EAST ASIAN LIBRARY RESOURCES GROUP OF AUSTRALIA

Newsletter No. 54 (July 2009)


Chinese Language Electronic Databases to which Australian Research Libraries Subscribe

Bick-har Yeung

East Asian Librarian
The University of Melbourne Library


Asian Libraries in Melbourne (ALIM)[1] has recently updated a survey on Database Subscriptions in Asian Studies, which was first compiled in 2007. The survey provides a list of Asian Studies research and studies oriented database subscriptions by selected research libraries in Australia. It is a handy reference tool for librarians to obtain database information for document delivery of Asian language / studies resources and assisting in decision making when acquiring Asian Studies electronic resources in individual libraries. The survey provides a one-stop shop for Asian Studies scholars to obtain information about Asian Studies electronic resources held in Australian libraries to support their teaching and research.

The libraries included in this survey (Table 1) either have strong Asian collections or are research libraries in their region.  The survey targeted database subscriptions in Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, Indonesian Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, South Asian Studies and Southeast Asian Studies. The coverage of the databases comprises bibliographic databases, indexes to journal / newspaper articles, full-text journal databases, news databases, statistical databases, dissertation databases and so forth. Library holding information is represented by using Australian National Union Catalogue (NUC) symbols[2]. This article is intended to explore the Chinese language database subscriptions of Australian research library collections covered by the survey. 

Table 1 Australian libraries included in the survey

State Libraries
Australian Capital Territory ANU; NLA
New South Wales Macquarie; Sydney; UNSW; UTS
Northern Territory Charles Darwin
Queensland UQ; Griffith
South Australia Adelaide, Flinders
Tasmania TU
Victoria Melbourne; Monash
Western Australia Murdoch

Findings on Chinese language database subscriptions

The results show that Australian research libraries have significant subscriptions to Chinese language electronic resources (Table 2). Key findings are described as follows:

  • For full-text journals and journal indexes, the most popular database subscription for Australian libraries is China Academic Journals Full-text Database (中国期刊全文数据库) produced by China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI). The Series subscribed to are F, G and H from 1994 onwards covering journals in the subjects of literature, history, philosophy, education, law, social sciences, economics and management. The University of Melbourne Library has subscribed to Series C, architecture and engineering and Series F – literature/history/philosophy dating back to pre 1994. The Quan guo bao kan suo yin shu ju ku online(全国报刊索引数据库), a national database of indexes to periodical and newspaper articles produced by Shanghai Library is subscribed to by the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne Library. It is a very useful index to retrieve periodical articles dating back to 1857. Taiwan Electronic Periodicals Service : Taiwan Humanities Periodicals Services (台湾电子期刊服务网: 人文学期刊) is a full-text journal database containing major humanities journals published in Taiwan, and the University of Melbourne Library is the only Australian library subscribing to this database. It is an important source for Taiwan journal publications. Dragonsource magazines and periodicals (龙源期刊网), subscribed to by Monash University Library, is a database of Chinese magazines consisting of more than 800 titles spanning more than 40 subject areas, with titles covering topics ranging from business and economics to family, fashion, entertainment, film, and travel.
  • For full-text newspapers and indexes, 11 libraries out of 15 libraries have subscribed to Factiva, an international full-text newspaper database consisting of Chinese newspapers or news published in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The China Core Newspaper Database (中国重要报纸全文数据库), another CNKI full-text product containing major Chinese newspapers since 2000 is subscribed to by the National Library of Australia. The Quan guo bao kan suo yin shu ju ku online(全国报刊索引数据库) mentioned earlier is a good source of indexes to newspaper articles dating back to 1857. China Infobank (中国资讯行), a China content provider based in Hong Kong contains a database of full-text economic newspaper articles, and is subscribed to by the University of Melbourne Library.
  • For legal databases, four libraries have subscribed to Isinolaw (中华法律网), a full-text database produced in Hong Kong covering constitutional and national laws, State Council administrative regulations, and local regulations and rules. Legal documents within Isinolaw have translations into English. Users can request English translation when the translation of a document is not available online. Lawinfochina (北大法律), consisting of over 6000 Chinese laws and regulations is subscribed to by the University of New South Wales Library. China Infobank (中国资讯行), also provides full-text access to China national and local laws and regulations.
  • For statistical databases, China Data Online (中国数据在线) and China Infobank are the two databases with Australian subscriptions. The former is subscribed to by the University of Queensland Library and Monash University Library, and the latter subscribed to by the University of Melbourne Library. China Data Online is a comprehensive database focusing on economic statistics of China, arranged by regions and categories. China Infobank contains a China statistics database which provides yearly and monthly statistical data on the socio-economic situation of the dynamic market and China’s external trade performance sourced from national and provincial statistical yearbooks [3].
  • For dissertations, the China Doctor/Master Dissertations Full-text Databases (中国优秀博硕士学位论文全文数据库), another CNKI product,  is subscribed to by the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne Libraries.
  • For e-books, Apabi Chinese Ebooks, Complete Classics Collection of Ancient China  (古今圖書集成) and China Yearbooks full-text database (中国年鉴全文数据库) are the three ebook databases subscribed to by Australian libraries. It is worth mentioning that the Complete Classics Collection of Ancient China ( 古今圖書集成 ) edited by Chen Menglei ( 陳夢雷 ) and published during the Qing Dynasty between 1726-28 is a collection of what was considered the most important works of Chinese classics from the Zhou Dynasty to the 17th century. This collection is by far the largest encyclopedic compilation ( 類書 )of its kind comprising over 100 million characters in 10,000 juan (卷). It is full-text searchable.
  • The findings of the survey reveal that Canberra library collections and the Asian Libraries in Melbourne have significant subscriptions to Chinese electronic resources in comparison with other states in Australia. New South Wales universities are second to Canberra and Asian Libraries in Melbourne, followed by Queensland universities, South Australian and Western Australian universities. The universities in Tasmania and the Northern Territory do not have subscriptions to any Chinese language databases.

