Monday, December 13, 2010

Consumer Reports

It's getting to be one of the times of year when people make big purchases. Whether you're buying a gift for a loved one or just taking advantage of the sales, it's possible to spend a lot of money and later regret it. One way to avoid that is to put the turkey-flavored sodas back on the shelf before you go to the register. Another is to do product research before you shop.

The library subscribes to Consumer Reports, which is a magazine of expert product reviews and ratings. They evaluate everything from tires to baby bottles to computer games.

To get to Consumer Reports (and to any other journal or magazine when you know its title) go to the library web siteand click Full-text Journal Finder. Type in the title of the journal and search. This will give you a list of the databases that have the journal - click one.

You can also go directly to Consumer Reports at this link.

Once you are in there, you can browse by year or click the link for Search Within This Publication. You will be taken to a search box that is already filled out with the name of the journal. Leave that there and just type your stuff in after it.

You can search for a type of product, like AND "digital camera" or you can search by the trademarked name of a specific product like AND Kinect.

The AND is there to tell the database that it must find search results that fit two criteria: articles 1. from the journal Consumer Reports 2. that are have the keyword "digital camera."

The quotation marks are used whenever your keyword is actually a phrase made up of two or more words. It tells the database that you want those words found together and in the correct order.

So before you buy something expensive, first use Consumer Reports to make sure that the product is and does what you want, won't fall apart on you, and is the best value for your money.

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