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January 23rd 2006 Book Promotion

When I started to work on my Master's thesis I first had to find a good source of articles from science magazines and journals and proceedings from conferences related to my research field. Since I didn't want to spend most of the time in the faculty library which would be difficult anyhow due to strange hours I used to work on my thesis, I was looking for an online source.

The obvious choice was Google Scholar but it soon turned out that although its searching capabilities are great, it still doesn't give access to the full text of the articles. After I realized that there's no way to get enough material for free I decided to join the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) as a professional member and go for the additional ACM Digital Library subscription. This gave me access most of the articles they ever published which was almost everything I needed.

At the end of the month it'll be a year since I've done this and it was time to renew my membership. My first thought was to just let it go since I've already finished the thesis in the meantime. But I remembered having read in one of their newsletters that their professional members were given access to a part of the Safari Bookshelf so I decided to take a look at what exactly they offered. It turned out that every ACM member has access to their Professional Development Centre which includes 500 online books from the Safari Enterprise Library, 395 online books from Books24x7 and over 1000 online courses from ThomsonNETg. A more detailed look revealed that there's a lot in there that would be of interest to me.

Therefore I've just renewed my subscription for another year, this time without the ACM Digital Library access because I certainly won't need it unless I decided to write a Ph. D. thesis which surely won't happen within the next 12 months. It's well worth it even if you're only about to read a selection of the books but there are other membership benefits as well.

One more thing: if you come from Slovenia or any other economically developing country, don't forget to take advantage of the discounts. You could save even more.

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