Update (10/2/13): East View released an advanced search platform on 10/1/13. It has not yet been examined for this review.
In a new platform released in 2013, East View provides simplified search access to the wide range of documents with a basic box that searches full text. The basic search option contain some limitations. There is no note on use of Boolean operators; default search applies the “or” operator, resulting in broad and imprecise results. Also, basic search currently does not provide tools to narrow search results.
East View indicates they plan to release an advanced search function some time in 2013. Hopefully this advanced search will take advantage of the OSC “editorial intervention,” or subject headings, which East View indicates are not indexed for the basic search.
Broad browse categories are divided by region (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Near East & South Asia, Oceania). The browse view defaults to Africa. It is not fully intuitive that the researcher must return to the browse menu and select another regional category to extend the browse. Within these categories the OSC subject headings are displayed, but they are not “clickable,” even though they appear to be. Indexing the headings would allow collocation of similar topics (such as “Americas—Caribbean Americas—Domestic Political”). At the same time, some assigned subject terms apply to only one portion of a document , and since the portion is not highlighted, it can be difficult to locate. For example, the portion of an August 2013 North Korean news agency newsletter pertinent to the heading “Caribbean Americas—International Political—Cuba” is located four pages into a list of one-sentence bulletins. But parsing the location of detailed subject indexing applied by a federal agency without extensive xml markup may not be feasible.
One anomaly found in currency of results: browsing the database under the “Americas” category produced documents related to Cuba as current as one day prior (8/1/13), but searching the full text for “Cuba” produced documents only as recent as seven weeks prior (6/10/13).
There is one major drawback to resource discovery inherent in the WNC metadata: because of the great variety of international sources included, and because WNC is indexed by individual article rather than serial issues, serial titles are currently not identified by ISSNs. Therefore theyare not available for Open URL linking. East View reports that adding ISSNs at a publication level, but not at the article level, may be possible with future iterations of the platform.
In comparing the East View platform with ProQuest, while CRL members reported that the traditional ProQuest Dialog interface was challenging and not fully suitable for academic uses (similar to other Dialog databases), the new ProQuest interface is fairly effective. The ProQuest interface for WNC offers an advanced search function that has the advantages of separately indexing abstracts, authors, document titles, publication titles, document types, and some subject headings. Moreover, sections are tagged. One drawback to the ProQuest interface is that geographic searching forces the user to select from a long list of countries, as opposed to regional groupings.