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The Un-Cola: Current Cites

When I was a kid I loved mimicing a 7-Up commercial where a man with a booming voice uttered the tagline, “the Un-cola.” Current Cites is an Un-blog.

Every month, Current Cites presents “8-12 annotated citations of current literature”–books, websites, and articles–distributed by email or available on its website. Roy just laughs at me when I suggest he publish it as a blog or with its own feed. It’s also unglitzy, undecorative, and (temporarily) unsearchable. (Though I found that I could mush up a Google search pretty easily. “MODS” did a good job of digging up an article about MODS from the May 2005 newsletter.)

Still, I love Current Cites. The scope is very broad, the writing fun, the citations meticulous. But above all Current Cites is a timesaver for techies overwhelmed with keeping up. It’s a fantastic gleaning of the best of the best.

This month’s coverage runs the gamut of books, websites, and articles about Google, online reference, free software, repositories, open access, RFID, social bookmarking, MODs, and more. I doubt I’m going to read everything cited in this issue, but the next time I’m starting on a big query–say, a broad, sweeping search about migration issues–I’ll get that prickly feeling and look in the Current Cites database, and darned if they haven’t written about it. Go back and browse the first year or two of Current Cites to watch the Internet emerge: the historical value of Current Cites’ repository alone is worth its weight in gold.

Current Cites has existed in some form or another since August, 1990, and Roy has been involved in it since those days. The team contributing to Current Cites are names well-known to a lot of us who have been on the ‘net a while: in addition to Roy, reviewers include Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Terry Huwe, Shirl Kennedy, Leo Robert Klein, and Jim Ronningen. Good stuff, folks. Thanks!

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