Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts; Carol A. Drost


The Constitution Project. Access: http://www.constitutionproject.org.

Gerri Foudy, University of Maryland, College Park, gfoudy@umd.edu

Founded in 1997, the Constitution Project describes itself as sponsoring “independent, bipartisan committees to address a variety of important constitutional issues and to produce consensus reports and recommendations.” The project aims to provide bipartisan reports and recommendations by experts, whom they call “unlikely allies,” to “reform the nation’s broken criminal justice system and to strengthen the rule of law through scholarship, advocacy, policy reform, and public education initiatives.” The Board of Directors, the Board of Advisors, and members of the various policy and issue committees of the Constitution Project are comprised of an impressive list of law school faculty, judges, lawmakers, and lawyers.

The site is organized around major constitutional issues: “Checks and Balances,” “Counter-terrorism,” “Criminal Discovery,” “Data Collection and Privacy,” “Death Penalty,” “Government Surveillance and Searches,” “Immigration,” “Right to Counsel,” “Sentencing,” and “Transparency and Accountability.” Each issue area gives links to reports and key resources, advocacy (letters to congress about certain policies or legislation), amicus briefs, press releases, and news stories.

The site also sponsors a Clearinghouse of New Voices, which “consists of a database of individuals who support criminal justice reforms, but who have traditionally been seen as ‘unlikely allies’—and thus can be particularly persuasive and influential.” The publications linked from the clearinghouse include advocacy letters, amicus briefs, and more.

Besides text documents, the project provides links to digital media of their conferences, events, and Webinars. Examples of these online videos include: “Is Privacy a Thing of the Past?” “Federal Advocacy After the Obamacare Decision,” and “Clemency: Old Problems and New Solutions.” There is also an active Twitter feed with many followers.

Users can navigate the site by going into different menu options, such as “Issues,” “Newsroom,” and “Publications and Resources.” There is also a site-wide search box on each page.

The material presented on the site is extremely well researched and is aimed at a sophisticated, scholarly audience or at professional policymakers and jurists. The average undergraduate may not find much use for the site, unless they are in advanced political science or pre-law classes. Graduate students and law school students would be the most likely audience for this site. Law school students especially can benefit from the in-depth reports on constitutional issues.

The National Bureau of Asian Research. Access: http://www.nbr.org/.

Jia Mi, The College of New Jersey, jmi@tcnj.edu

Established in 1989, The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution that brings together well-known specialists to conduct advanced independent research on issues affecting U.S. relations with Asia.

The site’s content is organized by categories for research, including “Regions,” “Issues,” “Publications,” “Experts,” “Events,” and “Research.” Users can easily navigate the site by checking these options with tabs at the top of each page or find resources on topics using the full-text search box located at the top right of all pages.

The “Regions” section groups Asia into Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Central Asia, Russia, and the United States. “Issues” covers a wide range of current topics from security, economics, politics, and nuclear proliferation, to energy and global health. A navigation bar listing all the subjects on the left will lead to commentary, policy, or reports related to each topic. The “Publications” section delivers independent research through four signature publications Strategic Asia, Asia Policy, NBR Analysis, and NBR Special Reports. In addition, NBR publishes edited volumes and monographs as well as commentary and policy papers through a variety of cooperative efforts with other institutions.

In the “Experts” section, specialists and scholars are listed alphabetically. “Events” presents NBR’s events and major conferences. Audio, video, and transcripts for events and conferences are also available. The “Research” section shows NBR’s research is conducted by the following groups: Political and Security Affairs, Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs, Center for Health and Aging, Slade Gorton International Policy Center, Kenneth B. and Anne H. H. Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies, and John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies.

The Strategic Asia Database featured on the Strategic Asia Program page, offers access to data for 37 countries back to 1990. Translations of selected reports and executive summaries are made in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. At the bottom of every page, users can find AccessAsia, a specialized database with thousands of links to Asian affairs experts’ Web sites, vitae, articles, etc.

The site provides exceptional internship and fellowship opportunities that could be helpful to academic scholars and students. Both educators and students will find NBR a valuable site.

Trove. Access: http://trove.nla.gov.au/.

Sarah Goodwin Thiel, University of Kansas, sgthiel@ku.edu

The National Library of Australia has long been a leader in the development of digital collections. Between 1997 and 2008, the library developed eight national online discovery services to increase access to resources found in Australian collections. These services were later combined and in 2009 the free, online, delivery, and discovery service was renamed Trove. It now provides access to digital and print resources from nearly 2,000 state, territory, and public libraries; museums; and archives from around Australia as well as national and international digital collections of relevance.

In addition to working collaboratively with cultural heritage institutions, Trove also invites the participation of its online community and encourages users to upload images, create tags, and offer comments, corrections, and suggestions. The discovery service currently contains nearly 340 million items.

Through a single search, Trove provides access to digitized newspapers and journal articles, pictures, audio and video recordings, diaries, letters, archived Web sites, and more. If a user were to type the term isle into the search box on the main page of the site, he or she would receive more than 64,000 book citations from collections around the country, more than 9,000 digital images submitted by institutions and individuals, more than 250,000 journal articles and data sets available as citations or full text, and that is just the beginning. In addition, each retrieved item includes a feedback box that gives users an opportunity to comment on the item.

The National Library of Australia states the following about its extensive information portal: “Trove is for all Australians. Whether you are tracing your family history, doing professional research, reading for pleasure, teaching or studying, Trove can help.” Without question, Trove is an invaluable resource—but not just for Australians. Trove offers extensive access to collections and items, advanced searching capabilities, interactive opportunities to enhance metadata, and expansive instructions strategically placed throughout the site to guide users. This ambitious discovery service can be seen as a model for collaborative digitization projects and serves to inform cultural heritage institutions building both large and small digital collections.

Copyright 2013© American Library Association

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