Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Find Best Buys, Product Reviews and Gift Ideas in Consumer Reports magazine

Still have holiday shopping left to do? Want to buy something for a loved one, but not sure which brand or options to select? Want to find out which MP3 players, computers, blenders, or even cars are rated best buys? Through the Empire State College library you can search Consumer Reports magazine articles and buying guides. Just about any popular product you can think of has been reviewed by the Consumer Reports independent experts using easy to read charts and rating system.

To access, use the FReD database and search for the periodical by title (access FReD using the link on the left side of the library home page, under the "Find Articles" section). You will need your MyESC login and permanent password to access this resource.


tkny02 said...

I've tried to access a search in Consumer Reports and found it difficult, leading me to wonder whether the blog blurb is misleading. For example, generating a search for "comparisons of mp3 players" in Fred came up with nothing, however pulling up the list of Consumer Reports and selecting the 2007 issue, then selecting a chapter in that specific issue which pertained to electronic reviews yielded information on making a selection of mp3 players.
If its possible to search the CR issues for specific products, brands or item comparisons I couldn't do it.
Can someone clarify this?

Empire State College Librarian said...

Thank you for your question. Perhaps we should have made this clearer in the blog entry. FReD only searches for journal titles, it does not search for articles within those journals. However, you can search within the Consumer Reports journal (or any journal in our collection) by first finding the journal in FReD and then selecting the journal in the FReD results so that the journal contents open up within the database containing it (e.g., Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier, ProQuest Research Library, etc.). On the next page, if the journal is within an EBSCOhost or ProQuest database, you can then "Search within this publication" using the search option within the database.

At that point I would also suggest keeping the search simple, for example, type in "mp3 player" - since you don't know how Consumer Reports words their reviews, it's best not to type in long, specific phrases like "comparisons of mp3 players" - if that exact phrase isn't in the article, it won't show any results.

If you have further questions or would like to speak with a librarian about this or any research issue, go to Ask a Librarian and fill out the form or phone us using the number provided there.