Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Outstanding Business Reference Resources 2015

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Outstanding Business Reference Resources 2015

Article excerpt

Each year, the Business Reference Sources Committee of BRASS selects the outstanding business reference sources published since May of the previous year. This year, the committee reviewed twenty entries; of these, two were designated as "Outstanding," seven were selected as "Notable," one was designated as a "Significant New Edition." To qualify for these designations, each title must meet the conventional definition of reference: a work compiled specifically to supply information on a certain subject or group of subjects in a form that will facilitate its ease of use. With print reference materials being used less heavily in most cases, these works stood out based on their content, quality, and utility. The works are examined for the following: authority and reputation of the publisher, author, or editor; accuracy; appropriate bibliography; organization; comprehensiveness; value of the content; currency; unique addition; ease of use for the intended purpose; quality and accuracy of index; and quality and usefulness of graphics and illustrations. Each year, more electronic reference titles are published. Additional criteria for electronic reference titles are accuracy of links, search features, stability of content, and graphic design. Works selected must be suitable for medium to large-size academic and public libraries.


Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data. Edited by David Lee Kuo Cheun. London: Academic Press, 2015. 612 pages. $150 hardcover (ISBN: 9780128021170), $150 e-book (ISBN: 9780128023518).

The Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data, edited by David Lee Kuo Cheun, is a comprehensive reference book that provides an overview of digital currency using a multifaceted, global approach. The one-volume handbook features twenty-eight chapters written by contributing authors from nine countries.

In the preface, Cheun states that the intention of the handbook is to focus not only on Bitcoin, but its associated innovations as well. Cheun discusses the Global Financial Crash of 2008 and subsequent decline of confidence in a centralized monetary system, and determines that these events set the stage for the introduction of Bitcoin. He goes on to present several reasons that digital currency remains a topic of interest and provides a context for the rest of the handbook.

The book is arranged in two parts: "Digital Currency and Bitcoin" and "Finance Markets and Bitcoin." Each part is divided into sections comprised of chapters, with each chapter further divided into subsections. The chapter subsections are listed in the table of contents, making it easy to home in on a specific theme or topic. In part one, the chapters provide an introduction to digital and alternative currencies, starting with an overview of Bitcoin. The following chapters feature a history of cryptocurrency around the world, explorations of the technology behind Bitcoin, and in-depth discussions of the benefits and risks of cryptocurrency, impact on interest rates, and possible future applications of digital currencies. Part two focuses on the practical aspects related to digital currency, including regulation and taxation, the development of centralized monetary systems, and e-payment and security, with many featuring tables and graphs. All chapters include references, with many providing recommended or additional reading lists. Bonus: the e-book includes hyperlinks to references and additional readings. An index is also available.

The greatest strength of this book is the range of insights provided from the contributing authors and editor. David Lee Kuo Cheun is a Professor of Quantitative Finance (Practice) at Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University and Director of the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics. Examples of contributor backgrounds include: David Yermack, Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation at the NYU Stern School of Business and teacher of courses on digital currency; legal experts in securities, regulatory enforcement, and international transactions from notable firms like WilmerHale and Baker and Hostetler; and economists from the United States, Switzerland, and Singapore. …

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