Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Database: Sage eReference

Not everyone loves electronic versions of "regular" (monograph) books, since many people find reading an entire 200 page book online a less than pleasurable experience. But ebooks have a wonderful flexibility to them. They can be accessed anywhere, 24/7, and they allow for quick searching across hundreds or thousands of books in a matter of seconds.

Electronic reference books have all of the advantages of ebook flexibility and none of the frustrations associated with reading an entire monograph online. In electronic reference works, you are usually searching for short entries that will provide a quick overview or introduction to a topic--a country, a person, a social issue. Such entries are usually only a few pages long, which makes them a good candidate for a quick online read, and also makes them a practical length for printing out for further use.

For these reasons, the Reference Staff at Sawyer Library eagerly seeks out useful online reference collections we can make available to our users. We've just purchased a very valuable one called Sage eReference.

Sage is a major scholarly publisher of journals, reference, and monograph titles. We recently added their journal aggregate called Sage Journals Online. And now we have added a unified collection of 46 of their recent reference titles, too.

Sage eReference has a clean search interface that allows you to search across all 46 encyclopedias quickly and easily. Titles include everything from the Encyclopedia of Public Relations to the Encyclopedia of World Poverty to the Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology to the Encyclopedia of Health Care Management. As you can tell, Sage reference works are especially strong in areas of the social sciences.

Do a quick search on the opening screen and your results will be sorted by relevance. If you get too many "hits," you can always add another term in the search box to the left of your results page that allows you to narrow and focus your results. You can also browse through book titles and descriptions within 20 subject categories. And Advanced Searching (look for the tab) allows you to look for words in specific fields and/or in specific reference titles.

We hope you'll find this new electronic reference shelf as useful as we do!

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