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Databases with Built-In Text Reading Functionality: Home

Introduction

Some vendors’ database platforms have audio functionality built-in that allows a user to listen to a computer-generated reading of text-based content such as magazine, newspaper, and journal articles or e-book text. Not all vendors offer this.

The following are lists of the databases at Seneca Libraries that do and do not offer this functionality. Note that when it is available in a database, it is only for the HTML version of full-text content, not PDF. Also note that initial search screens and results lists usually do not have text reading functionality.

For database and other electronic content that does not have a built-in text reader, Read&Write Gold and other accessibility software is available through the Seneca’s ITS department, with further assistance in the use of that software available through Accessibility Services. NOTE: Read&Write Gold can read some PDF documents, but the list below is a list of databases which offer their own built-in text reading functionality.

For information about the Seneca Libraries databases listed below, please e-mail librarytechhelp@senecacollege.ca or telephone (416) 491-5050, extension 77061.

WITH Text Reading Functionality Built-In (last updated 17 September 2019)

EBSCO

  • Academic Search Premier
  • Alt HealthWatch
  • Applied Science and Technology Source
  • Business Source Premier
  • Canadian Literary Centre
  • Canadian Points of View
  • Canadian Reference Centre
  • CINAHL with Full Text
  • Communication and Mass Media Complete
  • EBSCO E-Book and Audiobook Collection (the text of audiobooks is not available, and the entire e-book Collection is PDF only so there is no text reading of it at all)
  • ERIC
  • Funk and Wagnall’s New World Encyclopedia
  • GreenFile
  • Health Source: Consumer
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic (…though content mostly PDF, not HTML, so little audio playback)
  • Humanities Source
  • Library Literature & Information Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson)
  • LISTA (index database; audio reading of citations not available)
  • Literary Reference Center
  • MAS Ultra - School Edition
  • MasterFILE Elite
  • MEDLINE (…though content mostly PDF, not HTML, so little audio playback)
  • Military and Government Collection
  • NoveList (index database; audio reading of book descriptions not available)
  • Primary Search
  • Regional Business News
  • SMART Imagebase (image database; reading of image descriptions not available, nor is there closed-captioning for the database's "Narrated Animations")
  • SocINDEX with Full Text
  • SPORTDiscus with Full Text
  • Teacher Reference Center
  • Vocational Studies Complete
  • the ability to "Download MP3" files of some content is also available

 

Gale:

  • Academic OneFile
  • Academic OneFile Select
  • Agriculture Collection
  • Business Collection
  • Business Economics and Theory Collection
  • CPI.Q
  • Canada in Context
  • Communications and Mass Media Collection
  • Computer Database
  • Criminal Justice Collection
  • Culinary Arts Collection
  • Diversity Studies Collection
  • Educator's Reference Complete
  • Entrepreneurship Collection
  • Environmental Studies and Policy Collection
  • Environmental Studies in Context
  • Expanded Academic ASAP
  • Fine Arts and Music Collection
  • Gale Ebooks
  • Gale OneFile News
  • Gardening and Horticulture Collection
  • Gender Studies Collection
  • General Reference Center Gold
  • General Science Collection
  • GREENR
  • Home Improvement Collection
  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Leisure Collection
  • Information Science and Library Issues Collection
  • Insurance and Liability Collection
  • Literature Resource Center
  • Military and Intelligence Database
  • Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Collection
  • Pop Culture Studies Collection
  • Psychology Collection
  • Religion and Philosophy Collection
  • Science in Context
  • Vocations and Careers Collection
  • War and Terrorism Collection
  • World History Collection
  • the ability to "Download MP3" files of some content is also available

 

