Credo Reference is now partnering with ebrary® to provide a user-friendly customization option for the new Credo Topic Pages. Libraries who subscribe to the Credo Reference customized product and ebrary will now be able to research their ebook content directly from the Credo Topic Pages. Designed to provide contextualized, orderly access to authoritative content, each of the approximately 9,000 Credo Topic Pages is a starting point that assembles topical material from resources within and outside the library.
Last week LJ and Credo Reference sponsored the webinar, Reference: The Missing Link in Discovery. I had the pleasure of presenting at the webinar with Joe Janes from the University of Washington. The archive of the webinar is available on the LJ site.
Several questions were asked by participants which Joe and I could not answer live. Those questions, and answers, are below. We welcome your comments and further discussion on the future of reference. Continue reading Reference: The Missing Link in Discovery – Q/A from Webinar
WEBCAST NAME:Reference: The Missing Link in Discovery
SPONSORED BY: Credo Reference and Library Journal
EVENT DATE: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 — 2:00 PM EDT Time — 60 minutes
Sorry for the delay in posting this, I was on vacation last week. The contest is still going the entire week, so check it out.
Credo Reference celebrates National Library Week with free access and a prize drawing
Boston and Oxford, (April 6, 2010) — Credo Reference, the award winning online reference library, is pleased to announce its National Library Week Brainteaser Challenge with free access to Credo Unlimited. This week long celebration of 2010 National Library Week (April 11-17) will culminate with a prize-drawing for an Amazon Kindle as well as second and third place prizes. Continue reading NLW Brainteaser Challenge from Credo Reference
I wrote a piece on Credo’s Topic Pages a couple of weeks ago, but here is the official press release announcing the launch of the Topic Page Beta.
Credo Launches Topic Page Beta
The Librarian’s Answer to Wikipedia
Boston and Oxford, (April 8, 2010) — The data is undeniable, a significant majority of today’s researchers turn to Wikipedia at some point in the research process, very often at the beginning, or “presearch” phase of research. Now, Credo Reference is pleased to announce an easy-to-use alternative for researchers — Credo Topic Pages — that help answer the question, “Where do I start?”
Continue reading Credo Launches Topic Pages
Mike Sweet, CEO of Credo Reference, gave me a tour of the new Credo Topic Pages yesterday. What a great tool they are for background/overview information on 10,000 different topics! The stimulus for creating the Topic Pages was context. A University of Washington study on how students research in the digital age found that students struggle to find context for the masses of information available to them in the digital age. Enter Credo’s Topic Pages. The pages are designed to offer context and vocabulary, subject orientation, and pathways to further exploration of the topic. The pages include simple definitions, encyclopedia entries, tag clouds showing the vocabulary of the topic, images, and a title list of the most common references from subject encyclopedia articles (all part of the Credo Reference content). Sharing the topic page content via social tools, links to the library’s chat/IM service, and article citations via EasyBib are included as well, and that’s just the basic topic page. (side note, have you heard of EasyBib? 16 million students are using it….probably some of yours) Continue reading Credo’s Topic Pages – a great place to start your research!
As another way to simplify research, Credo Reference announced a partnership with EasyBib, an automatic bibliography site. Students can now conduct research in Credo Reference and with a simple click, track the bib data. EasyBib was founded in 2001 by students and is used by over 16 million students. They offer citations in MLA, APA, Chicago styles and more.
From a Credo Press Release:
Credo Reference adds prestigious National Gallery images to its reference collection
Oxford and Boston, January 26, 2010 — Credo Reference, the award winning online reference library, has signed an agreement to include National Gallery, London images and information in the Credo General Reference Collection.
Continue reading Credo Reference adds National Gallery Images
From a Credo Press Release:
A significant majority of SAGE Reference titles to be available through Credo
Boston and Oxford, (November 3, 2009) — Credo Reference, the award-winning online reference library, has signed an agreement to launch a SAGE Reference Publisher Collection. Nearly 70 SAGE Reference titles will now be available through the acclaimed Credo Reference platform. Continue reading Credo Reference announces SAGE Reference Publisher Collection
I’ve gotten a flurry of press releases in the past 2 weeks from a variety of reference publishers. Some are offering mobile search, others are teaming up to distribute content, or they are offering new products. Here’s a sampling of what’s going on (in no apparent order):
- Oxford University Press launched Oxford Handbooks Online
- SAGE Reference is making nearly 70 of their top Social Science encyclopedias available in Credo Reference
- Alexander Street Press announced the streaming music and video collections are going mobile in 2010
- EBSCO Publishing announced the “going mobile” version of EBSCO host
- Facts on File (Infobase Publishing) launched a new curriculum video on demand subscription service
- Rosen and Gale have teamed up to distribute one anothers online health resources – Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness and Gale’s Health & Wellness Resource Center
- Gale’s Powersearch and InfoTrac now support the MLA 7 format
From a Credo Reference press release:
Hundreds of encyclopedias added to Credo’s award-winning reference platform this year. Enhanced platform provides even more value for researchers
Boston and Oxford, (September 16, 2009) — It’s been a year since Credo Reference, the award winning online reference library, released its new platform, raising the standard for how online reference services should work for libraries. Since then, Credo has substantially expanded the academic content available on the platform, all at no additional cost for Credo Unlimited customers. Continue reading Credo Reference adds new content
On the Friday of the ALAMW Conference, the Independent Reference Publishers Group met for a panel presentation/discussion on using one single platform to host all reference content. It was an interesting discussion. I’ve summarized the panel in my notes below.
