rusq: Vol. 51 Issue 3: p. 300
Sources: ALA Guide to Medical & Health Sciences Reference
Karen Antell, Denise Brush

Denise Brush, Public Services Librarian, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey

This compact paperback is a comprehensive, one-stop reference for librarians needing sources in the health sciences. It is the print version of the ALA Medical and Health Sciences Section’s online subscription product, “Guide to Reference: Medical and Health Sciences.” It will find a home at most reference desks in public, academic, and medical libraries but will be most useful to health sciences librarians. No glossary is provided, so general librarians may have to look up some terms elsewhere. Similarly, there is no legend explaining the layout and abbreviations used in each entry—it is assumed that the user is an experienced reference librarian familiar with the abbreviated style of print reference books. Although the style is attractive and readable, the page layout is slightly unconventional. Rather than print the book title on the top of each page and the page number on the bottom, the publisher has chosen to print the page numbers in the center of the left and right margins, with the book title on the left margin and the chapter title on the right. The page headers list the beginning and ending entry numbers, similar to a dictionary.

ALA Guide to Medical and Health Sciences Reference provides an annotated list of reference resources in the following areas: medicine, bioethics, consumer health, dentistry, health care, international and global health, medical jurisprudence, nursing, nutrition, pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences, psychiatry, public health, and toxicology. Each entry is numbered (1–1,587), but there are many duplicate entries with no cross-referencing. Both print and online sources (free and subscription) are covered, and most entries are up-to-date. If a print reference book is also available as an e-book, it is indicated. Historically important reference works are also included, even if out of print.

Comparable sources include ARBA In-Depth: Health and Medicine (Libraries Unlimited, 2004) and Medical and Health Care Books and Serials in Print (Bowker, 2007), but this title is the most up-to-date of the three.

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