Over 11 years ago, I co-wrote and edited an article for Library Journal with three librarians (during my days as Senior Book Review Editor for the magazine), whom I asked to test Wikipedia as a bona fide research tool at a time most scholars were adamantly resisting it. This article was published some five years after Wikipedia first launched, which was in 2001. In the article, I Want My Wikipedia!, a younger version of me wondered, “But like any form of government, democracy faces a unique set of problems: once given the power (to edit), will people abuse it?”
To give the article more balance, I recruited three librarians and subject specialists whom I had worked with on other LJ-related endeavors—Barry X. Miller (pop culture), Karl Helicher (current affairs), and Teresa Berry (science)—and asked each to give their verdict on the source’s authenticity. After reading their lengthy reviews, I concluded that “while there are still reasons to proceed with caution when using a resource that takes pride in limited professional management, many encouraging signs suggest that (at least for now) Wikipedia may be granted the librarian’s seal of approval.” Continue reading I [Still] Want My Wikipedia!
As stated in the summary of OUP’s newly released whitepaper titled Navigating Research, “this study explores users’ and librarians’ perspectives on the role of reference resources in research and teaching in today’s academic institutions. It examines how users seek contextual information and guidance for areas of scholarship as they conduct research, and how reference resources can support their work.”
Key findings include, among others:
- recognition of ‘reference’ as a specific category is declining and users are not likely to identify ‘reference resources as those belonging to a distinct category
- research needs of today’s researchers are moving away from basic factual information and terminology (for which free online sources are used)
- resources offering guidance to a field of study retain appeal as a ‘bridge between introductory materials and specialized research publications”
- resources offering guidance to a field of study are also used to support work in interdisciplinary fields
- use of reference sources relies on their visibility and discoverability; this is likely to remain a challenge for publishers, librarians, and researchers
The whitepaper comprises three strands:
- a review of existing literature
- qualitative interviews with 16 librarians and 18 users (faculty and students)
- a survey of 164 librarians
The full whitepaper may be downloaded here.
November 3, 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Safari today announced a strategic partnership that will deliver the next generation in digital reference platforms for students, faculty and librarians.
Wiley Reference Library will combine Safari’s award-winning PubFactory platform with Wiley’s prestigious online reference portfolio. Wiley Reference Library will enhance the visibility and usability of Wiley’s acclaimed reference materials and will include entry portals for key subjects allowing users to search within a subject, within an individual reference work, or across Wiley’s entire reference portfolio. www.wileyreferencelibrary.com will be available in the first half of 2015. Continue reading Wiley and Safari’s PubFactory announce partnership
October 15, 2014 Aldie, VA– ParatextTM announces that an extensive collection of Data-PlanetTM DataSheets is now indexed, linked, and integrated into Public Documents MasterfileTM. Researchers can now query over 150,000 metadata records representing authoritative publicly and privately sourced datasets.
Libraries who subscribe to both services will link directly from the search results in Public Documents Masterfileto Data-Planet’s DataSheets, which provide a cleanly formatted visual representation of the data, links to the underlying data, and contextual descriptions of the data source, indicator, and dataset from which the indicator derive. Public Documents Masterfile users not subscribed to Data-Planet will link directly to the DataSheet statistical abstract and citation. Continue reading Paratext completes integration of Data-Planet Datasheets
Farmington Hills, Mich., October 8, 2014 New content covering popular healthcare and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) topics is now available on Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), the e-book platform offered by Gale, part of Cengage Learning. The signing of publishers Taylor & Francis, Mitchell Lane, HCPro and World Scientific combined will add approximately 750 e-books to GVRL, bringing the total number of available titles on the platform to 15,000 from over 150 publishing partners. Continue reading Gale adds four new STEM publishers to GVRL
Very pleased to see a good colleague of mine (and the first person brave enough to do an interview with me for NSR back in 2008) launch his own digital media company – Mission Bell Media. The web site is beautiful and worth a look and a read, as I’m sure the content will be as well. More from the press release below.
Just launched: Mission Bell Media
At the intersection of leadership and librarianship Continue reading Mission Bell Media launches
I took the new Britannica research site for a very quick spin. It’s a clean, colorful interface with intuitive icons, links, and features – very easy to navigate. The landing page features three search boxes, each specialized for a different age group (curious if we can choose one as a default depending on our library level). Content is also divided into three reading levels to correspond. Images, videos, recommended web sites, read-aloud, translation, and citation tools are built in. The press release below has more information. Nice job, Michael and everyone else at EB.