Independent Reference Publishers Group Meeting
Friday, January 23, 2009
Representatives from the following organizations were in attendance: Choice, CQ Press, Omnigraphics, Sharpe, ifactory, Sage, Salem, Neal Schumann, ABC-CLIO, Rosen, Credo Reference, Serials Solutions, NISO, Booklist, CHOICE, Wright State University.
The theme of this meeting and panel discussion was instituting a single platform for electronic reference content. Sue Polanka from WSU started things off with her wish list and each publisher had a chance to respond.
Sue Polanka — Wright State University
One day I’d like to purchase/license all of my reference content, regardless of publisher, and load it on the platform of my choice for the best cross searching available. This platform could be an existing one, like GVRL, Credo, ebrary, EBL, NetLibrary, etc. or some shareware, something developed by libraries. Benefits to patrons and librarians include: Greater access, more content, single search interface for ease of use and discoverabilty, easy to implement in library instruction and on web sites. These systems need to have unlimited simultaneous use, 24/7 access, with no DRM or other restrictions on downloading or printing, the most multimedia available during today’s expensive economic times and an actual ebook price, up front, would be appreciated.
Todd Carpenter – NISO
One platform has barriers to interoperability and they are bigger than technological, as in political and economic. [barriers shouldn’t prevent us from trying to do this. IRPG would be a good venue to discuss this. Seems like publishers would want to do this for reasons of — more exposure, and less cost of producing pricey interfaces — has anyone ever heard of epub or the IDPF? SP]
Peter McCracken — Serials Solutions
Federated products are often a starting point for research and therefore have an opportunity to have a reference role. The current design doesn’t work best for the patron since they get mostly articles. Somehow relevance needs to be a factor to assign tags to reference and get them to the top. We need to use field mapping more effectively. [I prefer a pre-indexed approach since federated products tend to be slow. Publishers/aggregators should take advantage of all metadata and tag reference items appropriately. If federated products are used, the reference content should be faceted as “overview material” or “background information.” SP]
Rolf Janke — Sage Reference
Publishers still have an infrastructure that supports print publishing. The infrastructure is a difficult component to downsize in favor of doing more digital publishing. Print is a one size fits all model yet e publishing is not so, publishers have a multitude of business models, interfaces, features, etc. The concept of a one size fits all platform for all publishers content is way ahead of its time, publishers currently could never agree on a standard business model. Pricing standards could help, but are not likely. [Gee, these must be the political and economic barriers that Todd was referring to? Looks like publishers could learn about collaboration from libraries. SP]
Ron Boehm — ABC-CLIO
Publishers need to invest in new things while maintaining our print production, which is expensive for publishers, particularly in these bad economic times. Right now we need to do both [e and p] or we would lose half of our business. The best strategy for ebooks is to have unlimited access. Ron supports the idea of publishers working with multiple aggregators or distributors to have reference content available in a multitude of platforms, but doesn’t recommend the libraries/consortia maintain their own platform. [Ditto on unlimited access and multiple aggregators. OhioLINK has been maintaining its own platforms for years. It’s a great system when you want to make enhancements and don’t have to wait on other companies or the majority of users to agree. SP]
Those of you heading to Denver this weekend might want to check out several of the vendors presentations in the Technology Showcase (Show floor, aisle 800 or 2200). The event is Monday, January 26th from 10:00 to 1:00. Here are several eBook related vendors and times:
Credo Reference – 11:20 – 11:50 Pueblo Theater (aisle 800)
ebrary – 10:40 – 11:10 – Mesa Theater (aisle 2200)
Springer 12:40 – 1:10 – Mesa Theater (aisle 2200)
I love widgets. Last week at the Charleston Conference I was on a panel discussing “bridging the google gap.” I was to discuss ways libraries were bridging that gap through reference services. Widgets was one of my answers.
