Website Review: Current Cites

Hope you don’t mind me posting another class-assigned review, this time of a library-related website. I started using Current Cites a year or more ago at my job, in a quest for interesting new articles on trends in technology (particularly social media/Web 2.0) within a library setting. So much is written nowadays about this very topic, I’m thankful Current Cites’ goal is not to be exhaustively inclusive but instead selective with the articles (and occasional books) they choose to highlight. Highly recommended.

Tennant, Roy, ed. Current Cites: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Articles, Books, and Digital Documents on Information Technology.  ISSN: 1060-2356. http://lists.webjunction.org/currentcites/

Current Cites is an annotated bibliography of the current literature in information technology, as it relates to libraries, which is published and freely accessible on the WebJunction.org site hosted by OCLC.  Each monthly issue contains 8-12 select citations, compiled and annotated by a team of librarians (currently eleven).  It has been continuously published since 1990, and all issues since the founding date are online and available.  Materials available in full text format online seem to be given preference in this bibliography—only a small number of randomly sampled citation links came back in abstract form only.  A slightly higher percentage of citation links, particularly the oldest ones, came back broken.  The publications from which the citations are most regularly drawn are listed on the “Sources Monitored” page; navigate there by clicking on “information technology literature” on the homepage.  Visitors have the option of browsing citations by issue—for example, Volume 21 #5, May 2010—or can use the simple search box to look for specific keywords, subjects, or authors.  (Searching for specific journal or magazine titles turned said titles into key word searches and did not return articles from the desired publication only.)  There is no direction on how to best approach searching; a test run by the reviewer demonstrated that both Boolean (search for social AND media) and Google logic (a search for social media and “social media” returned the same results) worked to return relevant results.  Overall, this is a well-organized and useful archive of annotated citations to a small handful of the best publications on information technology within a library context.  Librarians and other information professionals, with limited time to keep abreast of innovations and controversies within the technology field, will find the citations and links to articles and other materials on Current Cites invaluable.  Also available as an RSS feed and by email subscription.

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