CHICAGO, March 11, 2014Britannica Digital Learning today announced Britannica Library, the next generation of its comprehensive reference and research service for library users of all ages.The newly designed site is Britannica’s richest library product to date and includes new and continuously revised articles from encyclopedias, journals and periodicals, related multimedia, primary sources, links to useful Web sites and ebooks. Continue reading Britannica unveils new reference and research site for libraries – all ages, all devices
To commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War, the OED is revising a set of vocabulary related to, or coined during, the war. Part of the revision process involves searching for earlier or additional evidence, and for this we need the help of the US public. OUP is gathering all contributions on the OED appeals website.
From OUP, “Our first quotations are often from newspapers and magazines, and we know that there may well be earlier evidence in less-easily-accessible sources such as personal letters, soldiers’ diaries, and government records, many of which are now being made available in digital form for the first time. We are hopeful the public can help find earlier evidence for the use of some wartime words?”
Follow along on social media with @OED and the hashtag #OEDAppeals. For more information please see the FAQs regarding OED Appeals here.
This was announced several weeks ago, but I missed it. It looks intriguing with the audio recordings, maps showing the regional distribution of words, and social media aspects. 100 terms available for free preview. If you are snowed in today, take a look at hooky bob.
Cambridge, Mass. The Dictionary of American Regional English, the authoritative record of American speech, is now available online, Harvard University Press has announced. Combining tens of thousands of entries and maps drawn from DARE’s six print volumes with such previously inaccessible data as survey results and audio recordings, daredictionary.com offers users a variety of powerful tools to explore the wealth and complexity of American English. Continue reading Dictionary of American Regional English Debuts Online
Earlier today Gale/Cengage announced a new business model for the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL). The model is “Usage-Driven Acquisition” (UDA) and is based on evidence-based decisions – you only buy what you use. The press release states, “Unlike options currently offered by other e-book providers, this new purchase model will allow libraries to purchase e-books based on actual usage, allowing libraries to perform evidence-based collection development.”
The model works like this:
1. DEPOSIT. Deposit your funds with Gale.
2. ACCESS. Post a link and widget for GVRL to your website.
3. USE. We’ll pull your usage and let you know which titles were used most.
4. OWN. Your funds will be applied to the titles used most.
I spoke with Nader Qaimari, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Gale/Cengage about the new model. Below is an excerpt of our Q and A. Continue reading Gale announces new Usage-Driven Acquisition model for GVRL
September 5, 2013, Boston, Oxford — Credo, the industry leader for information skills solutions, has launched 19 new and updated Subject and Publisher Collections, adding to the more than 80 collections currently available for perpetual purchase or subscription.
Credo’s new collections help librarians grow their reference shelves through their Literati or Credo Online Reference Service solutions. The newly released collections include:
One of my favorite sources, CQ Researcher, is celebrating it’s 90th anniversary! SAGE is honoring this long standing resource with a new interface and a new feature – Hot Topics. The Hot Topics section should hit the target for many English Composition research papers. More from the press release below:
Los Angeles, CA (June 24, 2013) SAGE and CQ Press are delighted to celebrate the 90th anniversary of CQ Researcher, a weekly in-depth, single-topic publication focusing on today’s most important issues. Founded in 1923 as Editorial Research Reports, CQ Researcher is the go-to, authoritative resource for librarians, high school and college students, and researchers seeking high-quality research on domestic and global topics. To celebrate the anniversary, CQ Press is launching an enhanced interface and exciting new content features. Continue reading CQ Researcher celebrates 90 years with a new interface and Hot Topics launch
Big news today from EBSCO. They will begin to index the metadata from Gale databases, ebooks, and archival collections. More information, including the full list of Gale resources included in the agreement, is below. Gale announced a similar partnership with OCLC for WorldShare program in January of this year.
