Gale Virtual Reference Library
Review. First published November 1, 2006 (Booklist).
Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) contains more than 700 reference titles from more than 25 publishers, including Gale, Wiley, Sage, and Cambridge, and focuses on multivolume encyclopedias from a variety of fields. Purchased title by title, GVRL can be customized to fit any library. GVRL runs on the PowerSearch interface, which is clean and structured with many special features. Content is easy to navigate with browse, basic, and advanced searches. Users may select from three basic search optionsâ€”keyword (default), document title, or full text. Keyword searches the title, introductory text, authors, and first 50 words of an article. GVRLâ€™s advanced search offers several field-search types (document title, image caption, publication title, ISBN, author, start page, document number); limits by date, publication title, subject area, audience type, and documents with images; and search-history accessâ€”a feature unique to GVRL. Limits are only available on the advanced search screen. Results are ranked by relevance and may be sorted by document or publication title.
Several features stand out in GVRL. Articles are delivered in html (showing actual page breaks) with links to pdf versions. Users may mark, store, and export items for print, e-mail, or download. Multiple citation formats are includedâ€”APA, MLA, and plain text with direct exports to EndNote, Procite, RefWorks, and Reference Manager. Articles can be translated into eight languages (but be careful: translation is not exact but rather employs a gisting software). The InfoMark tool allows the user to obtain persistent links to books or articles with options to bookmark or e-mail. E-books include all front and back matter with hyperlinked tables of content and indexes. The Subcollection Manager Tool allows libraries to create small subject collections within GVRL that can be linked to courses or subjects on the library Web site and searched separately from other GVRL content. Many articles include a find-similar-articles option, which utilizes e-book indexes. Libraries may use the customization options to include messages, logos, and links to library services and to track usage. Users may set preferences of font, colors, language, and number of results per page during their sessions. The cost of individual titles is 10 percent above the print cost. Annual hosting fees range from $50 to $300 depending on the number of titles owned. – Sue Polanka