Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Info on scholars in CSA search results (forthcoming feature)

As you can see from this tutorial from CSA (Cambridge Scientific Abstracts), we will soon see a "Community of Scholars" tab in our search results in the databases we get from them (e.g., Philosopher's Index, Social Services Abstracts, and Sociological Abstracts). From what I can tell from the CSA tutorial, on the new tab there will be additional info about the authors whose articles came up (basically, info take from the author affiliate field) and the ability to browse through the list of authors by subjects/disciplines.

Although the "Community of Scholars" feature isn't available yet (so I haven't had a chance to actually run searches yet in the enhanced interface), it seems like this might be useful in helping our users think more critically about who an authority is (where is the author affiliated, is he/she they writing about a topic that seems to be out of their discipline, etc.) It may also enhance our efforts to teach students about the world of academic discourse as one characterized by competing and complementary voices of authors.

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