I have the good fortune of receiving a review copy of Books and Periodicals Online: Law Business & News 2005, edited by Nuchine Nobari. It's apparently been around for more than a decade, but I didn't know about it, even though I've been looking for such a source.
This may not reflect well on my librarian friends, but I've been unsuccessfully asking for some time (including sending formal reference requests) for a source I could use to see where a particular journal is available online. That is, say I know I want to read an article in a recent Library Technology Reports - how do I find it? I've never gotten a good answer - could this source be the holy grail?
Let's try it out..looking for current issues, full text, of Library Technology Reports. Getting in to full text databases from home is one of the best uses of my tax dollars I've ever seen - all I need is my library card and PIN. But when I go to my library's database page, I'm faced with unintelligible choices like BigChalk, eLibrary, Expanded Academic ASAP, General Business File ASAP, General Reference Center (Magazine Index), InfoTrac OneFile... few to zero clues as to which database is most likely to have the journal or even type of journals I want.
I open up the oversize paperback, Books and Periodicals Online. There's Library Technology Reports (LTR), in alphabetical order along with, apparently, 58000 other titles. Its layout is easy to read - I can quickly scan for full text sources and a circle with a line through it denotes cover-to-cover or priority coverage of articles - handy.
I scan for fulltext sources, and don't see any of the vendors listed at my library (above). I do see it listed in Dialog and elsewhere.* (Aside - brings back memories of when I had full and free access to all the Dialog databases when I was a Dialog employee. I checked recently and they still don't offer a small user price plan).
So I go back to my available choices, can't get authenticated in BigChalk or eBrary (never have been authenticated there, by the way), but get right in to Expanded Academic ASAP. I limit my search to Library Technology Reports and get 572 hits - and the first page at least seems to be all full text. I get 0 hits when I try General Business File ASAP, but 572 hits when I get into General Reference Center (Magazine Index) and InfoTrac OneFile.
Sigh - why wasn't I able to match up a listing from Books and Periodicals Online to my library's database listings? Books and Periodicals Online listed LTR in EBSCO Academic Search Elite - abstract only (like most people who are not yet desparate, I'm not interested in abstracts). I see other abstract and index sources, and some full text sources with very limited dates. As far as I could tell, I coudn't see the full text sources that I actually had access to, and as it turned out, did cover recent issues of LTR.
I want so much for this reference book to answer my question simply: where do I go when I have a journal citation and want to find it online? I've used such a hodgepodge of sources - JAKE (thanks Evy for that one); I've looked up citations in each vendors' databases; I've used large universities' catalogs to see where they point journal titles to. I'd rather have a reliable source, one source, to go to and I'll give this one a shot for each of the next several times I need to find a source online.
*Elsewhere: The fulltext vendors for Library Technology Reports listed that I saw are DataStar, Dialog, Factiva, OCLC First Search and Ovid and ProQuest Periodicals Abst Plus through 2000, and Westlaw...
The online subscription is $279/year for one user, and $495/year for a site license. Expensive! I'd like to see a vastly reduced personal price, or a pay-per-use option for the occasional user. The book is $269 - too much for a personal user, but I'd sure like my library to have it, if it works, so that they can tell me where I'm likely to find a journal fulltext online.
If you've used this source, let me know your experience. Or how do you locate journal articles?