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Hobbled online reference.
on February 25, 2014
Elsevier, in collaboration with Inkling, has crippled online access to this reference. Until February, 2014, Elsevier's ExpertConsultBook online reference books have been fantastic - easy to navigate, intuitive to search across your titles, and efficient to use. Elsevier has shut that down and replaced it with Inkling's clumsy e-book reader. Easy to read. Not easy to use as online reference to find answers to particular diagnostic problems.
With ExpertConsult/Inkling you can no longer search across your purchased books at one go. You have to open and search within each book individually. Open your online book and you get three columns: a navigation column with list of chapters, a reading column, and a notes column (wasting valuable screen space). You have to click the search icon to get a text entry box. Search results are then replace the index in the navigation column, 10 at a time, 4-5 visible on a typical computer screen. To review your search results you have to scroll down through the first 10, then click next, then scroll down through the next 10, then click next, ten at a time. The contexts of individual search results are obscure. It shows a little text where your search term appears, but not which chapter or section it is in. Figures (often lots of them) are included in your results list. Individual search results are headed with figure numbers (not captions, not chapter or section heading) or sub-section titles. Even in the reading pane you can't see chapter and section titles, so you don't know what part of the book you're in. You are limited to linear access through the book - with links to previous and next sections at the top and bottom of the reading pane. To get to the next sub-section you have to scroll down to the bottom of the current sub-section. In order to navigate the index to different chapters or sections you have to exit your search results to get back the index pane.