Finding Answers: The Essential Guide to Gathering Information in Canada


308 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7710-8637-7
DDC 028.7'0971





Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeff Moon is Head of the Maps, Data, & Government Information Centre (MADGIC), at Queen's University


This book provides a good theoretical and practical overview of
information resources available in Canada and abroad. Information
sources covering the whole spectrum of human endeavor are listed and
discussed. There is a useful compilation of titles, organized by broad
subject area, in the back of the book.

Tudor’s “information triad” consists of warehouse sources
(broadly available information in a variety of forms); limited-quantity
documents (harder to identify and access); and experts (librarians,
researchers, academics, etc.). Unfortunately, there are several errors
and omissions. For example, the book lists the Canadian Statistical
Review, which was replaced by the Canadian Economic Observer in 1988.
The Congressional Information Service’s American Statistics Index is
listed, but its Index to International Statistics is not. The Internet,
with its many information resources and research tools, is not
mentioned; the only computer-related information sources mentioned are
commercial database vendors. Certain terms or phrases are used without
definition (e.g., a discussion of phone access to databases refers to
“hypertext boards”—a phrase that warrants further explanation).
With no mention made of the Internet, it is doubtful the author was
referring to such Internet tools as “gopher” or “mosaic.”

Finding Answers covers such broad territory that it cannot be expected
to deal with individual topics in the same depth as specialized
reference works. For example, while the section on “Government and
Politics” is not as comprehensive as Bishops’s Canadian Official
Publications, it can be regarded as a concise summary of the topic, with
useful “updates.” New reference tools and prevailing trends (i.e.,
lobbyists) are discussed, and other useful information are provided.

Shortcomings aside, this book has scope, content, and Canadian focus.
There is something here for all but the most seasoned information
specialist, and it is all presented in a logical, easy-to-use fashion.


Tudor, Dean., “Finding Answers: The Essential Guide to Gathering Information in Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,