow patrons to view the entire film catalog, regardless of whether their institution licenses a film or not, provides an opportunity for faculty to request items as they find and need them,” Feldmann wrote. To read the complete review, to go ccadvisor.orgSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center. Infobase, 2019. The entry price for this online product is $699.00.

[Visited Feb’19] “Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center database strives to be comprehensive,” wrote Tracy A. Salvage for ccAdvisor. The “Explore Industries and Careers” section covers 140 industries and career fields and thousands of professions. This resource assists students with locating schools in the US and Canada that are a good fit for them. One can narrow the list by variables such as location. The “Launch Your Career” module provides expert advice on writing resumés and cover letters, interviewing, and workplace skills. Developing a career collection entails evaluating various print and online resources to align career information with the degree programs offered. Commitment to equity, access, and inclusiveness in resources to reach as many members as possible is important. Military veterans, the physically challenged, those on the autism spectrum, various ethnic and racial groups, and the LGBTQIA community must all be served equitably. Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center is in line with these goals. It contains a wide array of information for students to mine online in pursuit of that all-important career and job. A case could be made that it provides too much information, and would best be included in library information literacy sessions and career office presentations on how to optimally use its various sections and features. “While Infobase provides tutorials,” Salvage wrote, “college librarians and career office professionals are familiar with their particular student body and how to effectively guide them in the use of a complex product such as this.” To read the complete review, go to ccadvisor.orgSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

LibQual+. Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Feb’19] “LibQUAL+ is a service suite that includes a user satisfaction survey intended strictly for academic and research libraries,” wrote Anamika Megwalu for ccAdvisor. The service suite is offered by Association of Research Libraries (ARL). It also includes a data repository valuable for libraries wanting to do comparative analysis of performance against peer institutions. “Compared to other assessment survey tools, LibQUAL+ is relatively cheap and easy to implement,” Megwalu wrote. The service started in 2000 as a small pilot project. It is now sought by over 1,200 libraries worldwide. A variety of libraries, including college and university libraries, health sciences libraries, academic law libraries, and public libraries from the United States of America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe use the service. The concept of LibQUAL+ was drawn from SERVQUAL, an assessment tool used by private sectors to assess quality of services. Texas A&M University Libraries, in collaboration with others, used modified SERVQUAL for years before partnering with ARL to repackage the service for other libraries. Initially, the project was funded by the US Department of Education, but now the operational cost is covered by library participation. “The site is continually expanding its services to countries across the world. In that effort, the administrators have established a protocol for translating LibQUAL+ Survey instrument into a language other than English,” Megwalu wrote. To read the complete review, go to ccAdvisor.orgSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate students through professionals. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Online Archive of The Jewish Chronicle. The Jewish Chronicle Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Feb’19] “The Jewish Chronicle (JC), a weekly newspaper based in London, England, offers free access to the text and video content on its website and subscription-based access to its full-text archive,” Larry Sheret and Robert H. Ellison wrote for ccAdvisor. The interface and the OCR underlying the page scans can be problematic at times, but this is a valuable resource. Over 175 years’ worth of material will be of interest to scholars in a variety of fields. The Jewish Chronicle bills itself as “the world’s oldest and most influential Jewish newspaper.” When it began publication in 1841, each issue was only a few pages long and sold for two pennies. Since then, its size and scope have steadily increased. Today, it is published every Friday; each issue is approximately 50 to 60 pages long and carries a retail price of £2.50 (approximately $3.50). Anyone with internet access can view content on the site and follow the newspaper on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest. Email newsletters, the ability to comment on stories and upload content, and other services are available to registered users at no cost; full access to the archive is limited to subscribers who have paid the fees discussed above. The archive is the focus of this review. It contains the full text of issues dating from the newspaper’s founding in 1841 to nearly the present day (there appears to be a lag of approximately six months; when I searched the archive on July 2, 2018, the most recent issue I could find was dated January 5). The articles will be of interest to a range of users: rabbis, members of the Jewish community around the world, and scholars working in fields such as history, journalism, religion, sociology, and political science. “The archive itself offers a wealth of material,” Sheret and Ellison wrote, “but users may encounter a few obstacles or challenges as they try to navigate it.” To read the complete review, go to ccadvisor.orgSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Student Resources in Context. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, 2018. Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Feb’19] Gale’s “Student Resources in Context intends to meet the cross-curricular research needs of high school and early college student communities,” wrote Todd Simpson for ccAdvisor. The website assembles a variety of resources, ranging from scholarly and popular periodicals to audio and visual content. The interface is ideal for the novice researcher. It is accessible to diverse populations. Student Resources does a good job at exactly what its name implies: providing a comprehensive resource for students at the beginning of their research process.”If a school or library is looking for one resource that meets many basic research needs for a diverse population,” Simpson wrote, “this site certainly does the job.” If, however, an institution subscribes to other products from the In Context suite, such as BiographyScience, or U.S. History, then many of the research needs met by Student Resources would be redundant. The design is the same, and there is significant overlap in the coverage of topics. It would be ideal if Gale could offer customers some transparency, in the form of demonstrable data, regarding the overlap of resources provided between these products. For example, if an institution offers both Biography and Student Resources, “to what extent will students be directed to the same content when researching George Orwell?” Gale claims that its objective for Student Resources is to “turn learners into thinkers,” which is a hard-won and admirable goal. Yet “this reviewer remains skeptical that spoon-feeding students content will fulfill this objective beyond introducing them to the varieties of content available on a given topic,” Simpson wrote. This is why Gale’s expansion of the advanced search options is a welcome and vital update. To read the complete review, go to ccadvisor.orgSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Uniworld Online. Uniworld, 2019. Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Feb’19] “The Uniworld Online database is a searchable web-based directory of US and foreign parent companies operating within their domestic and global locations,” wrote Harold Gee for ccAdvisor. The database is widely used by B2B companies in seeking new business contacts and opportunities. It can assist and benefit banks, law firms, nonprofit organizations, government offices, global entrepreneurs, multinational companies, marketers, executive search firms, employment agencies, students at college career centers, and individuals with a variety of information searches. There are more than 4 million points of data on approximately 764,000 parent and subsidiary companies in more than 200 countries. The outputs of these company records are available in web view, PDF, and Excel. Uniworld Online is primarily a directory. It is highly suitable for finding and creating lists of company names, addresses, phone numbers, web addresses, senior executives, and email addresses. Users will find Uniworld Online to be clearly more advantageous than the free internet directories. Overall, Uniworld Online is a valuable resource and is very useful. It can assist and benefit banks and law firms in identifying markets; non-profit organizations in finding sponsors and donors; government offices in their support of local businesses, economic development, and international trade; global entrepreneurs in finding new business partners and clients; and multinational companies’ supply chain strategies with location and address verifications. Companies can also use this resource to identify a competitor’s U.S. and foreign office locations. “Given the content,” Gee wrote, “Uniworld Online can undoubtedly add value to the database collection of all corporate and non-profit business information centers, college career centers, academic libraries, and public libraries.” To read the complete review, go to ccadvisor.orgSumming Up: Highly recommended. Professionals only. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE