Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Outstanding Business Reference Sources: The 2006 Selection of Recent Titles

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Outstanding Business Reference Sources: The 2006 Selection of Recent Titles

Article excerpt

Using established guidelines and criteria, a working group of the BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee voted to adopt these recent titles as either "outstanding" or "other noteworthy titles." Following extensive discussion on the merits and shortcomings of each, three were voted for inclusion in the outstanding category. Seven additional works were selected as other noteworthy titles. Brief reviews are included.

Many business reference sources were evaluated. This year's selections include interdisciplinary titles, significant new editions of standard works, and titles with an international focus. Selectors and reference librarians serving business users will find these sources to be valuable additions to their reference collections. All are suitable for public and academic libraries.

OUTSTANDING TITLES

The Encyclopedia of Taxation and Tax Policy, 2nd ed. Ed. by Joseph J. Cordes, Robert D. Ebel, and Jane G. Gravelle. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute, 2005. 499p. alkaline, soft $75 (ISBN 0-87766-752-7).

Public finance can be a difficult subject for students and citizens to comprehend, with its use of often-complicated economic theory and arcane jargon. Couple this difficulty with the impenetrability of governmental program design and tax law concepts, and it's quite easy for lay people to get lost in this topic. The second edition of this well-designed reference work provides a nice compass to help navigate the topic of tax policy.

The volume editors are academically and vocationally well qualified in public finance; the writers of the individual entries are a mix of academics and public and private sector tax practitioners. The entries are well written and concise, and rang true with this reviewer's understanding of the subject area. The work effectively addresses the major topics in U.S. public finance and tax policy.

Entries included address:

* economic and public-finance principles and concepts (for example, ability to pay, benefit principle, tax incidence);

* major tax types (income, sales, property); * key features of major taxes (charitable deductions, investment tax credits);

* methods of tax and expenditure analysis (generational accounting, dynamic scoring);

* budgeting processes and structures (Highway Trust Fund, Congressional Budget Office); and

* tax administration issues (tribal taxation, state, tax amnesty)

The book contains 235 entries arranged in a standard A-Z encyclopedia layout with an extensive 22-page index. The editors report that the work reflects extensive updating of the entries in the first edition plus 45 new items.

Individual entries often include a short definition of the concept, followed by a one-quarter to several page treatment of the topic depending on its scope and complexity Many entries include extensive, authoritative bibliographies. The authors make effective use of tables and graphics as needed for illustrative purposes. Cross references to related entries are included.

A WorldCat search yielded no comparable reference works on tax policy. While a key strength of the work is its clear presentation of often technical concepts to a lay or generalist audience, experts in the field will also find it useful as a refresher and referral source. This encyclopedia is suitable for all academic, selected special, and medium-to-large public libraries.--John P. Heintz, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

Encyclopedia of White-Collar and Corporate Crime. Ed. by Lawrence M. Salinger. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2005. 2 vols. acid free $325 (ISBN 0-7619-3004-3).

This timely source fills a gap in the reference literature. There is nothing similar that combines criminal and unethical behavior in business, medicine, and politics, as well as the people involved in that behavior. The Encyclopedia employs a broad definition of these types of crimes. …

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