Saturday, December 26, 2009

Current events.(REFERENCE 2009). USA, LLC

Information Board, originally uploaded by bulibraries.

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The 502,000 articles from 190 journals, magazines, and alternative newspapers that make up this collection represent essentially every angle on every issue back to 1970, all in full text--a huge benefit given how few of these titles are likely to appear in most library collections. Typing "radical" in the Publications Search option yields Radical History Review, Radical Society, Radical Teacher, and Review of Radical Political Economics, giving a snapshot of what Air-Press Watch offers on the left, while "american" produces American Conservative, American Renaissance, and The American Spectator.

* AP Images. Associated Pr.

AP Images is a unique suite of databases whose contents include four million captioned news photos going back to the 1840s, 800,000 audio clips dating from the 1920s, 50,000 graphic images, plus a new database of product-related images. Joining these are Historical collections on various themes and an Event Calendar (March on Washington). A special tab provided access to Beijing Olympics photos. Searching is uniquely geared to retrieving the material herein. The site is gorgeous, with new photos of breaking stories added constantly.

* Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO). Columbia Univ.

A distinctive collection of international relations materials, CIAO gives access to journals, working papers, conference proceedings, books, and book chapters from a variety of academic sources, plus policy briefs and economic indicators from numerous U.S. and international think tanks. Dozens of case studies by recognized scholars examine key historical events--from the Irish Troubles to Iraq--with extensive bibliographies, chronologies, multimedia, and primary sources. A partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit adds maps and political and economic data for 201 countries.

* CQ Global Researcher. CQ Pr.

An online monthly that began publishing in 2007, CQ Global Researcher adapts the authoritative CQ approach to an array of critically important global issues--the Race for the Arctic, Child Soldiers, and Anti-Semitism in Europe. Like CQ Researcher (below), reports run 30 pages and are illustrated with photos, charts, and maps. Various sidebars illuminate stories tangential to the main theme, and excerpts from the international press help communicate the global perspective. Reports from CQ Researcher are integrated into Global search results if your institution subscribes.

* CQ Researcher. CQ Pr.

CQ Researcher plays a key role in the debate over a range of social, political, economic, and scientific issues, giving an unbiased, well-researched foundation on which to build an inquiry. Each report puts the issue into its historical context, summarizes the current situation, and attempts to anticipate the direction that events are likely to take. Reports include a chronology, bibliography, interesting sidebars, directories of contacts, and various graphic and visual aids.

* Custom Newspapers. Gale Cengage.

Gale's InfoTrac-powered Custom Newspapers gives subscribers a mechanism for assembling a newspaper collection tailored to meet the specific needs of a library's clientele. With full-text coverage of hundreds of local, regional, national, and foreign titles to choose from, it offers an incredibly solid foundation with which to design a library's holdings. With nearly 46 million articles as of late summer 2008, the file becomes even more potent when cross-searched with other Gale products.

* Digital National Security Archive (DNSA). ProQuest, in partnership with the National Security Archive.

A unique resource comprising 60,000 formerly classified documents, the various DNSA collections include policy material on Afghanistan, E1 Salvador, Iran, Nicaragua, the Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, Cuba, Berlin, Iraq, and China, plus the Kissinger Transcripts and weapon of mass destruction (WMD)-related intelligence since World War II. Still adding new collections, DNSA makes public more than 676,000 pages of primary source material--policy documents, presidential directives, White House communications, memos, and confidential correspondence--with coverage dating back to 1945.

* LexisNexis. LexisNexis.

Searchers connecting to LexisNexis Academic can immediately begin hunting through hundreds of major U.S. and world news publications, wire services, broadcast transcripts, and even blogs. Clicking the News tab redirects you to the daunting advanced mode interface where there is greater control over the type (or title) of the source and the location and frequency of search terms. Results are organized into a variety of categories, with coverage going back decades.

* National Newspaper Index. Gale Cengage.

This file, like most newspaper indexes, is solid but needs some improvement. It indexes the New York Times Magazine from 1977 and the Christian Science Monitor, NY Times (and its Book Review section), Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post from 1980. Coverage of the L.A. Times starts in 1982 and of USA Today in mid-2003. Abstracts are skimpy or nonexistent, and searchers may find it disconcerting not to see any sign of their keywords when examining their results. This file includes six million articles through mid-2008.

* Political Handbook of the World. CQ Pr.

This handbook provides researchers with a succinct--articles vary from 5400 words for Eritrea to 11,500 for the People's Republic of China--authoritative overview of a country's political status, leadership, history, policy issues, and media. Searchers may access contents via an interactive map, by browsing the table of contents, or by searching via quick or advanced search modes. A unique Browse by Political System feature retrieves information by Regime Type, Party System, Electoral System, and System of Government.

