Endangered Species: A Bibliography with Indexes
Edited by John P Turin
Published by Nova Science Publishers Inc. New York, 2002
I have only just come across this title, which rather surprised me since I reckon to have a very comprehensive library of similar titles, which I attempt to keep up to date. However, having purchased the volume, I realised why I had not heard of it. It is a waste of money, and a waste of bookshelf space.
Despite the claim of the preface that "This volume provides in-depth coverage of... endangered species through an extensive bibliography and author, title and subject indexes [sic].", it does nothing of the sort. It is difficult to imagine how a publisher could commit to print a book, which is simply a bibliography, nothing more, nothing less, which is so incompetent.
The very first page shows a major failing: the titles are listed alphabetically -- a sensible and normal procedure -- but it is not normal to include the indefinite and definite articles in the index -- consequently there are several pages of books which, because the title begins with 'The' are extremely difficult to find. I presume this bibliography was generated from a computerised library data base -- how else explain the inclusion such titles as "Husbands, an Endangered species", by Lucille Lavender 1982. The titles relating to endangered species are a pretty random selection. -- some are very detailed, dealing with a single species, but others of major importance, such as various IUCN publications are omitted. And the indexes [sic] are obviously of dubious value, when Jane Thornack's work is listed, but her name does not appear in the index. There are many more mistakes, but that will do to demonstrate its failings. Six people are credited as being involved editorially in some way or other -- they should be ashamed of publishing a volume as poorly edited as this.
Review by John Burton