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Academic Video Online (AVON)

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Academic Video Online (AVON) is an Alexander Street database. It presents an extensive collection of videos on a variety of topics and from numerous sources. Some of the most popular topics are American History, Anthropology, Black Studies, Counseling and Therapy, Music and Performing, and Science and Engineering. Popular sources include BBC Landmark, CNN, Film Platform, PBS, and Sony Classic Pictures. Many other topics are also available in this database, ranging from Art and Architecture to Fashion Studies to World Music, and from World History to Hawaiian Studies to Cooking. Additional sources include CBS, Third World Newsreel, Mayo Clinic, American Academy of Pediatrics, Nippon News, and FilmRise. The visual and audio qualities of the videos on offer here are excellent, they are easy to navigate, and include transcripts.

Videos can be browsed by topic or source, or searched for using a single search bar, which allows the user various filtering options. The search and filtering options here produce useful results, though the number of those can vary considerably depending on the search done. However, the search options available can be confusing to the user, due to the unexplained separation of the database into groupings of videos, Channels, and Collections (see User Interface/Navigation/Searching for more information). As a consequence, users may not be able to use the database most effectively, and/or appreciate the full scope of material available here.

Pricing for this database can vary considerably, as it is based on FTE, budget, and the number of prospective users. No more specific pricing information is available from the vender. The licensing agreement for this database, on the other hand, is relatively standard in its length, structure, and content. The quality and quantity of AVON’s content is high and should appeal to a wide variety of students and faculty in various disciplines, though users will have to learn AVON’s search idiosyncrasies, which can cause confusion.

Publication date: October 1, 2020

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