Widgets can be embedded on multiple library web pages, course management systems, facebook, teacher/faculty websites, anywhere really! Caution, my web designer friends always remind me to have one ONE search box on a page, otherwise it gets confusing.
There are many eBook/eReference vendors who provide widgets. I’ve got links to some of them below. If you know of others, send them my way and I’ll post.
Credo Reference – Search the entire Credo collection with their widget. Some libraries have put the search widget on a reference page, as a starting point. Now that Credo links to other sources through their “resource links” feature, users can start with traditional reference sources and move to journals or other databases of your choosing. For a look at this feature, check out the Watne Memorial Library . You might also be interested in an informal review of the new Credo interface.
Gale/Cengage – GVRL in particular. I am fond of this widget because you can establish subject collections of sets of titles. Once you have the collection established, it can be placed in the widget and only those titles searched. This is a fab idea for subject guides/pathfinders, or for class assignment links.
Reference Universe – RU searches the indexes, TOC, and list of articles of both print and electronic reference titles. Using your online catalog, they will connect the user to a reference source. The widget opens up your entire reference collection. St. Mary’s College of California has a great example of this widget. Be sure to click on “reference.”
Those libraries in the Western U.S. might want to investigate this discount if you have any interest in Credo. Discount amount not mentioned in the press release, however.
Credo Reference Partners with BCR to Bring Online Reference to Member Institutions at a Discount
Boston and Oxford, October 23, 2008 — Credo Reference, provider of customizable online reference collections, is pleased to announce that they are partnering with BCR to provide its services to member libraries. With the new agreement, member institutions have the option of purchasing their choice of Credo Unlimited, Credo 250 or Credo 100 at a discount.
BCR (Bibliographical Center for Research) is a multistate, nonprofit network of academic, research, school, public and special libraries that provides members with training, products, discounts and consultation expertise. BCR understands the unique challenges of libraries in this technology-driven era, and brings them together for greater success by expanding their knowledge, reach and power. Both individual libraries and state library systems can join the network. Current member states include Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming as well as members located in additional states.
“BCR is the nation’s oldest and most established multistate library cooperative and we are pleased to partner with them to provide Credo’s reference collections to their members,” added Mike Sweet, Credo CEO. “We know the member libraries will discover that our over three million cross-searchable entries, from 350+ titles and 61 publishers, covering every major subject, will be a key addition to their offerings.”
The Credo page on the BCR web site is: http://www.bcr.org/services/databases/credo/reference.html.
I sat in on a Credo Reference webinar earlier this week, to get a better idea of the new interface and discovered something that wasn’t visible to me in the trial. Credo has “Resource Links,” external links to a library’s other resources like the catalog, a metasearch tool, or a particular database. Libraries can set-up the resources in the very detailed administrative module, proxy server stuff and all!
This is a really cool feature as it allows users to start research in Credo, get an understanding of the topic and various perspectives, then continue that search for books or articles in other resources.
More information on this feature and how to set it up in the Admin module are available in a Credo document.
Credo has upgraded its interface. I got a quick trial so I could check out some of the features (old and new). Of course the best part of Credo is the ability to cross reference a search. This allows researchers access to definitions, people, places, and general overviews of their topic from multiple disciplines and sources, a fantastic way to start your research. Here are some highlights:
- over 3 million entries in 366 titles (and growing), all cross-referenced
- nice simple search screen – googlish, with options for advanced search and the concept map
- interface is available in six languages
- browse the collection by subject and title options
- search results have faceted results for subject, pub date, entry type, media, and person
- great multimedia features – audio files, video clips, flash, and dynamic table creation, images, and maps
- optional display of the “gadget tool” with easy access to definitions, people, locations, crossword answers, conversions, quotations, and holidays and festivals (each category has a search box)
- concept map is still there. I believe I had previously called this “brainstorming on steroids.” Nice visual and interactive way to search for concepts that are related.
- store/mark records – easily done with checkbox. ability to export saved results – email, save, print, or export for multiple citation management systems
- cite this source – APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA
- bookmark to social networking sites
- Content sensitive HELP with index to all HELP items
- customize for your institution
- download marketing materials
- lots of usage statistics
and a few snafus:
- faceted results are great, but no way to turn them off, and no breadcrumb trail of facets
- no breadcrumb trail to keep you oriented, but maybe you don’t want to be oriented in a cross referencing tool???
- odd search results with the concept map. my siberian huskies search kept displaying the map of a related person to huskies, maybe there just wasn’t enough content on huskies….
- I was using Firefox. After entering my search term and hitting the enter key my search would sometimes stop. Once I clicked search it was fine.
For more information, visit Credo Reference, and ask David to give you a test drive!
If you are uncertain what titles to purchase, ask for their recommended lists….compiled by several people in the reference reviewing field.