Other

  • Career Cruising: Text reading is only available with some of the “Interviews” content for a given career.
  • Curio.ca: Closed-captioning is available on very few of the clips, programs, and documentaries. Transcripts do not seem to be available at all.
  • Destination Development Association Resource Center: Closed-captioning and transcripts are not available at all.
  • Films on Demand: If a title has a "Transcript" tab, you may read along with the transcript while the film plays, but you may also click any point in the transcript text and you will be taken to that point in the film. Closed-captioning is also available for most titles. From their FAQs, 3 Sept. 2014: "All new titles that can be captioned will be processed for captioning. However, there are a few exceptions. Captions for foreign language titles are not currently supported and some archival titles may not have captions due to their audio quality. In addition, titles with no audio, no spoken words, or only music audio will not have captions available either. Newly added titles have a captioning delay of a 1-2 weeks, but Closed Captioning will be visible as soon as it is available for a specific title." As this database does not offer simultaneous full-screen viewing with transcript reading, turning closed-captioning on can still allow for viewing and reading if you are in full-screen mode.
  • Kanopy: Closed-captioning and transcripts are available for less than half of the content, but this database offers users the ability to request that Kanopy pursue closed-captioning with film producers.
  • LinkedIn Learning: Closed-captioning and read-along transcripts are available for most content.
  • McNabb Connolly Streaming Video Collection: Closed-captioning is available for most content. There are no transcripts with their films.
  • NFB.ca: Closed-captioning is available for a small amount of content only, as is described video for the visually impaired on some titles. There are no transcripts with their films.

WITHOUT Text Reading Functionality Built-In (last updated 17 September 2019)

EBSCO:

  • EBSCO E-Book and Audiobook Collection (the text of audiobooks is not available, and the entire e-book Collection is PDF only so there is no text reading of it at all)
  • LISTA (index database; audio reading of citations not available)
  • NoveList (index database; audio reading of book descriptions not available)
  • SMART Imagebase (image database; reading of image descriptions not available, nor is there closed-captioning for the database's "Narrated Animations")

 

Gale/Cengage:

  • Chilton Auto Repair
  • Health and Wellness Resource Center
  • Short Story Criticism (Literature Criticism Online is all PDF so there is no text reading at all)

 

Knotia

  • CARL Plus
  • CPA Canada Handbook

 

Library of Congress

  • Cataloger’s Desktop
  • Classification Web

 

ProQuest:

None of the ProQuest databases have text reading functionality, even with HTML content:

  • ABI/INFORM Global
  • Advanced Technologies & Aerospace Database
  • Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database
  • Canadian Major Dailies
  • CultureGrams
  • Ebook Central
  • Entrepreneurship Database
  • Nursing and Allied Health Database
  • PsycARTICLES

 

Thomson Reuters (includes Canada Law Book and Carswell/Westlaw):

None of their databases have text reading functionality, even with HTML content:

  • BestCase
  • LawSource
  • O’Brien’s Encyclopedia of Forms

 

Other e-resources without text reading functionality:

  • ACM Digital Library
  • AdForum
  • ASTM Standards
  • AtoZ World Business
  • Books in Print: Global Edition
  • Britannica Online
  • British Pharmacopoeia Online
  • Canada's Information Resource Centre
  • Canadian Business Resource (CBR): Blue Book of Canadian Business
  • Canadian Encyclopedia Online
  • CARDonline Lite
  • CCOHS Web Information Service
  • Contact Canada Life Science Search Engine
  • CRC ENGnetBASE
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
  • desLibris
  • Engineering Case Studies Online
  • Europa World
  • Gartner
  • HighWire Press (a portal to a number of third-party sources, most of which have no audio)
  • HRdownloads.com
  • IEEE (ASPP and POP) (all content is PDF, therefore no audio)
  • JSTOR
  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw
  • MarketLine Advantage
  • Media Names and Numbers
  • Merck Index
  • Migra’s Canadian Export Guide
  • Mintel Reports
  • National Academies Press
  • Nexis Uni
  • NFPA Codes Online
  • NRC Research Press
  • Ovid (all full-text is PDF, therefore no audio)
  • Oxford Art Online
  • Oxford Reference Online
  • Parliamentary Names and Numbers
  • Passport GMID
  • Peclers Online
  • Pop Culture Universe
  • QP Briefing
  • Safari Books Online
  • SAGE Journals
  • ScienceDirect
  • Scott’s Directories - National Business
  • Skillsoft Books
  • Statista
  • STP Online
  • Taylor & Francis Online
  • Travel42
  • Ulrichsweb
  • UpToDate
  • USP-NF
  • WARC (World Advertising Research Center)
  • WGSN
  • Wiley Online Library Journals
  • WindowsWear PRO

A note about free databases/e-resources:

Unlike the major aggregator vendors -- Gale, EBSCO, etc. -- that may or may not build such audio functionality right into their platforms, free e-resources and free e-journals tend to be from smaller publishers that often don't have the resources to add it to their platforms or interfaces. The only way to find out is to go into a given free e-resource's platform, do some searching, and see if audio playback is there. This was not done for this page.