Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Review of Emerald Management Xtra Database

Barbara Carrel wrote this review of the Emerald Management Xtra database.

Emerald Management Xtra combines two Emerald databases--Emerald Fulltext and Emerald Management Reviews (formerly Anbar Abstracts). Emerald Xtra claims to offer access to 410 journals "at the heart of the management discipline." This database is NOT entirely fulltext. Product documentation is confusing but it seems that approximately 110 titles are available fulltext. The Emerald Fulltext documentation purports to include "100 of the most prestigious management journals…with full text archives dating back to 1994 and abstracts back to 1989." Some information management and library management journal literature is included as well.
What is extremely perplexing is that 6 out of the 12 journal titles Emerald lists in their own promotional material as "prominent titles" offered in this database are in fact NOT included in their very own A to Z journal list. An advanced search for these titles in the journal title field results in only 1 of these titles actually producing hits (it is available after all) while the remaining 5 titles do NOT produce any hits at all (does this confirm that these 5 titles are NOT available after all or is it a factor of our trial status?).

Another quirky (and disappointing) finding is related to their Case Study collection—a distinct collection of "more than 700 cases" intended to guide the user to "quickly find the most relevant articles." A test search for "leadership and decision making" in this collection resulted in NO hits whatsoever. When the same search was performed in the larger database’s advanced search mode while limiting article type to the designated category, "case study," the search resulted in 1144 hits, a much more satisfying return.

Overall, even with these quality issues aside, this database doesn’t seem to present a unique offering, particularly in terms of periodical literature. When compared to ABI, for example, an identical search in ABI produced many more hits, with many of those hits available fulltext. Moreover, many Emerald management journal titles are available in ABI. There are some services to faculty that may draw favor, however, this reviewer was not all that impressed.
The bottom line is availability and cost. If the Emerald titles found fulltext in Emerald Management Xtra were to be pulled from all other databases or online subscription services then we would have less of a choice.

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