Table 2. Chinese language database subscriptions by Australian research libraries

Database

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Factiva: full-text international newspaper database

ANL; ANU

NMQU; NTSM; NU

 

QU

SFU; SUA

 

VMOU; VU

WMDU

China Academic Journals Full-text Database (中国期刊全文数据库); Series  F G H, 1994-

ANL; ANU

NMQU; NTSM; NU

 

QGU

 

 

VMOU; VU

 

Isinolaw (中华法律网)

ANU

NTSM

 

QU

 

 

VU

 

Apabi Chinese Ebooks

ANL

NU

 

 

 

 

VU

 

China Core Newspaper Database (中国重要报纸全文数据库 )

ANL

NTSM

 

 

 

 

 

 

China Data Online (中国数据在线)

 

 

 

QU

 

 

VMOU

 

China Doctor/Master Dissertations Full-text Databases (中国优秀博硕士学位论文全文数据库)

ANU

 

 

 

 

 

VU

 

Complete Classics Collection of Ancient China  (古今圖書集成)

ANU

 

 

 

 

 

VU

 

Quan guo bao kan suo yin shu ju ku online(全国报刊索引数据库)

ANU

 

 

 

 

 

VU

 

Lawinfochina (北大法律)

 

UNSW

 

 

 

 

 

 

China Academic Journals Full-text Database (中国期刊全文数据库); Series C; Series F pre 1994

 

 

 

 

 

 

VU

 

China Infobank (中国资讯行)

 

 

 

 

 

 

VU

 

China Yearbooks full-text database (中国年鉴全文数据库)

 

 

 

 

 

 

VU

 

Chinese Pamphlets

 

 

 

 

 

 

VMOU

 

Dragonsource magazines and periodicals (龙源期刊网)

 

 

 

 

 

 

VMOU

 

Taiwan Electronic Periodicals Service : Taiwan Humanities Periodicals Services (台湾电子期刊服务网: 人文学期刊)

 

 

 

 

 

 

VU

 

Access to Chinese language electronic databases in Australia

As revealed in the survey, the majority of the libraries have subscribed to CNKI databases, including China Academic Journals Full-text Database (中国期刊全文数据库), China Core Newspaper Database (中国重要报纸全文数据库), China Doctor/Master Dissertations Full-text Databases (中国优秀博硕士学位论文全文数据库) and China Yearbooks full-text database (中国年鉴全文数据库). At CNKI’s domain[4], it provides free access to all the bibliographic citations in all subjects within CNKI databases. Chinese Studies scholars whose library does not subscribe to CNKI can obtain bibliographic information from CNKI databases for document delivery. The National Library of Australia has subscribed to China Academic Journals Full-text Database (中国期刊全文数据库), and China Core Newspaper Database (中国重要报纸全文数据库). Australian residents can access these two databases remotely by applying for a National Library readers’ card from its home page. At the recent Chinese Studies Association of Australia Conference 2009 held in Sydney, CNKI representatives said that Chinese Studies scholars can apply for a one-month free trial accessing to CNKI databases via their website. It is good news for all Chinese Studies scholars whose libraries do not or only partially subscribe to CNKI databases. Other Chinese databases, for example Isinolaw (中华法律网), China Infobank (中国资讯行) and Taiwan Electronic Periodicals Service (台湾电子期刊服务网) also provide free access to search their bibliographic databases with citation details. Document delivery is the path for Chinese Studies scholars to obtain the full-text documents.

Each library has its own institutional electronic database licensing policy which has restrictions on users accessing databases. However, the majority of libraries would be able to allow any walk-in users to access the database within the library buildings specified in their database licensing agreements. Chinese Studies scholars can thus visit individual libraries to access the Chinese language databases described in Table 2.

Librarians in Australia are facing institutional financial stress due to the fluctuation of the Australian dollar and the economic crisis. It is a reality that a single library is not able to subscribe to all the electronic resources for its library collection. The licensing agreement between the National Library of Australia and database providers to permit Australian residents to remotely access databases to which it subscribes is beneficial to Australian Chinese Studies scholars. Cooperation among libraries such as document delivery is another way to provide wider access to Chinese Studies scholars for sharing electronic resources.

Endnote:

[1]Asian Libraries in Melbourne (http://alim.monash.org/) is a collaborative venture between Asian Collections of the University of Melbourne Library and Monash University Libraries.

[2]What are NUC Symbols? (http://www.nla.gov.au/ilrs/about.html#nuc)

[3]A list of China Statistical Yearbooks covered by the China Statistics can be obtained from the following link: http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/asian/chinainfobank_03093008.html


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Page last updated: 31 July 2009
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