One of my picks this issue is the SAGE journals archive hosted by HighWire Press. Its outstanding software and free abstracts represent the first significant social science subset amid HighWire's huge science and medicine journal archives. The other pick is the small but worthy DLIST collection of free full-text e-prints in library and information science. DLIST uses the eprints.org software, which made the posting of preprints and reprints of more than 600,000 papers--predominantly in physics, computer science, cognitive sciences, mathematics, and economics--feasible for researchers. The pan is LookSmart's FindArticles service. (This was already a pan after its harried debut, then a pick when it fixed the problems and offered open access to articles from several thousand professional journals and general interest magazines.) Once again its software shows signs of dementia.
SAGE ONLINE JOURNALS ON HIGHWIRE PRESS
SAGE [http://online.sagepub.com] is one of the largest publishers of scholarly journals in the social sciences. The majority of its journals joined the HighWire Press online search and delivery platform [http://highwire.stan ford.edu] in fall 2004, when the entire collection was free of charge until the end of October. The bibliographic citations and abstracts remain free, which is a big deal for those who cannot afford to subscribe to several social sciences abstracting/indexing databases. The family of SAGE Full-Text Collections is also available on the rejuvenated CSA Illumina system, but only for subscribers.
At launch there were approximately 57,000 full-text articles in the SAGE collection; by late March 2005, the number increased to nearly 73,000. (To put things into perspective: Although abstracts are also free through Google Scholar, it yields barely 10,000 hits when searching for SAGE articles.)
By my estimate, about 55 percent of the articles in HighWire's SAGE subset include abstracts. This is not surprising: Book reviews, news announcements, and letters to the editors have no abstracts. Neither do some of the substantial articles, especially in political science and sociology. For this reason, I pleaded with HighWire Press a year ago to offer a check box for limiting the search to articles with abstracts, but they were not convinced--yet.
The retrospective coverage varies. Journals in the psychology and education domains go back to the early 1970s; in the other disciplines, the coverage spans the past 20 to 25 years.
The SAGE articles cover not only the social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, political science, management, criminology, and education, but also communication, nursing and allied health, and urban planning--although to a lesser extent. Searching for the phrase glass ceiling yields nearly 300 articles from a variety of SAGE journals in sociology, management, psychology, and library and information science.
The software presents the results very attractively in a standard and a condensed format. The former makes it easy to scan the results list quickly and choose the most appropriate items based on the snippets from the full text. The options--to see articles from the HighWire-hosted journals, to be alerted when the article is cited or corrected in the future in those journals, or to launch a search for related items--are also free. Looking up cited references in the ISI databases is (understandably) available only if you have a subscription to the Web of Science database. The SAGE collection is yet another gem on the tiara of HighWire Press, which pioneered the role of digital facilitator and added a very important social science collection to its stable with lots of freebies for any users.
DLIST [http://dlist.sir.arizona. edu] stands for Digital Library for Information Science and Technology. Currently, it is more like a small digital shelf of open access articles, conference papers, and slide presentations about LIST topics. …