AE -- Government Publications

Information Sources in Official Publications. Ed. Valerie J. Nurcombe. London; München [et al.]: Bowker-Saur, 1997. xxvii, 564 p. 22 cm. (Guides to Information Sources) ISBN 1-85739-151-9: DM 210.00 [IFB 99-1/4-025] This worldwide guide to official publications, similar to the ALA/GODORT Guide to Official Publications of Foreign Countries (Bethesda: CIS, 1997), arrived too late to be included with the 1998 IFB review of the latter work. The Nurcombe guide, prepared by twenty-two government publications librarians and similar specialists from, with one exception, English-speaking countries, covers the following areas: the UN and international organizations; North America; Central America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean; Commonwealth Caribbean; South America; Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific); Asia (divided into nine countries or country-groups); Africa; the Former Soviet Union; Eastern Europe; Western Europe; and the Middle East.

While Africa is treated as a unit without any subdivision into individual countries, the other regions are subdivided by country. Individual compilers have been entrusted to each respective country or region of the Asia section. On the other hand, one compiler is in charge of all countries or regions in each of the last four sections. As in other volumes of the Guide to Information Sources series, the compilers have been given a free hand in shaping their respective contribution. The majority of compilers adhere to the "style" of the series, which calls for citing the individual publications in short-title form within the running text. This feature and the partial lack of subheadings, set-off entries, and similar omissions place extra burdens on the user. The appendix contains an index of acronyms (with their elements spelled out) and an index of entries under subject, corporate body, and selected titles.

In all, the ALA/GODORT guide, which covers 178 countries clearly organized by individual categories and with titles of publications distinctly separated from the text, is manifestly preferable. Nonetheless, the work under review here, despite its unbalanced treatment of the world's regions and countries, is recommended for supplemental consultation. [sh/ga]

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