Facts on file online databases: World History Online; Health Reference Center; American Women's History.
These three newly updated online databases offer full-text access to information on their subjects. World History Online's coverage spans from the "beginnings of human society" (preceding 4000 BCE) to "the 20th century since 1945." Entries vary in length from several paragraphs to a few sentences. Browsing the timelines section is awkward since the ranges are very wide (e.g., 1450-1770: Global Expansion and Encounter; 1750-1914: An Age of Revolutions). Users must scroll through several pages to browse the complete results for a given range. Additional searching criteria in this database include occupational information for biographies and themes and world regions in the timeline section.
American Women's History attempts to provide information in the form of images, primary sources and scholarly articles on the history of women from 1492 to the present. While sharing many features of World History Online, this database boasts an additional 550 historical images, including portraits, photographs, drawings, and archived documents. Users can employ browsing functions to explore topics such as reproductive rights or women's suffrage. Biographies of over 2000 women with images and relevant hyperlinks make this database a fully featured and engaging resource for research.
The Health Reference Center database categories include "conditions and diseases," "mental health," "health and wellness," and "body systems." Each category offers lengthy topical pieces. The entry on cancer under "conditions and diseases category" exemplifies this resource's layout. An enlargeable image of a cancerous cell leads off the article. Hyperlinks along the header allow users to jump to sections (e.g., causes, heredity) of the overview on cancer. An inset box of hyperlinks to "Cancer Resources" provides easy navigation to several specific related topics such as "prevention" or "treatment side effects." Hyperlinks throughout the articles provide users with convenient navigation to related entries. Information is available for health-related testing methods. This feature can be browsed or searched to learn more about tests ranging from the A-scan, used to determine the length of the eye, to the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS). Any article or entry can be e-mailed, printed, or saved to a personalized folder. A majority of the content of these databases originates from Facts On File print publications, such as Encyclopedia of African History and Culture, Volume 1-3; A to Z of Women in World History; and the Biographical Dictionary of Modern World Leaders: 1992 to the Present. When primary sources are used, they often appear as excerpts. Standard and advance searching options allow users to perform broad or detailed queries across multiple categories within individual databases or to refine and limit searches to specific phrases and topics as well as perform Boolean searches. Users may browse database categories alphabetically or chronologically. A standardized interface is used for all of these resources. However, federated searching across all databases in a subscriber's account would provide an added benefit. These databases would be a valuable addition to the electronic research collections of most libraries. Ernie Cox, Libn., St. Timothy's School Raleigh, NC
KLIATT uses the following codes to help readers determine if the material reviewed is appropriate for this needs:
J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.
S--Recommended for senior high school students.
A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.
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|Date:||Jan 1, 2006|
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