Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

DISCovering Authors Modules

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

DISCovering Authors Modules

Article excerpt

DISCovering Authors Modules. Detroit: Gale, 1996. ISBN 0-7876-0933-1.6 modules. Stand alone $600/first module, $300/module thereafter (number and kind of modules may be determined by purchaser); network price, call for specifics. Requirements (stand alone): 286 PC or higher (486 SX or higher recommended), DOS 3.3 or higher, MSCDEX 2.1 or higher, 640 KB RAM (520 KB available), 5 MB hard disk space, VGA graphics card and monitor, 2X CD-ROM drive. Optional: mouse/pointing device and printer. Requirements (network): Same as above plus Novell, 3 Comm, IBM Token Ring, or NetBIOS compatible network, 1 MB hard disk space.

Gale's new CD-ROM product, DISCovering Authors Modules, offers a quick and easy way for students to research concise information on hundreds of authors commonly studied at the college level. It consists of six independent modules that may be ordered separately or in any combination on a single disk to suit the curriculum of the school.

The two qualities that seem to offer the most value to this CD-ROM are the ease and the flexibility of its search capabilities. The eight search categories are clearly marked on the first screen. Five of these categories ("Authors," "Subject or Character," "Titles," "Literary Genre," and "Nationality/Ethnicity") allow two ways to access data on the same screen: typing in a search subject or browsing an index with a scroll bar. Two other search categories ("Personal Data" and "Timeline") are both subdivided and clearly marked. By clicking on "Personal Data," for example, a student can quickly locate all French poets who have served in the army. The final search category offers advanced searching with Boolean and proximity operators, truncation, and phrase searching. …

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