* Praeger Security International Online (PSIO). Greenwood.

With the words "Terrorism, Homeland Security, Strategy" situated prominently on the banner, PSIO clearly defines its mission. While Praeger titles supply much of the content, PSIO embraces public and private, military and civilian partners, from here and abroad, giving the broadest perspective on a range of issues. Content includes specially commissioned analyses, reference-type entries, documents, and extensive chronologies. An International Herald Tribune news feed enables researchers to follow developing stories without leaving the resource.

* ProQuest National Newspapers. ProQuest.

Core-level ProQuest National Newspapers subscribers get five national papers full text--the NY Times, Christian Science Monitor, L.A. Times (a ProQuest exclusive), Wall Street Journal (available only from ProQuest and Factiva), and Washington Post. Libraries upgrading to the Expanded level add papers from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and Seattle, as well as USA Today, while Premier subscribers get broader coverage with a growing list of regional and specialty (Advocate, Barron's) titles. Cross-searchablity with other ProQuest products plus the ability to set up RSS feeds lends considerable functionality to the impressive content.

* Vanderbilt Television News Archive. Vanderbilt Univ.

Starting with coverage of the 1968 Republican National Convention--and the attempt by Reagan supporters to block Nixon's first ballot nomination--the Vanderbik Television News Archive offers abstracts of 850,000 news stories and 30,000 hours of programming. Subscribers may browse or search the regular newscasts from ABC, CBS, NBC, and more recently CNN and FoxNews, and then request--on a fee-based loan basis--that the Archive duplicate (in DVD or VHS format) a specific newscast or produce a custom compilation of news clips.

* World News Connection. National Technical Information Service.

Drawing from thousands of foreign media sources monitored by the Open Source Center, an intelligence-gathering U.S. government agency, World News Connection provides full text (or summaries) of translated and English-language newspaper and periodical articles, conference proceedings, broadcasts, blogs, technical reports, and other open source material. Areas of interest include Business & Economics, Crime, Environment, Foreign Investments, Health and Medicine, Science & Technology, and more. Produced by NTIS and accessible via Dialog, this file includes nearly three million records dating from 1995.

* World News Digest. Facts On File.

World News Digest summarizes the top news stories with meticulous accuracy, just as it has done since 1940. Search results are divided into News Articles, Analysis & Background, and the Reference Shelf (with entries from the Encyclopedia and Almanac, which may be searched independently). Entries contain photos, maps, time lines, and cartoons; there's even a listing of suggested research topics. While this may no longer be the way people start a research project, it probably should be.



Alt-Press Watch *** * *** *
AP Images **** ** **** ***
Columbia International
Affairs Online *** **** ** **
CQ Global Researcher *** **** **** ***
CQ Researcher **** **** **** ***
Custom Newspapers *** * ** *
Digital National
Security Archive *** **** *** **
LexisNexis **** ** * **
National Newspaper
Index *** ** ** *
Political Handbook
of the World *** *** *** *
Praeger Security
International Online *** **** *** **
ProQuest National
Newspapers *** ** *** ***
Vanderbilt Television
News Archive *** *** ** ***
World News Connection *** ** *** **
World News Digest *** **** *** **


Alt-Press Watch ** ** ***
AP Images *** * ****
Columbia International
Affairs Online ** ** ***
CQ Global Researcher **** ** ****
CQ Researcher **** ** ****
Custom Newspapers *** *** ***
Digital National
Security Archive *** ** ***
LexisNexis ** * **
National Newspaper
Index ** ** **
Political Handbook
of the World *** ** **
Praeger Security
International Online *** * **
ProQuest National
Newspapers *** *** ***
Vanderbilt Television
News Archive *** * **
World News Connection *** ** **
World News Digest *** * **


SCOPE range and breadth of content

WRITING quality of the writing; consideration
of the audience

DESIGN visual appeal; strengths and weakness
of the interface

BELLS & inclusion of multimedia files, interactive
WHISTLES maps, blogs, and other features

EASE OF USE logic behind the organization; efficiency
of the search mechanisms

LINKING cross-searchability with other files; ability
to integrate with and link to other products

(for first six criteria; see separate explanation for "value")

* poor/insufficient

** satisfactory/sufficient

*** good/plentiful

**** excellent/comprehensive


Value is a relative term, taking into consideration not only cost
but myriad related factors. If a product is expensive, does its
comprehensiveness and quality warrant the high cost?
Are too much time and energy required to find material,
given the price? Is it a narrowly defined, inexpensive product
that may receive heavy use in a small public library?Source Citation
Connolly, Bruce. "Current events." Library Journal 133.19 (2008): S26+. Academic OneFile. Web. 26 Dec. 2009. .

Gale Document Number:A190615961

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