Internet Resources: October 2021 Edition

Selected reviews of digital reference resources from the October 2021 issue of Choice.

Access World News Research Collection. NewsBank, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.

“Last reviewed in the Charleston Advisor almost 20 years ago,” Newsbank’s Access World News Research Collection (AWNRC) has grown substantially since then, now containing over 12,000 news sources from almost 200 countries. These sources include “news features, newswires, blogs, broadcast transcripts, government documents, and journal articles,” as Lizah Ismail and Warren Bareiss detailed for ccAdvisor. With “an attractive user interface and … a variety of search options and content access points that cater to a diversity of search styles and expertise,” AWNRC is “a useful accompaniment to digital archives, reliably offering the more prominent news services over a longer time span,” they added. 

“AWNRC’s user interface is relatively easy to navigate and provides several intuitive cues that are hard to miss, such as the [prominent] search box,” Ismail and Bareiss elaborated. There are also “additional gateways to access content speedily without conducting an actual search,” such as the Quick Links section with access to Special Reports and Hot Topics. When perusing these featured collections, users can click on the desired image/topic to conveniently and quickly circumvent customary topic searches. There is also a More Search option equivalent to what most other databases would call “Advanced Search.” An interactive map of the world further enables users to “retriev[e] results for all news content related to that country,” Ismail and Bareiss noted. Although its temporal range is limited, AWNRC’s “coverage of smaller news producers provides an invaluable window into small town and neighborhood special events and daily life.”

Though this is a unique platform, “the most similar service to to AWNRC is [arguably] Nexis Uni,” Ismail and Bareiss concluded, followed by “Newspaper Source Plus,” which “has a comparable number of news sources.”

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All undergraduates.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Lizah Ismail, A.J. Eastwood Library, Limestone College, and Warren (Wren) Bareiss, University of South Carolina Upstate, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company.–Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Advance: A SAGE Preprints Community. SAGE Publishing, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.

Launched in August 2018, Advance: A SAGE Preprints Community (Advance) joins the “growing number of Open Access repositories where researchers can post papers online for free prior to peer review, and thereby speed the dissemination of research,” as Margie Ruppel wrote for ccAdvisor. “An article-centric preprint repository,” Advance includes “original research, literature reviews, commentaries, and case studies.” It “does not post … papers that have already been published or accepted to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, unless the journal publisher allows it.” As a policy, SAGE “maintain[s] preprints in perpetuity … regardless of whether they are subsequently published in a journal or not,” Ruppel noted.

In its mission to support open science, Advance cites speed, collaboration, credit, feedback, inclusivity, and Open Access as the many benefits of its preprint service. As Ruppel detailed, “once a researcher submits a paper, Advance staff complete a ‘moderation check’” to ensure that it belongs on the platform before funneling it into one of two main portals (located under Sections): Social Sciences and Humanities, which contains preprints in several disciplines, and transportRxiv, which contains practitioner-focused transportation research preprints.

Users can navigate content by keyword searching, facilitated by a simple search box on the home page, or browsing by discipline (under Categories). Once selected, preprints are presented in a clear, concise format, containing bibliographic information and a toolbox to cite, download, share, embed, or export, among other features. Other helpful features include “support for multiple file formats[,] indexing in Google Scholar and CrossRef[,] and long-term access.” However, it is also notable that content on Advance is limited, and there are slight issues with web accessibility. Possible competitors may include the discipline-specific SSRN from Elsevier, the multidisciplinary OSF Preprints from the Center for Open Science, and MDPI’s

Summing Up: Recommended. General readers through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Margie Ruppel, University of Kentucky Libraries, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company.–Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Human Kinetics Library. Bloomsbury, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.

Human Kinetics Library is a subscription-based database that allows students, researchers, and instructors access to a bundled collection of electronic textbooks, supplementary monographs, and videos,” wrote Pamela R. Dennis for ccAdvisor. Updated twice a year, “the database is easy to navigate through its indexing and search tools,” Dennis added, further noting that its “many videos and images” make it an advantageous resource for “college students and professors, personal trainers, rehabilitation specialists, athletes, coaches, physical educators, nutritionists, and more.” Content covers a wide range of topics, “including active aging, coaching, exercise science, ethics in sport, [and] strength training,” among others. 

Users can click through the tiles on the homepage to explore these and other topics, or to browse the collection as a whole. Doing so brings up the books and videos available that are relevant to the tile heading. Users can also “select Topic in Focus or Sport in Focus and choose from material in several content areas,” Dennis noted. For specific queries there is a search box at the top of the page, and an Advanced Search function “allows users to search anywhere or limit by title, author/editor/creator, summary/abstract, category, or identifier,” as Dennis elaborated.

Overall, the database is easy to use, though a few minor issues persist. These include citations “not in the current styles for APA (seventh edition) and MLA (eighth edition)” and the platform “includ[ing] only books and videos,” which “forc[es] libraries to subscribe to additional databases for scholarly articles,” Dennis pointed out. Despite these minor flaws, however, Human Kinetics Library is still a worthwhile resource, made even more so by the fact that there are no comparable products that collect the same sources in one place.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through two-year program students.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Pamela R. Dennis, Gardner-Webb University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company.–Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS). Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is a unique, complex data resource popular with academia but also used by government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations,” wrote Breezy Silver for ccAdvisor. As Silver went on to elaborate, WRDS “contains financial and accounting related data and tools and includes limited data from other subject areas, such as health care and marketing.” Accessing and using the data available is easier through WRDS than it is through regular business databases, though it may be best suited for graduate students and faculty, as it requires some familiarity with the various vendors and data coverage. Still, though this product is somewhat complicated to use, it “eases some of the burdens of working with data.” It is also important to note that while some datasets are automatically included, others must be purchased separately.

“Users may access WRDS in multiple ways,” Silver noted, but the most common gateway is the web interface. Once on the main page, various access points allow users to navigate the data in different ways. For instance, “clicking on D.A.R.T. (Data, Analytics, Research, and Technology) Paths takes users to a list of videos on using various datasets and resources within the database,” as Silver detailed. Meanwhile, Analytics by WRDS and Classroom Tools by WRDS offer tools for navigating, analyzing, and teaching data, and Get Data “allows users to find data by vendors and concepts.” 

“Using WRDS can be overwhelming when trying to figure out what datasets and which variables to use,” though D.A.R.T. helps somewhat by pointing users to relevant content. Possible competitors to WRDS include Bloomberg, principally, as well as FactsetMergentThomsonS&P Capital IQDatastream, and Global Financial Data.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Breezy Silver, Gast Business Library, Michigan State University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company.–Abstracted from, ccAdvisor