College & Research Libraries News

Internet Reviews

Joni Roberts and Carol Drost

American Psychological Association.


The American Psychological Association (APA) has 52 divisions, 159,000 members, and . claims to be the largest “scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States.” The APA Web page is crammed with information, not only about its organization, business, programs, and conferences, but also about psychological issues in the form of news, online brochures, journal articles, and other full-text content. Dodging the advertising to find the free stuff, however, takes a little work.

There is something for everyone at the APA site. The main page invites psychologists, students, and the general public to enter the site via different portals, which market to their varied interests. And market they do. The student page, for instance, highlights the advantages of joining APA, while the psychologist link focuses on online services and new products. The public site features hot topics in ten “What you need to know about” categories, providing brief reports and news on each topic. But eventually all paths lead to the sale of APA newsletters, journals, books, products, or services.

Plan on spending some time at this site. The pages are cluttered with icons and headings competing for attention and can be distracting to navigate. In addition, each link leads to loads of other pages. A pair of search engines, designed to scan the APA site and related Web sites, seems to promise relief, asking simply “What are you looking for?” But searching success can be limited and unpredictable. For those hoping to locate research articles, using these search engines can be frustrating.

A better path for researchers is to start with the “Site Map,” discretely located in the header of all pages. Here one can easily find the “Journal Search” and “Book Search” features, which allow retrieval of full-text articles or abstracts from dozens of APA journals and books. This page also provides a no-nonsense alphabetic display of the rest of the sites offerings. Alternatively, the “Latest News” link from the header of the main page provides a similarly direct route to research, albeit more commercial. More full-text content is apparently also available with membership to APA.

This site will appeal to anyone looking for psychology news, professional development opportunities in psychology, and information about the APA. With all the content available at this site, one is bound to find something useful.—Barbara Valentine, Linfield College,

Estronaut: A Forum for Women's Health. Access: http://www.estronaut. com or The Web can be a valuable tool for finding information on personal health issues not found in conventional reference works. Estronaut is an online resource addressing a variety of subjects concerning women’s health.

Developed and maintained by GenneX Healthcare Technologies Inc., Estronaut’s goal is to offer current information and advice from physicians who specialize in women’s health. Information for this site is gathered from published medical studies and recent textbooks. The site’s content is monitored by medical director and CEO of GenneX Healthcare Technologies, Karen Sarpolis.

Written in frank language, topics on this site are organized by subject and age group. Medical terminology is defined, illustrating the site’s intended general audience. While there are articles written for adolescents, the majority of articles are for adult women. The articles found at Estronaut either respond to specific questions or examine results from studies pub- lished elsewhere. Estronaut informed readers early on of the problems with Fen-Phen, Fosamax, and Tamoxifen. Maneuvering around Estronaut is simple with a side bar menu on each screen, or users can search the site by keyword. Each article has a link to any scien- tific references used in the article. Visitors to Estronaut are invited to be active users; they are encouraged to rate each article. Also read- ers may e-mail questions to the medical advi- sor, Sarpolis.

Joni R. Roberts is associate university librarian for public services and collection development at Willamette University, e-mail:, and Carol A. Drost is associate university librarian for technical services at Willamette University, e-mail:

Although the organization, treatment, and goals of Estronaut are admirable, there are sev- eral aspects of this Web site that disappoint. The articles vary in quality; the strongest ar- ticles are those dealing with medical issues or pharmaceuticals. None of the articles credit an author or originating source. Of sixteen articles examined, only two had single references listed. No information is available concerning when Estronaut was established, nor is one able to determine how often the site is up- dated or when the last update occurred. Read- ers are invited to rate each article (via e-mail), but the results are not posted on the site.

Although Estronaut does not quite meet its goals, it serves as a good introduction to women's health issues and offers general au- diences, including college students, basic in- formation on a variety of topics.—Kimberly Bartosz, Eastern Connecticut State University,

free! The Freedom Forum Online. Ac- cess: free!, the official Web site and online news service of the Freedom Forum Foundation, is essential for students, educators, journalists, and anyone interested in media and freedom issues. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the Foundation is a “nonpartisan, international foundation, dedicated to free press, free speech, and free spirit for all people,” focus- ing on four principal priorities: the Newseum, an interactive museum of news; First Amend- ment issues; newsroom diversity; and world press freedom. These primary concerns are evident when viewing their Web site, which is first-class in coverage and scope. Full-text articles, columns, and in-depth analysis lead to a wealth of research information for further study of free expression. Librarians can take advantage of recent current awareness features such as Internet filtering in schools, flag burning, and censorship of literature.

Subject matter is organized into two major categories: “freedoms” and “programs.” The “freedoms” section covers First Amendment rights, technology issues, and international media topics. Most of the daily news stories originate within this grouping. “Programs” includes links to the Newseum, Foundation publications, and topics such as press fairness and journalism education. The center of the opening page presents brief excerpts with links to current articles contained within the outer two sections.

One minor flaw in this otherwise outstanding site is the initial confusion resulting from these repetitive links. Freedom Forum staff and Associated Press correspondents author the articles presented here. Once connected to a particular page, “In This Section” typically offers additional resources pertaining to the specific topic being viewed (e.g., Web sites, FAQ’s, bibliographies, related news stories, etc.). Documents are updated on a daily basis, and the entire site is searchable.

The free! site offers distinctive features such as the “First Amendment Outrage of the Week,” where a single government act or gesture most offensive to the spirit of free speech, free press, and free expression is identified with commentary. Another unique feature is free!Radio, a compilation of audio broadcasts. These programs are an effortless way to stay abreast of journalism issues or challenges to First Amendment rights. A noteworthy program, “Newseum Radio,” is a one-hour weekly series co-produced by the Newseum and the Foundation.

Works in progress include the First Amendment Center’s U. S. Supreme Court Files. This invaluable section contains full-text opinions of First Amendment decisions by the Supreme Court since 1990. What is readily apparent after repeated visits to this site is the rich and exceptional content dealing that is accessible. The authority of contributors is sound, and the currency of material is unbeatable.—Gail Golderman, Union College, goldermg@union.edit

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