Credo Reference Launches New and Improved Interface
Innovative features greatly enhance research experience
Boston and Oxford, September 3, 2008 — Credo Reference, the award-winning online reference library, has completely updated and enhanced its interface. The new and improved platform now features key elements developed as a result of direct feedback and testing with librarians worldwide. Credo’s user-friendly interface has been optimized to address different types of reference questions.
Credo Reference and its continually expanding online collection provide cross-searchable access to more than three million entries from 300+ key titles and 60+ publishers. Now, with the newly revamped interface, Credo Reference users will be able to take advantage of such features as:
· Faceted browsing — refine searches in many different ways, such as by subject, type of content, person or entries with images or audio.
· Improved Concept Map — Credo’s visualization tool.
· Direct linking to the resources of a library’s choice — view search results in another library resource with one click through Credo’s new “Related Resources” feature. Library configurable.
· Multilingual interface — English, Chinese, French, Polish, Spanish and Urdu are currently available. More languages to follow.
· Citation management — export saved results to the user’s tool of choice, such as RefWorks or EndNote.
· Bookmarking in a favorite, social networking site, such as Del.icio.us or Facebook.
· Explore titles by heading, person, place, image, audio or video. Hover over an entry in the index for a preview.
The beta-testers for this new interface raved about the enhancements. “One of the strongest features of the interface is Credo’s cross-referencing — â€˜Related Entries’, which can help our students expand their research beyond their original search,” commented Gloria Rohmann, New York University Digital Access Librarian. “Our researchers will now be able to click directly from a Credo entry to a related topic, with no extra typing required. That will help make their research experience smoother and more thorough.”
“The new interface is a lot more intuitive, which makes it easier to maneuver through,” agreed Anna Grigson, Assistant Digital Resources Librarian at University of Westminster Library. “The vastly improved Concept Map — which is great for visual learners — helps to better visualize the relationships between topics, something that can be invaluable with more complex research topics. It’s great that Credo Reference is reaching out to all researchers no matter what their language or learning style.”
“We’re pleased to launch the significantly enhanced Credo Reference platform,” added John G. Dove, Credo Reference President. “We’ve listened carefully to all the feedback that we’ve received from librarians and end-users and have worked to develop a reference experience that matches our unparalleled and exceptional content. Our intention is to save time for learners, which is what reference is all about.”
Credo Reference, with offices in Oxford and Boston, has been offering completely customizable reference collections for libraries since 1999. Formerly known as Xrefer, Credo’s General Reference and Specialist Reference services combine extensive content from multiple publishers with unique cross-referencing technology, effortlessly delivering authoritative answers to over four million researchers worldwide. Visit www.credoreference.com.
316 Stuart Street, Suite 301 Boston MA 02116
John Dove spent an afternoon with me at WSU. We sat down for a chat about reference, the role of reference, and of the reference librarian in the digital world. Have a listen.
I recommend you save the file to your computer first, then listen. Enjoy!
Xreferplus – (Credo Reference)
First published November 1, 2006 (Booklist).
Xreferplus is an online reference service with more than 2 million entries from more than 207 reference titles. With a focus on ready-reference content, Xreferplus includes subject-specific dictionaries, biographical data, statistics, quotations, and audio and image files from more than 50 publishers. There are two subscription options, Xreferplus 100 and Xreferplus Unlimited. The former allows libraries to select 100 titles from the collection and drop or add titles as needed. The latter is the entire collection, which, beginning in 2007, will grow by 300 titles per year. Available as optional add-ons to either collection are specialist reference titles such as Blackwell Psychology Handbooks. Xreferplus can also be accessed through the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
What makes Xreferplus unique is the cross-referencingor Xreferencesacross titles, disciplines, and publishers. Added to that are the data-visualization search capabilities of the Xrefer Concept Map (which is like brainstorming on steroids), 180,000 pronunciation audio files, thousands of images, dynamic table functionality, a chronology builder, and an interactive world atlas for an “Xtreme” ready-reference experience.
Xrefer’s newest feature, the Chronology Builder, is currently available in one title (The Marcquarie Encyclopedia of Australian Events), but other titles will be on board in three to six months. This feature uses the major subjects of the title to highlight noteworthy events in chronological order. Users may add or remove columns and compare the chronology of various subjects, for example, correlating population growth to recessions and booms. The dynamic table functionality is currently available in three titles (Census, World Factbook, and UN Stats). Again, users may use this tool to create, customize, and sort data within each title. The library administration system allows customization with library logos and links, provides usage statistics, and offers promotional and educational materials. Xreferplus is available as a subscription database with a cost of $2,425 for the 100 package and $3,638 for the unlimited package. Specialist Reference titles are priced separately and may be added to either package. – Sue Polanka