Internet Resources: November 2019 Edition

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

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Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH). Brepols. Contact publisher for pricing.

“The Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH) has been widely adopted in the UK and North America at academic institutions with relevant undergraduate and graduate programs of study,” wrote Kyle D. Winward for ccAdvisor. BBIH indexes mostly secondary materials about all things British from 55 BCE. BBIH contains more than 600,000 records and coverage for more than 750 journals and series. With few exceptions, this database does not include full text but is OpenURL compatible and links to many related external resources. It has a robust search interface and exporting capability for multiple citation managers. “Accessibility information was not found in the sample license documents or on the publisher’s site,” Winward wrote. BBIH is widely used at UK and North American institutions. During the period the reviewer had trial access, the site was consistently available and compatible with multiple web browsers. Help menu links are placed in obvious locations such as in question mark prompts alongside search field windows and direct to relevant sections of the help manual. “Users may be initially confused about how to use the subject and place as name trees,” Winward wrote. The auto-complete function could also be initially confusing, as it is necessary to use the prompt. Using controlled vocabulary is obviously helpful for precision of search, “but it is a feature that is atypical to what users are accustomed to on common academic databases, Google, etc.,” Winward wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music). Anthology of Recorded Music, Inc. Contact publisher for pricing.

DRAM, a product of the educational foundation Anthology of Recorded Music, Inc., is a streaming audio database whose mission is to preserve and disseminate musical recordings largely ignored by the commercial marketplace, based on their aesthetic and historical value,” wrote Leanna Goodwater, Hugh Burkhart and John Redford for ccAdvisor. The collection is a diverse catalog of American music represented by the New World Records and CRI (Composers Recordings, Inc.) labels. The collection in total numbers more than 4,000 albums from 42 independent labels and archives, and includes folk music, opera, Native American music, jazz, and 19th-century classical to early rock, musical theater, contemporary music, electronic, and beyond. While the primary intended audience is music scholars, students, composers, and music aficionados, DRAM includes materials useful to American history, sociology, and cultural studies students. “New World Records has served composers, artists, students, and the general public since its inception in 1975 with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation,” Goodwater, Burkhart and Redford wrote. The original mandate was to produce a 100-disc anthology of American music encompassing the broadest possible spectrum of musical genres in honor of the Bicentennial. This set of recordings, together with their extensive liner notes, provided a core curriculum in American music and American studies that was then distributed free of charge to almost 7,000 educational and cultural institutions throughout the world. The acquisition of CRI deepened New World’s catalog of contemporary American compositions and restored to circulation recordings that had, in some cases, been out of print for decades. Presumably, the majority of its users will be music students and faculty in institutions of higher education, especially those involved in the study, performance, or composition of American and/or contemporary music. “The collection, as DRAM claims, will also be useful for cross-disciplinary studies as well as for serious music aficionados,” the authors wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Learning Express Library. LearningExpress, an EBSCO Company. Contact publisher for pricing.

“EBSCO’s Learning Express Library (LEL) is a comprehensive collection of school/college and life/career skills practice tests and learning resources for students and adults, including Spanish speakers,” wrote Lizah Ismail for ccAdvisor. With video tutorials and other interactive study and help tools, LEL provides an in-demand range of resources for users in one single platform. LEL is one of several Learning Express suites offered by EBSCO. It is a comprehensive collection of school practice tests, college preparatory tests, literacy (reading and writing), math, and science skill-building tools, occupation licensing and entrance exams, and more: interactive tutorials, downloadable e-books, articles, flashcards, and instructional videos. It divides its content into the following units: Adult Core Skills, Career Center, School Center (Elementary Grades 4–5, Middle School, and High School), High School Equivalency Center, College Students, College Admissions Test Preparation, Computer Skills Center, and Recursos para hispanohablantes (there is no English translation, but this is the Spanish Speakers Resources Center). LEL has changed some of these names since the 2017 review in The Charleston Advisor. For example, Adult Core Skills was previously called the Adult Learning Center, and College Admissions Test Preparation was previously called College Preparatory Center. These changes describe the content more accurately. Video Guides are available that provide how-to instructions for users who have difficulty navigating the LEL site. “There are still inconsistencies, which are confusing and misleading, particularly when the Video Guide demonstration (which lasts 1:07 minutes) does not explain these inconsistencies or instruct the users about searches that work and those that do not,” Ismail wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Natural Medicines. Therapeutic Research Center. Contact publisher for pricing.

