Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts; Carol A. Drost


Ceres. Access: http://www.ceres.org.

Colleen Lougen, SUNY-New Paltz, lougenc@newpaltz.edu

Ceres is “a nonprofit organization advocating for sustainability leadership” by mobilizing “a powerful network of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy.” Ceres was founded in 1989 by a small group of investors in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The organization produces research and tools on a range of sustainability issues, such as global water risks and clean energy. Appropriately, Ceres shares its unusual name with the Roman goddess of agriculture.

This well organized site provides menu choices at the top of the page in seven major categories: “About Us,” “Issues,” “Investor Network,” “Company Network,” “Industry Initiatives,” “Resources,” and “Support Us.” “About Us” offers information about the organization, including the mission and vision, staff, and Board of Directors, accomplishments and awards, financials, news releases, and history. “Issues” contains a huge amount of information, including reports, strategies and solutions, and resources for the following sustainability issues: “Clean Trillion” (a clean energy initiative), “Carbon Asset Risk,” “Climate Change,” “Energy,” “Water,” and “Supply Chains.” The Ceres reports are a key feature of this site and contain a wealth of information to guide and inform companies, investors, and public interest groups.

The “Investor Network” and “Company Network” pages provide information about how Ceres works with investors and companies to create a more sustainable global economy. “Industry Initiatives” provides details and resources about Ceres and its involvement in the following key industries: electric power, insurance, oil and gas, transportation, footwear and apparel, banking and finance, and water infrastructure. “Resources” provides access to all of the reports, podcasts, and videos, that Ceres produces from 2002 to the present. These resources are organized by data and by topic.

The site is well organized and easy to use. Social media links are prominently displayed on the website, and RSS news feeds are available. An advanced search option allows searching by tags, item types, and author. A useful feature of the site is the “Sign up for e-mail updates,” which includes the Ceres monthly newsletter, conference and report updates, and sustainability-related news releases.

Ceres is a recommended resource for anyone interested in how corporate activities impact the environment and ways to transform them into sustainable business practices.

International Center for Research on Women. Access: http://www.icrw.org.

Ann Flower, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, aflower@miis.edu

Founded in 1976, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a research and advocacy organization. With a particular focus on economic and health issues affecting women and girls in developing countries, the ICRW website provides research resources, practical manuals, and guides. The site gives extensive information about ICRW’s history, financials, and leadership. Its Leadership Council includes a prestigious selection of women and men, including such luminaries as Cherie Blair, Amartya Sen, and Nina Totenberg.

Using the site’s search bar or navigating via clearly defined menus, visitors to the site may search across all content or focus immediately on a specific topic. While the site’s search tips promise advanced search options for refining a search, no such options are available. Thus basic and advanced searches only allow for keyword searching.

The “What We Do” menu guides users to topic pages covering an array of issues including economic empowerment, food security, women and technology, violence against women, population and reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. Each topic page features relevant projects, links to partner organizations, publications, and news including multimedia. Some main topic pages also act as a doorway for exploring more specific subtopics like child marriage, property rights, and enterprise development.

Publications of the organization range from policy briefs to longer reports. The list of international experts who contribute to these publications have impressive professional and educational backgrounds. All publications are open access and available as PDF downloads. Unlike the site’s main search, the search specific to publications has options to filter by subject, region, or publication type. Users may also view a list of titles that are peer-reviewed.

ICRW publications geared more towards an audience of practitioners include training manuals, guides, and toolkits. Although it does not provide funding, ICRW lends expertise to other organizations in the areas of capacity building and evaluation. These nonacademic resources may also be useful to undergraduate and graduate students for practical coursework or workshops.

For students and faculty interested in issues affecting women and girls in developing countries, this site provides research materials, practical guides, and kits. The ICRW site is particularly recommended to graduate students who are interested in exploring real-world projects and cases.

Public Religion Research Institute. Access: http://publicreligion.org/.

Brad Matthies, Casper College, bmatthies@caspercollege.edu

Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) was founded in 2009 as a nonpartisan organization that conducts qualitative research and public opinion polls on the intersection of religion, values, and public life. PRRI’s staff and Board of Directors consist of credentialed scholars and other academic professionals from a wide array of reputable academic institutions. PRRI also maintains a roster of affiliated scholars that serve a two-year appointment and contribute to the site.

PRRI has a research section that aggregates recently published PRRI scholarly articles, fact sheets, surveys, and popular research, as well as a section devoted to tracking book chapters, articles, and other work in the field. Entries in the aforementioned sections summarize the work in an abstract-like fashion, and the majority of entries include a link to the full text. When full text is not available, PRRI includes a link to the publisher’s website where the full text can be accessed or purchased.

Overall the site is well designed and allows those interested in public religion research to stay current in the field through a variety of methods. For example, the site includes common social media services like Twitter, Facebook, RSS access, a blog, as well as an e-mail newsletter subscription.

The standout feature of the site is the interactive American Values Atlas (AVA). AVA combines annual PRRI survey data with a rich interactive mapping system, which allows the user to explore the similarities and differences between America’s political, religious, and demographic groups. For those not wanting to manipulate and customize the data in the map display, AVA also offers a highlight section that summarizes popular trends in AVA data for the year. Lastly, AVA includes a state profiles section that allows the user to click on a given state and see a snapshot profile. Data in the profiles section includes party affiliation, political ideology, religious tradition, “cultural conservatism,” and more.

The PRRI site is a must for scholars, the media, policy makers, clergy, and those interested in the intersection of religion, values, and public life. Given the excellent site design and ease of use, it also has application for college and high school students. Recommended as a resource for both academic and public libraries.

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