Review: The Environmental Guidebook Companion CD-ROM

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Review: The Environmental Guidebook Companion CD-ROM By Jeff Staudinger Reviewed by Dale Stirling Intertox, USA Jeff Staudinger. The Environmental Guidebook: A Selective Reference Guide to Environmental Organizations and Related Entities with Companion CDROM. Menlo Park, CA: Environmental Frontlines. 294 p. ISBN 0-9720685-1- 1. US$59.95

The movement to provide comprehensive document collections on CD-ROM is gathering speed. Publishers find that encyclopedias, manuals, guidebooks, and compendiums of all sorts lend themselves to this format. The CD-ROM is tailor-made for lengthy reference works that would otherwise take up valuable shelf space. However, this creates a new dual responsibility for the reviewer who must not only speak to the quality of the content, but the quality of the medium as well. In this case, the CD-ROM version stacks up well to its hardcopy version.

The CD-ROM is designed as a companion piece to the print version of the guidebook. As such it contains a PDF version of the guidebook imbedded with 3,800 Internet hotlinks. That the CD-ROM includes a PDF version of the guidebook makes for a versatile CD-ROM product. It is particularly valuable due to more than 300 documents (all in PDF) from state, federal, and international environmental agencies and special interest groups. These include annual reports, planning documents, "state of the state" reports, strategic plans, and other similar documents.

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