Find and read articles from Choice, free for many members of Australian libraries
About this search tool
- This site is neither affiliated with Choice nor libraries. It was created solely to make it easier for members of Australian libraries to search electronic databases containing articles from Choice.
- Over 150 libraries around Australia subscribe to article databases provided by Gale/Cengage which contain electronic versions of Choice, the magazine of the Australian Consumers Association. Your library probably provides a web site where you can search
all the electronic databases to which they subscribe, but using these sites is often harder than it could be.
- The National Library of Australia, in conjunction with State and Territory libraries, undertook a project to assist finding the resources
made available by these databases by adding them to the Trove search service, and Gale/Cengage were one of the database vendors that made their database available for indexing by the National Library's search service, Trove.
- However, searching for articles from a specific journal and finding the link which lets you access articles you've found via the access
provided by your own library is still not as easy as it could be. Hence, this search interface which only provides access to articles from Choice.
- Choice is a great resource for Australian consumers. This search site hopes to promote its use, and help libraries deliver the benefits of their subscription to the electronic version of Choice to their members.
- Although anyone can search, you'll only be able to access articles if you are a member of one of the libraries which have a subscription to the electronic version of the Choice articles. After selecting an article, you'll be asked to prove your membership in one of 2 ways:
You won't have to re-enter your membership number or logon on every access, but eventually, your session with "time out" and you will be asked for this information again.
- If you are a member of a public library, probably by entering your library membership number (also known as your "library barcode"). This information is checked by Gale/Cengage.
- If you are a member of a university library, probably by logging on to your university's security gateway. (Some universities and other libraries will use the membership number approach.)
- This search tool passes your request to access an article and information about your library to Trove, which then forwards the request to Gale/Cengage. This search tool does not see your library membership number, and neither does Trove.
About the articles you can discover and read
- Gale/Cengage's database of articles from Choice starts in 1999. The most recent issue will usually be available soon after it is published.
- The electronic version of articles from Choice is not as good as the printed version from the magazine, or the versions available to subscribers on the Choice website. You'll notice misspelt words (from the scanning process), that illustrations are missing and that the formatting of some tables is odd. If you need to see the complete article, you'll probably need to get a physical copy of the magazine from your library, or become a personal subscriber to Choice. The search results tell you the issue containing the article, and what page(s) it appeared on.
First, select your library
- Before you can search, you have to specify your library, that is, the library to which you belong. If you belong to more than one library, select any that appears in the library list - it doesn't matter which you choose, but remember that before you can see the full contents of an article, you'll have to prove that you are a member to either your own library's security gateway (with a userid and password) or to Gale/Cengage (with your library membership number).
- You may have been given a link to this page which "pre-selects" a library for you. If this is your library, great! But if it isn't, just click the [Change] link at the end of the library name shown under the search box.
About the search results
- Up to 30 search results will be shown. The relevance of the results is determined by Trove. There may be results that aren't shown here, but generally they are not as relevant to your search term as those that are shown.
- Note the article length (in words) shown after the title - it will often help you bypass brief notes when you are looking for detailed report.
- It is not possible to reorder the results, say, by date. This interface has been kept deliberately as simple as possible. If you need
more control over your search and how the results are presented, you should use the native Trove search interface.
- Read about Choice at their website.
- Try simple terms, such as "microwave", "lawn mower"
- Wild-card searching is not supported.
- If you're looking for detailed reports, consider including the word test amongst your search terms. The Choice reliability surveys are also popular articles.
- Choice regularly re-tests and updates reviews. Products described in older material may no longer be available in retailers.
- Created by Kent Fitch, Project Computing Pty Ltd, November 2012.
- You are free to do anything you like with this software.
- This search tool uses a non-commercial Trove API key which is limited to 100 requests/minute. If you want to issue hundreds of requests, please get your own Trove API key (they are free), and run your own copy of this software.
- The libs.js file contains the list of libraries with a Gale/Cengage database subscription with access to electronic copies of Choice. It was constructed by displaying a Choice article in the Trove interface and scrapping the library information in the "view online" tab.
- All the source code (excluding the jquery library and the libs.js file) is available here.
- Australian libraries, for making this material available by subscribing to electronic databases on our behalf.
- The National Library of Australia for building Trove, and particularly, former Director of Innovation
and Resource Sharing, Warwick Cathro, for driving the electronic articles database project.
- Gale/Cengage for working with the NLA to make this happen, and especially Snail who helped the Trove team
overcome technical difficulties whilst getting the authentication to work.