Introduction to Reference Sources in the Health Sciences

By Homan, J. Michael | Journal of the Medical Library Association, January 2005 | Go to article overview

Introduction to Reference Sources in the Health Sciences


Homan, J. Michael, Journal of the Medical Library Association


Introduction to Reference Sources in the Health Sciences. Compiled and edited by Jo Anne Boorkman, Jeffrey T. Huber, and Fred W. Roper. 4th ed. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2004. 389 p. Softcover. $75.00. ISBN: 1-55570-481-6.

"We have chosen those tools that librarians may use on a daily basis in reference work in the health sciences-those that may be considered foundation or basic works" (Preface).

The fourth edition of this classic textbook and collection development guide comes nearly ten years after the publication of the third edition and has been extensively revised and enhanced to reflect not only new online resources, but the recent emphasis in the profession on consumer health and evidence-based medicine. It should be an essential reference guide available in all health sciences libraries and a key textbook for courses covering health sciences reference sources.

The book has three parts: "The Reference Collection," "Bibliographic Sources," and "Information Sources." Part I on the organization and management of the reference collection covers issues related to building, maintaining, and assessing a reference collection, including licensing issues for online formats. Part II on bibliographic sources (monographs, periodicals, abstracting and indexing resources, etc.) and part III on information sources (terminology, drug information, consumer health, statistics, etc.) form the bulk of this work with thirteen chapters by various contributors, including the volume editors. For this edition, the audiovisual chapter in the third edition has been dropped, and a timely and excellent new chapter on consumer health sources has been added. Separate chapters in the third edition on abstracting and indexing (A&I) services and bibliographic databases have been combined into a single new chapter in this edition, "Indexing, Abstracting, and Digital Database Resources.

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