Very Short Introductions

https://cod.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://www.veryshortintroductions.com/

Each book in this collection can only be accessed by a single person at a time (one user-one book).

The Very Short Introductions began as a print series in 1995, offering brief informative introductions to a diverse range of subject areas in Arts and Humanities, Law, Medicine and Health, Science and Mathematics, and Social Sciences. Titles include The Renaissance, Science Fiction, World Music, Game Theory, and more. Many of these titles are also available in print in the COD Library.

Usage Limit: 
1
Off-campus Availability: 
Students, Faculty, and Staff
Full-text Content: 
Includes full-text content
This is a trial: 
No
Suppress: 
No

Comments

I would like to see us subscribe to this. Its a bit spendy but I can try to get the price down by opting for a set # of concurrent users. It has a decent range of subjects and the collection is cross-searchable, which is nice. The politics and religion areas, I think, are particularly good for our students and cover the biggies. Some of the subject areas are a bit esoteric, though. (Subject "research and information" includes one book on Risk.) I was expecting/hoping to see more coverage in other big subject areas but this collection is growing. The collection covers some difficult and pretty broad subjects briefly and at an undergraduate reading level. We can offer these at the title-level in the library catalog and individual sections can be isolated and cited too.

Yes, I like it, I really don't want to commit all the money to this product every year, prefering to keep the money out for other things. But if the money is there, and lots of folks want it, then I will not fight it.

I think this would be a good resource for the kinds of general topics speech and English students select. I imagine they would be useful in providing a nice broad perspective so students can identify their more specific interests and then narrow their topics. I can see myself using them as examples in the classroom, too.

Nice database. Has coverage in business and law. Would fit a niche for students needing background info (aka a "book" source) for a paper. Title of series would be appealing to students.

Emailing the source is "ho-hum". It just gives you a link to the content, not the actual article. Printing is better, but it isn't a PDF. This is a drawback because students aren't convinced that it will qualify as a "book" source for their paper.

With some heavy publicity, this might be a well-used "E-book" database.

(BTW, we already own 172 titles in this series per a search I did this morning.)

--Christine

I've always liked these introductions in print. There are so many good science topics covered here that beginning students want to focus on (evolution, stem cell research). Having access to the database online is even more helpful, as they can now use them now without having to leave their classroom, couch, etc.

That said, if price is an issue, I'm happy with not getting it as we already have access to much of this content in print (and think Denise's comment about cutting down the number of concurrent users, etc., might be a good one.)

I've purchased many of these in print - great introductory content on a wide range of fields - and as pointed out we already own many of these titles. The eBook interface works well. Quick Reference feature is useful. Overall a really nice resource, but a large annual expenditure. If we do decide to go with it, can we get usage statistics for the first year to see if limiting the number of users makes sense for the future? If we do purchase the collection we should do heavy promo letting students (and faculty) know that these are real books.
-Ken

I love these books for getting people started in particular disciplines. I think they are short enough to really work as an ebook, plus then they would free up monies in our book budgets by NOT buying these physically. For $6000/year, it would be nice to see some sort of updating policy, but I assume that would give us all the new ones published. If the linking device works in the Reference and Further Readings sections in the End Matter with our own catalog, they would be totally worth it as springboards into the disciplines, particularly with I-Share coming and Project Muse.

I love these books for getting people started in particular disciplines. I think they are short enough to really work as an ebook, plus then they would free up monies in our book budgets by NOT buying these physically. For $6000/year, it would be nice to see some sort of updating policy, but I assume that would give us all the new ones published. If the linking device works in the Reference and Further Readings sections in the End Matter with our own catalog, they would be totally worth it as springboards into the disciplines, particularly with I-Share coming and Project Muse.

-- Sorry if this pops up twice. It looks like the system ate my comment last week. The titles are good for introductions to popular science research: evolution, stem cell research, etc, and I think that they're more likely to use content they can easily find online (and download). It's also nice that the first eager student can't grab the book and make it unavailable.

That said, I hear everyone else's comments about limiting concurrent users, stats, etc., and think we should definitely monitor it if we get it to make sure it is being used.

I thought I commented on this already. Those comments were awesome and I feel I couldn't reproduce them. :-) One thing I remember about it is the References and Further Reading sections of the database seemed to have the possibility of working with our catalog, making these little titles exceptional starting points to different topics, jumping frmo it to more ellaborate titles in the discipline. Each title is written by experts in the fields. I look at this like an encyclopedic tool with subsantial "articles" and places to find more information on the topic. $6000 is a lot of money for this every year. What is the timeframe for updating these as needed? How many more titles per year, and will the cost stay the same with added titles?
-jason