Choice Magazine, January, 2008
In the age of "Googling" and pervasive first-use of Wikipedia (CH, Mar'06), researchers need to have foundational reference works that reflect strict editorial policies. ...This encyclopedia (1st edition, 1960) has served librarians and students at all levels for nearly 50 years with lucid explanations of the components of modern science and technology. The more than 7,000 articles are authored or coauthored by approximately 5,300 individuals drawn chiefly from the US academic community, with representation from corporations and independent research institutions. On the short end are articles without illustration that run 600 words. Most concepts, however, run two to three times that length (and many significantly longer), and are supported by simple dichromatic diagrams, figures, equations, and charts. A bibliography of core books, conference papers, and peer-reviewed articles is appended to virtually all of these, and cross-references are inserted as needed...
As expected, topics that are stable have changed little from the ninth edition (CH,Sep'02). Areas that are expanding greatly (such as the medically related fields), or areas with broadening applications (such as microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS), are given detailed treatment. The content is aimed at users with a serious need to build an understanding of the often-complex nature of a concept, organism, or process, and who are involved in an exercise of self-education. For those who need briefer explanations, one– and two–volume titles are available that might be preferable. A companion Web site will provide updates to this encyclopedia. As with earlier editions, the final volume is the analytical index. For libraries that do not provide online access through AccessScience (CH, Jan'08), this set is an essential investment. Although an older edition of some reference titles may be acceptable, in this instance the updates are significant enough to make the purchase advisable. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
Reviewer: J.M. Robson, Rose–Hulman Institute of Technology
Booklist , Oct 15, 2007
In many libraries, the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology is the first source patrons consult when beginning background research on a scientific topic. ...The strengths of this encyclopedia are authoritative content written at a level accessible to the student or layperson and the exceptionally broad range of topics from every field of modern science and technology. ...
Reviewer: Nancy Cannon
McGraw-Hill AccessScience 2.0:
e-Review in Library Journal, May 15, 2008 issue
McGraw-Hill AccessScience 2.0 (MGHAS2) is the redesigned and enhanced online version of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 10th Edition. Content includes over 8500 online articles from the tenth print edition, research updates from McGraw-Hill Yearbooks of Science & Technology, news items from Science News Magazine®, 110,000-plus definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 15,000 illustrations and graphics, over 28,000 literature citations, approximately 2000 scientist biographies from The Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography®, videos, tutorials, Flash® animations, podcasts, and RSS feeds.
HOW DOES IT WORK?...The opening screen offers a wonderful array of access points into the content. You can enter by exploring a broad topic, by browsing an alphabetical listing of over 7000 topics (ranging from A15 phases to Zygophyllales), or by searching full text, content type (Encyclopedia Articles, Research Updates, Biographies, Q&A, News, Dictionary, or Multimedia), or within one of the 19 broad topics (Agriculture, Forestry & Soils; General Science & Technology; Anthropology & Archeology; Mathematics; Astronomy, Space & Science; Medicine; Biological & Biomedical Science; Military Science; Chemistry; Navigation; Computing & Information Technology; Paleontology; Earth Science; Physics; Engineering & Materials; Psychiatry & Psychology; Environmental Science; Veterinary Medicine; and Food Science & Technology).
You can also read the newest articles added to the site at screen right, see the latest news below that, view the images of the week at lower screen left, explore biographies and the image galleries, check out the Study Center ("Tools to help you make the most of your study time," along with a Q&A: "How does a spinning bowling ball stay in the middle of the alley?"), view Video News, or access an Exploration (interviews with notable scientists using video and podcasts, as well as text). This format could be overwhelming, but it doesn't come off that way here. What it does offer is something for just about every kind of learner, in their format of choice.
CAN YOU USE IT? I wish I could say I set about looking at this file in a systematic way, but that wasn't the case. I was so taken with so many of the access points that I just started clicking, and everywhere I hit gold. Under New Encyclopedia Articles, I clicked on "Argentiniformes" ("An order of teleost fishes in the superorder Protacanthopterygii") and got a lovely article describing these herring smelts, their suborders, and their specializations ("Some of the most bizarre fishes in all the seas of the world are the family Opisthoproctidae...most of the species have tubular eyes"). The article was signed by an active hyperlink that identified the author and his affiliation and provided links to all the articles in the encyclopedia authored by him. In addition, the article is followed by a bibliography and explicit instructions on how to cite it. Heaven!
Next, I explored the Biographies section, eager to see if one of my favorite names was listed, and it was: Bourbaki, Nicolas. No birth/death date, which is not surprising, given "his" identity: "Pseudonym taken by a group of mathematicians, most of them French, who began to publish collectively and anonymously in the late 1930s. The group, which at any one time contained about 20 members, was centered at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. A few U.S. mathematicians have at times been members. The group's effort to persuade people that Bourbaki was a real person failed, most notably when his application for membership in the American Mathematical Society was rejected." Delightful: both the description and the fact that Bourbaki appears in the database.
The Study Center is an interesting collection of materials: Q&As within the 19 general topics, as well as topical study guides for those 19 topics, AP Study Guides (which "provide a plan for a program of study and reference and include online quizzes and links into relevant AccessScience content" for Physics C, Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science), suggested essay topics (with links into the related AccessScience content), and bibliographies within the 19 topics and their subtopics.
I dipped into the Image Galleries for a few minutes only, as I quickly realized I would be lost in them for days if I didn't move on quickly. What will you find here? There's Wilbur Wright's five-page letter to Octave Chanute, in which he "asks for help from the respected engineer" in May 1900. There's an exhibit of venomous fishes from around the world. There's a PowerPoint presentation of cellular mitosis. These explanations of scientific phenomena are thoroughly engaging and enthralling.
My searches for aplastic anemia; Pluto, in the article from which I learned the word planetesimal ("One of the rocky bodies, of the order of 1 mile...in diameter, that are believed to have formed in the protosolar nebula, and whose accretion formed the rocky cores of the larger planets"); casein; and bioceramics turned up articulate, scholarly articles, with links to related terms and concepts.
MGHAS2 is the fruition of what one dreams of in an online scientific encyclopedia: it's informative, accessible, and educational, drawing you deeper into the study, pleasures, and delights of science.
WHAT'S THE COST? Pricing begins at $995; McGraw-Hill would not provide any other information. Their refusal to supply a top-of-the-range figure is the only thing that makes me skittish about this product. Their coyness necessarily affects the rating.
HOW GOOD IS IT? Based on content and design, this would earn a rating beyond 10. Not being able to obtain a pricing range, I have to give it a 9.
BOTTOM LINE The product is excellent, but since cost factors into everyone's consideration about acquiring a database, I have to leave this one at recommended rather than resoundingly recommended.