Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Database: InfoTrac's Academic OneFile

Sawyer Library has a long history with InfoTrac databases. As is the case with many libraries, InfoTrac was, in fact, the first machine-based index we ever had. For many years our primary InfoTrac database was one called Expanded Academic Index ASAP (EAI). However, EAI fell behind the competition in terms of indexing and full-text content, and EbscoHost's Academic Search Premier (ASP) became our best general academic database for both indexing and access to full-text over a wide spectrum of scholarly research. ASP is still our best starting point for most research assignments outside of business--where its sister database Business Source Premier (BSP) is the hands-down winner--because it "contains indexing for more than 8,100 journals, with full text for nearly 4,500 of those titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for 1,000 titles. "

Thomson Gale, the publisher of the InfoTrac has gotten back in the game, however. They are trying to give EbscoHost a run for the money with their new revamped and enlarged database entitled Academic OneFile. Thomson Gale claims that "Academic OneFile is a comprehensive, subscription-based database of more than 8,000 journals covering everything from STM to the humanities. It was created in response to the academic community’s need for a sophisticated, up-to-date, easy-to-use database for serious research. "

Academic OneFile is attempting to load "peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world's leading journals and reference sources. With extensive coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects....With millions of articles available in both PDF and HTML full-text with no restrictions, researchers are able to find accurate information quickly."

Yes, Academic OneFile is a good and growing database. And one really nice touch is that it includes full-text coverage of the New York Times back to 1995. (See Sonia's blog posting on the various ways of accessing the New York Times through our databases below.)

Because Academic OneFile is the best InfoTrac option for our researchers, we have replaced Expanded Academic Index on our various database lists with this new and improved InfoTrac alternative. We hope you will find it useful. EbscoHost's Academic Search Premier is still my favorite general scholarly database, to be sure. But when in doubt, check both databases, as well as several other subject- or publisher-specific aggregates. (Need help deciding on the best databases to try--Just ask!) And remember, databases often lease the rights to the SAME peer-reviewed journals. So don't assume that all the articles you find in one database are unique to that database. That assumption may cause you to print out the same article multiple times, leading to the early demise of countless trees.

[FIND Academic OneFile on our "Databases by Subject" lists in the Social Sciences, Literature, and Sciences categories.]

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