Natural Medicines is a robust and authoritative resource for information related to complementary and alternative medicines, natural therapies, natural ingredients, and natural products,” wrote Neyda Gilman for ccAdvisor. The content is evidence-based and unbiased. Monographs include references. This is a fee-based subscription product, but pricing is generally fair, and can be bundled with other resources. There are inconveniences, such as not allowing Boolean or quotation searching. But overall the database is easy to use, reliable, and informative. It is made up of seven parts: Food, Herbs & Supplements; Health & Wellness; Sports Medicine; Comparative Effectiveness; Manufacturers; Commercial Products; and Fixed Herbal Combinations. There are also seven tools (Interaction Checker; Nutrient Depletion; Effectiveness Checker; Adverse Effects Checker; Pregnancy & Lactation Checker; Charts; and Natural MedWatch), a CE/CME Center, a Colleagues Interact forum, and a News section. Both the CE/CME Center and the Colleagues Interact forum require enterprise subscription users to create a separate, free, individual account. “This database would be useful to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other clinicians when assisting patients, as well as for their personal research needs,” Gilman wrote. Lay individuals who use complementary and alternative therapies may be interested. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Psychology Database (ProQuest). ProQuest. Contact publisher for pricing.

Psychology Database from ProQuest is a comprehensive, online collection of full-text resources dedicated to psychology and its related disciplines,” wrote Dawn Behrend for ccAdvisor. With a substantial list of scholarly journals from the field’s top publishers along with a strong collection of full-text dissertations, it is positioned to serve a range of users. The interface is easy to navigate, and the product is compatible with most internet browsers and authentication methods. “Psychology Database would gain appeal by increasing collections of videos, books, trade publications, and other resources beyond scholarly journals and dissertations,” Behrend wrote. “Users preferring EBSCOhost or Ovid Technologies platforms, or who require a more comprehensive indexing, may consider PsycInfo as an alternative to Psychology Database.” Psychology Database is made up of more than 30 document types, including scholarly journals, trade journals, magazines, ebooks, videos, and conference papers and proceedings. The title list of publications (which does not include dissertations) as of May 4, 2019, indicates a collection of 1,293 titles. Of these, 98 percent are scholarly journals; there are 9 books, 9 trade journals, and 4 magazines. The top publishers in psychology are represented, such as American Psychological Association (APA), Cambridge University Press, Elsevier, Sage, and Springer. The majority of publishers are from either the UK or the US. Many journal titles are recognized as being high impact resources with heavy citation, including The American Journal of PsychiatryThe Psychological Record, and Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. A search of the database discovered over 29,000 full-text dissertations, a sizable increase from the previously indicated holdings of 7,000 such items. Videos are limited to the 2006 Intelecom Inside Out series of 22 videos providing an introduction to psychology. “When considering the addition of this database to a collection of electronic resources, there are a few aspects that may detract from the product,” Behrend wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

R2 Digital Library. Rittenhouse Book. Distributors Contact publisher for pricing.

R2 Digital Library from Rittenhouse Book Distributors, Inc., is a web-based ebook platform of over 8,000 health science publications in the medical, nursing, and allied health fields covering a wide range of disciplines and specialties from renowned publishers in the health sciences,” wrote Dawn Behrend for ccAdvisor. Librarians can purchase ebooks, enabling medical libraries of all sizes to build a collection that is specific to their needs. The product’s patron driven acquisition (PDA) model is a distinctive feature allowing trial access before considering purchase. R2 Digital Library offers a variety of authentication options allowing it to be remotely accessed with ease, “but it does not have a mobile app,” Behrend wrote. The selection of titles is extensive but would benefit expanded specialty areas. Notably high is the cost required to maintain access to one’s collection and in consideration of the price of individual titles in comparison to third-party book suppliers, which come with just one user license. “The intuitive interface, collection development features, unparalleled title list, and customizable nature of the product are key features that will help to balance out the cost,” Behrend wrote. To read the complete review, go to Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE