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October 2002 Web News
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Favorite Web Sites: U.S. Government Information

The web sites featured this month have been critically evaluated and selected by the IU Northwest librarians as well as a group of academic and public librarians across the United States who compile a yearly Best Free Reference Web Sites List  for the American Library Association. Here is a list of selection criteria initially created by the MARS Best Free Websites Task Force to choose these sites. The Library hopes our readers will find these web sites useful for locating reliable, accurate and authoritative information on the Internet.

As a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) web site presents up-to-date U.S. economic statistical information in a comprehensive and clearly organized format. Information is arranged under broad categories such as "Inflation and Spending" and "International Statistics." The latest numbers for the Consumer Price Index, unemployment rate and the Producer Price Index are prominently positioned on the home page. The BLS site provides past and current statistics for the U.S. economy as a whole, but individual state economic data can be obtained easily by clicking the state on a color-coded map. The gem of this web site is the "Economy at a Glance" section. A handy tool bar on the home page provides quick links to this section as well as 1999 MARSBEST winners Occupational Outlook Handbook and FEDSTATS. Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics site is a one-stop web resource for finding current U.S. economic data. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

A product of a multi-agency development effort led by the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, FedStats provides one-stop access to publicly available statistics produced by more than 70 U.S. government agencies, including Agriculture, Census, Education, Health and Human Services, Interior, Justice, Labor, Transportation, and Treasury. It permits several access points to the agency sites, including an A-Z subject index; keyword searching; and searches by state, county and locality. There is also a "Fast Facts" section which links to the online versions of such frequently requested publications as the Statistical Abstract of the United States, State and Metropolitan Area Data Book, Economic Report of the President, and other budget documents, in addition to providing direct access to economic and social indicators via the Federal Statistics Briefing Rooms.. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

This website is a "private-public partnership" with a vision to connect "the world to all U.S. Government information and services." It has a user-friendly interface with both a simple and advanced search function. In the center of the home page (in Yahoo style) is a subject guide listing topics such as "Money and Taxes" and "Business and Economy." These subject headings lead to more specific areas and links. This allows the user to locate information without necessarily knowing the government organization's name. A sidebar on the home page also facilitates access by "featured subjects," "government by organization" links, "transactions, forms & services" links, and "contact your government" links. Users at all levels will find this site easy to navigate. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

Hosted by the Government Printing Office's award-winning GPO Access site, the NARA link includes: the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) ("codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government"); the Federal Register ("official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents"); the Government Manual ("the official handbook of the Federal Government"); and Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States ("papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary"). Links to a wealth of searchable Congressional information such as the Congressional Record and the United States Code are also available. While trying to locate legal and administrative governmental information is still not for the feint of heart, this collocation of resources combined with the ability to search them is noteworthy. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

An invaluable tool for students and career-changers as well as economists. The Handbook lists close to eight hundred occupations and the following characteristics of each: nature of work, working conditions, employment, training, job outlook, earnings, related occupations, and sources of additional information. Three methods of access are provided: a keyword search, an index to all identified occupations, and occupational clusters. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)

This site, sponsored by the Library of Congress, provides access to a wealth of congressional information on Bills under consideration, Public Laws, Committee Reports, the Congressional Record, and the Senators and Representatives themselves that is well organized making the site easy to navigate. The site also provides links to other government web sites, including the GPO Access, a site that could be used, hand-in-hand, with this one for a larger picture of government publications available to the public. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)  

 Full-Text ERIC Documents Now Included in the ERIC Journal Index

The IU Northwest Library recently added full-text ERIC documents to its ERIC journal index subscription. Provided through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), this resource contains approximately 92 percent of the documents abstracted in ERIC from 1993 to the present. ERIC documents include a vast array of publications such as teaching guides, bibliographies, research reports, issue papers, test and evaluation instruments as well as instructional materials.

  1. To view these documents from IU Northwest campus computers ONLY, go to the Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA) web site by choosing ERIC from the Journal Resources pull-down  menu on Reference department online catalog computers.
  2.  After you reach the CSA main menu, select ERIC by clicking the box located to the left of the database name.
  3. In the Quick or Advanced Search Find box located in the left frame, type the appropriate keywords and click Search.
  4. The search results will appear in the right frame. To view an ERIC document from a search, (NOTE: These documents will have an ED number in the AN field.) click the Locate Document link on the right side of the record.
  5. At the next screen, in the Retrieve Electronic full-text box, click the Via E* Subscribe and Ordering Options link to view the full-text ERIC document. If the selected document is part of the subscription, a full-text document in PDF format will appear via Adobe Acrobat(r) Reader.

 NOTE: Along with ERIC and PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts and Social Services Abstracts are now Cambridge Scientific Abstracts databases. They all are still only available from IU Northwest campus computers and the latter three databases are NOT full-text.

AgBioForum Offers the Latest Developments in Agrobiotechnology Electronically

AgBioForum recently joined the IU Northwest Library's growing collection of online journals. According to its web site, AgBioForum is "a quarterly electronic journal devoted to the economics and management of agricultural biotechnology." This journal publishes non-technical short articles focusing on current research mainly on the interactions of agro-biotechnology with economic and sociopolitical processes.Its web site features the current issue's table of contents with clickable links to each full-text article. Users also have access to back issues dating back to 1998.

To access this online journal from IU Northwest campus computers ONLY, go to the IU Northwest Library's Electronic Information Page  and under the Library Catalogs, Electronic Journals & Other Databases heading, select Other Databases. At the next screen, click AgBioForum.

Early English Books Online Now Searchable Through IUCAT

Through a special project conducted by the IU Bloomington Libraries, Early English Books Online (EEBO) resources are now listed in IUCAT.

Early English Books Online is an electronic collection that includes every book published in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the United States between 1475 and 1700. It is based on the bibliographies by Pollard, Redgrave and Wing. The resource includes literature, music, religious pamphlets, science materials and many other primary sources. The web address in the online catalog record links the user to an image of the work's full-text. Early English Books Online will also interest a wide range of scholars in fields outside traditional language, culture and historical areas.

To find a complete list of records of all the Early English Books Online titles now available in IUCAT, search IUCAT for the series Early English Books Online. Make sure the library limit box is set to ALL Libraries.

This collection can also be accessed by going directly to the Early English Books Online web site at .

, Library News Web Editor