March Online Resource Trials – Science

During the month of March 2011, Sno-Isle Libraries is trialing online resources in the subject area of Science.  The Reference Services Committee has identified this subject area as one that needs developing to reach our distinct user groups identified by our MOSEs.  The trial and access information follows…

Facts on File:

Science Online contains extensive information on a broad range of scientific disciplines. The content is organized by subject area and type of resource, as well as by the National Science Education Standards. Fact Sheet

Today’s Science has authoritative yet accessible information on the latest developments in science. Today’s Science bridges the gap between textbooks and what’s happening in science now.  Fact Sheet

Science eLearning Modules are subsets of other online resources designed specifically for online learners.


Science in Context has an interface similar to our other In Context resources. Supporting high school curricula and university coursework, Science in Context features authoritative information for assignments and projects, and provides detailed coverage of popular subjects from obesity to endangered species.  Fact Sheet

Marshall Cavendish Digital:

Aquatic World, Birds of the World, Elements, Exploring Earth & Space Science, Exploring Life Science, Exploring Mammals, Exploring Technology, Food & Nutrition, Growing Up with Science, Life Sciences, Reptiles & Amphibians, Wildlife & Plants of the World, Open for Debate ( includes science topics) are all digital reference works accessible during the trial period through our existing portal to other titles we already license.

Please spend some time in each product and report in the comments the following information:

  • Product Title (List Marshall Cavendish Digital titles separately as we can license them individually)
  • “Yay” or “Nay” opinion on Sno-Isle subscription
  • Your favorite “selling” points of the product

We appreciate all your work and feedback to help us provide our customers with the best online resources available!  Thank you!  Any questions?  Call Christa Werle at x7160.

4 thoughts on “March Online Resource Trials – Science

  1. I like Science in Context. Results are organized in a way that makes sense; includes images and news (try a search on International Space Station). MC

  2. Kathy S

    I like Science in context, as it has the same format as the other “In context” databases. Familiarity w/ format isn’t to be sneezed at.

    The “Facts on File” was similarly organized. I searched for “Evolution” and “Intelligent Design”, and I liked that one of the tabs was for “Experiments”, and Evolution had 6 while ID didn’t have any.

    We currently have Marshall Cavendish in the Children’s Science database section, and I like it a lot. It gives clear results for animals when the other animal database frequently does not.

    Kathy (MAR)

  3. Jen

    Facts on File – Science Online: Yay, I especially like the main page layout, variety of subjects covered, and diagrams.

    Facts on File – Today’s Science: Nay, doesn’t seem like there would be a high demand, especially since science news is available through other databases.

    Facts on File – eLearning Modules: Yay, detailed information with videos and graphics interspersed.

    Gale – Science in Context: Yay, format is similar to other Gale products, so patrons would be familiar with it. I like how information is categorized based on format (e.g. images, reference, expert, video).

    Marshall Cavendish: Yay, I like the MC databases we already have. The format is simple and easy for kids to view and understand.

  4. Anne

    The Facts on File databases have some nice features, but the problems with search results and inability to sort result lists was problematic to me. For instance, a search for tsunami in Science Online brought up 66 news articles (which I assume are sorted by relevance criteria), but the first article mentioning the recent events in Japan did not show up until the second page. You can pre-sort for date in the advanced search, but lots of students probably won’t use advanced search. Also, I didn’t like the inability to tell how long entries were, or what reading level they might be without actually looking at the full article – and not being able to select things like this in advanced search.

    One of the best things I saw in Today’s Science were interviews with actual working scientists, but they were unfortunately buried at the end of some of the articles and would be easily overlooked. I searched for tsunami again, and there were only 18 featured articles to choose from – the first having to do with the recent events in Japan. I give the article two BIG thumbs up – it was written in very engaging language, included background information and colorful diagrams of how earthquakes and tsunamis happen, as well as some dramatic photos and youtube videos. The bibliography has clickable links to very interesting information, such as this page from the Japan Meteorological Agency: – and there are numerous links to related articles and information on the left sidebar. My biggest beef with Science Today is that many of the articles are surprisingly old (1993?!!) – which doesn’t much seem like it’s bridging any gaps to me. That’s unfortunate.

    I spent more time on those two databases than Science In Context, partly because I’m already familiar with the In Context format, and partly because when I went back to look at it today the trial was over. Drats! That’s okay though, because no matter how cool that tsunami article was, I think the In Context format and variety of information available wins out over Facts on File. The ability to detect reading level easily in results and the extensive capabilities of the advanced search say one thing to me – WINNING! Also, I think as students get used to using the In Context databases, they’ll be more likely to crossover if they know everything is going to work essentially the same.

    I really like the Marshall Cavendish selections as well. Great coverage of many topics for the younger students. Visually appealing and easy to ready.

    Yikes – time to wrap this up, I thought I just lost this comment! Whew.

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