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The Gallup poll cumulative index : public opinion, 1935-1997 /

Main Author: Gallup, Alec.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Wilmington, Del. : Scholarly Resources, 1999
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Review by Choice Review

Of all versions of Gallup opinion polls, this CD-ROM permits the greatest flexibility for access to 62 years of polling literature. Its publisher has been involved with this material before; in 1999, SR published in print Alec Gallup's The Gallup Poll Cumulative Index: Public Opinion, 1935-1979 (1999). The CD-ROM permits quick searches by topic headings, comprehensive searches in the full-text cumulative index, and searches by year. Browsing is available for both the cumulative index and each year. The Browse feature is divided into two categories: sampling procedures/accuracy records and polls. The years 1972-97 include a chronology of events. More than 60,000 questions are included. Clicking on highlighted index terms takes the viewer directly to the full-poll results. SR has no plans for a Web version. For organizations already owning The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion series (25v., 1978- ), this CD-ROM would provide much faster access and greater searching capability, but at a stiff price. Libraries with no prior access to this material, but supporting interest in public opinion literature, should consider this CD-ROM. The historical value of the data should not be underestimated and could be considered an acquisition in support of history, perhaps making the purchase more tenable. All collections. G. R. Walden; Ohio State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

The reports referenced by this index have been published in 25 volumes between 1935 and 1997 by Scholarly Resources. The topics covered relate to major news events, politics, and social issues. This cumulative index was created by merging "the individual question indexes from each of the twenty-five volumes into a single integrated question file." And a fine index it is, except for unfortunate choices made in the final arrangement and formatting of the entries. Entries are arranged alphabetically under main headings, such as abortion; Clinton, Bill; and wages; and then under subheadings, such as health care and leadership under the Clinton heading. Individual index entries are based on abbreviated versions of the actual survey questions, with the result that most entries convey enough information to help a user decide on whether to pursue the reference. For example, under health care in the Clinton section there are entries such as better job handling, or Bush (that is, have Bush or Clinton done a better job with health care) and government involved in your health care, too much or too little. Year or years and page numbers of specific Gallup Poll volumes are provided for each specific entry. Because of the detail provided, there are relatively few headings with large numbers of undifferentiated locators, but even in these cases, locators are arranged by date, so that a chronological time line is offered for such questions. Entries with sufficient detail and without too many undifferentiated locators are both indicators of an effective index. The problems with the index relate to its formatting and arrangement for presentation. In contrast to standard conventions for printed indexes, continuation lines are missing from most columns when subheadings continue from one column to the next under the same main heading. The lack of these continuation lines make scanning and browsing the index difficult. Even more serious are the very slight indentations provided for sub-subheadings--only the width of a single character--with the result that it is not immediately clear that one is actually reading sub-subheadings that relate only to a previous subheading. A much deeper indention should have been used. Similarly, long main headings are not given hanging indents when they extend to a second line. These formatting problems seem trivial in isolation, but when spread across a large index, they unnecessarily interfere with rapid and effective consultation and comprehension. Arrangement of the index is also problematic. This index uses the "letter-by-letter" rather than the more commonly accepted "word-by-word" approach, so that the two headings men and men or women, for example, are separated by several other headings, including Menendez, Eric and menopause hormone therapy. The index does provide some useful cross-references, but their placement is not in accordance with the best practice. Instead of placing see also references at the beginning of a long list of subheadings, they are placed at the very end, so that only the most persistent user will ever see them. Overall, this is a very effective index, made much harder to use because of faulty formatting and presentation. Other features, not related to the index itself, include a "Gallup Poll Accuracy Record" and "Gallup Poll Sampling Procedures." Despite the unfortunate flaws in this index, libraries having the complete set of 25 volumes spanning the Gallup Poll public opinion series from 1935 to 1997 will want to have it.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Serving as a guide to the 25-volume Gallup Poll Annual Series, this index is just what you'd expect from Gallup: an orderly, reliable, and businesslike guide to American public opinion. Well organized and explanatory, it contains a methodical subject and name index to the nearly 10,000 surveys Gallup has conducted since it first started sampling public opinion on October 20, 1935√Ąplus the survey results themselves. The easy-to-read, large-type format features subject and poll year in bold type. Each entry also contains numerous detailed subheadings and relevant cross references. Additionally, there's a useful statistical chart explaining the accuracy of Gallup polls in presidential elections and a brief summary of sampling procedures. Survey topics range from the unflappably standard to the happily eclectic, from Americans' attitudes toward the Korean and Vietnam wars to their ideas about colored nail polish and their deepest fears. The Gallup poll has been the preeminent source on the attitudes and opinions of Americans since the New Deal; this volume, unsurprisingly, is an invaluable resource for any public or academic library.√ĄDonald Altschiller, Boston Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.