Consumer Reports Online now available!

Our new subscription to Consumer Reports Online is now available to the public!  I’ve replaced our previous link to the magazine subscription within EBSCO to the full online product which includes the full text of the  magazine in addition to more robust and current content.  Before you comment – we are working with EBSCO to supress the “Subscribe Now” ads that currently show to our users!  Check it out here.

Please note:  We will not renew print REFERENCE subscriptions to Consumer Reports for 2010.

Subscription Updates

In an effort to provide the best stewardship of Sno-Isle Libraries resources, the Reference Services Committee is closely evaluating every subscription this year for content quality and cost per use. At our May meeting we discussed subscriptions currently up for renewal. We decided NOT to renew AccessScience, & Facts On File: World News Digest. We will renew our subscriptions to ProQuest: Historical New York Times, ProQuest SDL Package, and AllData. We will also add a new database: EBSCO: Consumer Reports Online. Specific add and deletion dates will be posted to this blog and on our website as they near.

Columbia Gazetteer Change

The Columbia Gazetteer, online edition, is changing.  The publisher is no longer selling this product as a subscription, rather, it is now a one-time purchase.  A one-time purchase means that there are no updates or enhancements to the product.  The Reference Services Committee met yesterday and determined that this was a product that we did not wish to purchase this way.  We’ve checked with IT and learned that the new public pcs include GoogleEarth, which is an excellent resource that incorporates many of the Columbia Gazetteer features, including location, GPS coordinates, altitude, and (better still) mapping.  The Columbia Gazetteer will disappear from our database line-up in early June.  Please make sure that you’ve got GoogleEarth on your reference pcs.

Ideas for Searching for Product Reviews in ProQuest

Though we continue to have access to Consumer Reports through our EBSCO subscriptions, ProQuest now only offers the abstracts and indexing for this title. They have offered some suggestions for searching for product reviews in other ProQuest offerings that you may find useful:

Other consumer content currently available:
Because of the strength of ProQuest indexing, users can still find these reviews in a variety of other full-text publications. New content is always being added and we will highlight that content in the training webinar.

Popular full-text magazines containing product reviews
• PC Magazine (Monthly)
• PC World (Monthly)
• Sound & Vision (Monthly)
• Road & Travel (Bi-Monthly)

Popular news titles containing product reviews
• Barron’s (Weekly)
• Business Week (Weekly)
• New York Times (Daily)
• USA Today (Daily)

Search Strings for finding reviews:
Reviews are a searchable document type in ProQuest and these article types can be found in magazines, trade publications, and well-respected newspapers. To search for reviews using the Basic search in ProQuest:

Type the following: AT(review) AND (your product)

Suggested Examples:
• AT(review) AND (iPhone)
• AT(review) AND (lawn mower)
• AT(review) AND (Wii)
• AT(review) AND (Audi)

These search examples will return numerous, high quality results that demonstrate the variety of sources where product reviews can be found in ProQuest.

To search for reviews using the Advanced search in ProQuest, type the product category or product name in the search box, leaving the default option for Citation & Abstract selected.

Slight Site Change

At some point an extra “directory” page was added to the Research Tools pages (page 3503) which added a level of clicking to the options also available from the drop down menu.  Considering the usage of our pages, this extra page appears to be redundant and has been removed.  We’re back to the “old” design.  I’m currently working on a survey to get your ideas about other possible design changes for our Research Tools pages.  Feel free to comment here as well!