Saturday, August 07, 2010

Locating Consumer Information in ELM

Many of our old favorite databases in ELM are excellent sources of consumer information. For example, Masterfile Premier features Consumer Reports in addition to specific periodicals on computers, electronics, home repair, etc. which also have product reviews. Business Source Premier is a good source for investment and money management tips. ProQuest contains reviews of films, books, plays, and restaurants. Consumer Health Complete is a good source for information on medications and medical tests. Netlibrary contains searchable online books on travel, legal self-help, resumes, and over 360 books in the Complete Idiots series (no titles are more recent than 2007, so keep that in mind if currency is an issue).

To search for product reviews in Masterfile Premier, click on “advanced search”, then go down to “document type” and choose “product review”.

Consumer Health Complete has the Lexi-PALS Drug Guide where patrons can look up what a medication is for, side effects and contraindications (the latter includes herbs and supplements as well as prescription and OTC medications). For medical tests, just type in the name (e,g, CT scan) and a fact sheet should come up telling the possible reasons for the test and what to expect.

ProQuest Newstand Complete has a plethora of search options for patrons looking for reviews. In “Advanced Search” one of the options is “document type”. If you click on “Look up document types”, you will get options such as film review, book review, theater review, restaurant review, etc. If you scroll down and click on “More Search Options”, then “Any document type”, under “Reviews--More review options”, you can choose Favorable, Unfavorable, Mixed, or Comparative. This would be very handy for travelers looking for things to do in a new city. They could look for “Chinese” in document text, “New York City” in location, then limit to only favorable restaurant reviews for good Chinese restaurants to try.

The Star Tribune is in ProQuest Newstand Complete back to 1986. The presenter said that the indexing could be better, but there are search options that don’t exist in Minnesota Newspapers. In the course of this webinar, I discovered that the Pioneer Press was added to ProQuest on April 22, 2010.


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