IPSWICH, Mass. / BIRMINGHAM, Ala. May 28, 2013 EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and Gale, part of Cengage Learning, have agreed to make Gale databases and archives discoverable through EBSCO Discovery Serviceâ„¢ (EDS). The agreement allows EBSCO to index Gale metadata and make it discoverable for mutual customers through EBSCO Discovery Service. Continue reading Gale metadata to be indexed in EBSCO Discovery Service
SAGE has just announced a partnership with Coursera, a leading massive open online course (MOOC) provider, to make its educational resources available to more than three million Coursera students. Starting today, this partnership grants Coursera instructors the option to supplement their video lectures with SAGE’s wide-range of titles at no cost to students. The partnership is enabled by Chegg, a learning platform selected by Coursera as its exclusive DRM/eReader provider.
The list of Coursera partners is growing and includes a number of university presses (among them University of California, Stanford, and Rutgers). SAGE is one of several new publishers to enter into an agreement with the learning platform (others are expected to be announced today). NSR reached out to SAGE to get more information on what this partnership means for the publisher and the wider education community, including libraries (full press release is available below the Q&A).
Continue reading SAGE announces a major partnership with Coursera
A press release from Credo this morning discusses the ability to order reference titles on the Credo platform via GOBI3. More below:
May 7, 2013, Boston, Oxford — In an effort to simplify the process of enhancing library collections with authoritative reference content from world-renowned publishers, Credo, the industry leader for information skills solutions — in partnership with YBP Library Services (YBP), the academic division of Baker & Taylor — has made its titles available for purchase through GOBI3, YBP’s acquisition and collection management database. Libraries now have the ability to select Credo as their preferred vendor for reference material as part of their eApproval Plans. Continue reading Credo titles now available through GOBI3
ALDIE, Va., April 3, 2013 — Paratext announces that thousands of links to nearly 250 Major Reference Works from Elsevier’s ScienceDirect will be integrated into Paratext’s
Reference Universe service.
Elsevier’s Major Reference Works provide foundational content that gives cross-disciplinary perspective to researchers, librarians, teachers and students worldwide. They serve a broad spectrum of scientific, technical and medical disciplines, and routinely win awards for their authoritative and detailed coverage.
According to the press release just received from Gale (see below), the company plans to bring together more than 130 million pages of its digital humanities content onto one platform. Artemis, the name of the product, will be released in a series of phases over the next few years and will become the world’s largest curated primary source and literary collection.–MR Continue reading Gale sets the stage for the launch of Artemis
Credo is moving full steam ahead in 2013. The following press release highlights several major achievements from this year including the two new Literati products, CODiE awards, and the acquisition of OnlineTutorSolutions.com. Read on for the details:
April 2, 2013, Boston, Oxford — Credo, the industry leader for information skills solutions, today announced several significant achievements in the first quarter of 2013. In addition to launching Literati School and Literati Student Athlete, solutions that combine authoritative scholarly content, innovative technologies and customizable services, the company’s Literati Public was recognized with a prestigious SIIA CODiE Award and Literati Academic was nominated for an SIIA CODiE Award as well.
Continue reading Credo celebrates major achievements – CODiE Award, new products, and acquiring OnlineTutorSolutions
Discovery tools are continuing to grow by adding unique resources from publishers. EBSCO is announcing an extended partnership with Oxford University Press to add University Press Scholarship Online and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography to the EDS.
IPSWICH, Mass. March 5, 2013 EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) and Oxford University Press (OUP) have extended their partnership enabling two additional authoritative resources from OUP, University Press Scholarship Online and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, to be searchable within EBSCO Discovery Serviceâ„¢ (EDS). Oxford University Press is the world’s largest university press offering content in more than 40 languages for audiences from pre-school to secondary level schoolchildren; students to academics; general readers to researchers; individuals to institutions. Continue reading EBSCO’s EDS to index OUP’s UPSO and DNB resources
EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) has released the eBook Public Library Collectionâ„¢ which includes over 25,000 general reference e-book titles in a variety of subjects and topics including social sciences, language and literature and science & technology.
According to the press release:
The collection will provide libraries with a substantial selection in the areas of self-help, health and fitness, games, crafts and hobbies, medical, cooking and religion. In addition to the larger concentrations listed, above, eBook Public Library Collection also features recreation and leisure, geography, commerce, finance, the family, marriage, women, folklore, social and public welfare, and home economics.
eBook Public Library Collection is offered as an annual subscription and includes unlimited simultaneous access for users, and titles are continually added at no additional cost. Each title is offered with unlimited users allowing more users access to each title in the collection. eBook Public Library Collection also offers unlimited downloads to a variety of devices.