CD-ROM Reviews

By Dianne Lewis

AUSTLIT is produced by INFORMIT in association with the Australian Defence Force Academy ( ADFA). Like AUSTGUIDE and the other INFORMIT discs, AUSTLIT operates on the KAware software. Students find this software very easy to operate particularly as the earch commands are constant from one INFORMIT product to the next.

AUSTLIT indexes critical and creative writing by or about Australian authors, excluding children's literature. This unfortunately limits its use in chools to enior level English and Literature cla ses. It indexes a comprehensive range of periodicals and Australian daily newspapers. Some monographs are also indexed.

Searchable fields include the ubiquitous and ever useful CROSS SEARCH, as well as variations upon AUTHOR TITLE, TOPIC and SOURCE. It also includes field such as LITERATURE TYPE, AWARDS, and AUTHOR GENDER/ETHNICITY.

The ADFA library has an extensive collection of reviews which are indexed on AUSTLIT. It is possible to obtain copies of these reviews from the ADFA library at a cost of $8.00 per article. This author has received copies of requested articles by fax within the hour, a wonderful service indeed.

It was particularly appreciated by a year 12 Literature class in need of a range of reviews of a specific work of fiction. They were able to search AUSTLIT and print out a list of relevant citations, find several articles in monographs and periodicals held in the school library and select a small number of newspaper reviews to request from ADFA, which were received on the same day. It was an extremely rewarding experience for the students.

The AUSPORT database on the AUSTROM CD-ROM disc (also available on-line via Ozline) indexes an enormous range of material on all aspects of Australian sport published since 1989. It includes periodicals, monographs and audiovisual material. It is terrific material for senior students of Physical Education.

All of the material is available from the National Sport and Information Centre (N IS) in Canberra. Forms are available which encourage students to request material themselves at $3.00 per item. The usual inter-library loan request and vouchers can also be used. NCIS claims that requests for material can take from 2 - 6 weeks. This author's recent experience was a delay of approximately 3 weeks. It is a terrific service to enable students to gain access to this specialized collection.

Dianne Lewis