Show Us The Databases: Rethinking access to marine science information

TitleShow Us The Databases: Rethinking access to marine science information
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWebster, JG, Butler, B
KeywordsAccess to information, databases, Marine science librarianship
AbstractAs IAMSLIC members will recall, in 1990 Stephanie Haas questioned ASFA's supremacy in marine science libraries and found "potential pitfalls" if relying on a single database to adequately discover the relevant literature (Haas 1990). We still question the best way to access the literature in our multidisciplinary field. Patrons and librarians want tools that are efficient, current and easy to use. We know libraries can no longer afford to purchase core journal collections (Webster and Butler, 2011) and now we ask if we can still afford the best access tools. We used a modified version of the Hass research methodology to compare the timeliness and completeness with which Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Fish, Fisheries & Aquatic Biodiversity Worldwide (FFABW), Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science (WOS) tracked the literature. We developed a list of journal titles for the disciplines of fisheries, marine biology and oceanography from our earlier work (Webster and Butler, 2011a) and the Marine Science and Technology section of Magazines for Libraries (Webster and Butler, 2011b). We report our findings on the currency of each tool as well as other issues that arose in navigating the current marine science information landscape.