A Review of LWW Health Library: Exercise Science and ACSM Certification Suite
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Camille McCutcheon, MA, MLIS
Coordinator of Collection Management and Administrative Services
University of South Carolina Upstate Library


The Exercise Science Collection and ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Certification Suite were released in September 2018 as part of the LWW Health Library. LWW serves as ACSM’s primary publishing partner.

The Exercise Science Collection consists of 18 books, 3,600 downloadable images, 100 videos, and over 2,400 multiple-choice self-assessment questions with explanations and chapter remediation. There are nine ACSM titles in the collection, including ACSM’s Introduction to Exercise Science, 3rd edition; ACSM’s Foundations of Strength Training and Conditioning; and Lifelong Motor Development, 7th edition. The ACSM Certification Suiteconsists of seven ACSM titles, 700 downloadable images, 180 videos, 17 case studies, and over 1,600 multiple-choice self-assessment questions and explanations. In order to access the self-assessments of both collections, users must create a free personal account. This collection features titles such as ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer, 5th edition; ACSM’s Certification Review, 5th edition; and ACSM’s Sports Medicine: A Comprehensive Review. The only titles shared by both collections are ACSM’s Health-Related Physical Fitness Assessment Manual, 5th edition, and ACSM’s Exercise Testing and Prescription.

These collections are intended for undergraduate exercise science students. Although there is overlapping content with athletic training, the collections are not geared toward students in athletic training programs. The Exercise Science collection contains theoretical knowledge, such as exercise physiology, biomechanics, sports psychology, and motor control, which is covered in the exercise science undergraduate curriculum. The ACSM Certification Suite offers content that will assist students in preparing to take the ACSM certification examination.


The Exercise Science and ACSM Certification Suite collections share a landing page and can be searched either separately or together. They are relatively easy to search, and there are several filters that can be useful for narrowing results. Users can search the collections using the basic search box or the advanced search mode. Results from a basic search can be filtered by subject, content, media, text, and tags. Users can use the advanced search mode in a variety of ways. They can search for any word or for all words or for an exact phrase; they can search the contents of one or more books; and they can search by author or by subject. The subject search is confusing. There is a list of subjects below the subject search box. Users must click the corresponding radio button next to a subject and then type a term in the subject search box, but there are no directions. There is also a browse feature. Users can browse by the following content types: texts, video, cases, or self-assessment.

Like other LWW Health Library collections, LWW Health Library: Exercise Science and ACSM Certification Suite is mounted on the Silverchair platform. Additional Wolters Kluwer resources on this platform are Acland’s Video Atlas of Human Anatomy, Bates’ Visual Guide to Physical Examination, and 5Minute Consult™. Lippincott Discovery is a web portal that allows users to search across LWW Health Library collections and these other resources. Libraries must subscribe to these Wolters Kluwer resources in order to access them through Lippincott Discovery. The Lippincott Discovery button is located at the top of every page in the LWW Health Library: Exercise Science and ACSM Certification Suite. Once users click the button, they will be directed to the Lippincott Discovery landing page.

The LWW Health Library: Exercise Science and ACSM Certification Suite contains many outstanding features. For example, all content is optimized for mobile, tablet, and desktop usage. Next, new or subsequent editions of titles are added as they are published. Previous editions are archived but will not appear in the search results. Links to the previous editions are permanent and stable. In addition, classroom faculty can receive login credentials to access thePoint, a web site that has instructor materials such as PowerPoint presentations, assessments, and test generators. Moreover, when users create personal accounts, they can bookmark books, chapters, figures, and tables within the collections. Finally, at the bottom of every page, there is a “User Central” link, which contains useful information about theLWW Health Library collections for librarians. Here, fact sheets, title lists, and MARC records are available for the LWW Health Library: Exercise Science and ACSM Certification Suite. The MARC records can be downloaded so that titles in the collections may be added to the library catalog and to a library’s discovery system.

There are several improvements and additions that could be made to the Exercise Science Collection and ACSM Certification Suite to enrich the overall user experience. First, it would be helpful if navigation between pages in the collections was enhanced. For instance, if a user is viewing the results of a search and accesses one of the titles in the results list, the only option to return to the results list is to use the back button on the web browser. Second, not all Boolean operators are supported. Users can conduct searches with the Boolean operators “AND” and “OR” by typing these operators in either all capital or lowercase letters. However, the Boolean operator “NOT” must be typed using all capital letters in order to conduct a successful search. Third, users must create personal accounts in order to save LWW Health Library book chapters as PDF documents. This feature should be available to users without having to create or login to a personal account. Lastly, adding a “Help” section that includes search tips as well as a guide for citing resources would be beneficial for users.

Business Model

The LWW Health Library: Exercise Science and ACSM Certification Suiteis licensed to institutions and is most suitable for colleges and universities that have undergraduate exercise science programs. Subscriptions are not sold to individuals. TheExercise Science Collectionand the ACSM Certification Suite can be purchased together or separately. Annual subscriptions are available for unlimited sitewide access. Multiyear agreements for three or five years are also available. Department-only access is available upon request. Sitewide licenses are based on FTE, and department-only access is based on the number of exercise science students. Librarians should contact their Ovid representatives for pricing information.

User access to these collections is authenticated by methods such as IP address, OpenAthens, Shibboleth, referring URL, and a username and password (individual users). Usage data is accessible through an institutional administrator dashboard with the standard COUNTER 4 and COUNTER 5 reports. Various usage reports for a specified date range are available, including the number of successful title requests by month and title; the number of successful section requests by month and title; and access denied to content items by month, title, and category.


The LWW Health Library: Exercise Science and ACSM Certification Suite would be a solid acquisition for libraries that support undergraduate exercise science programs. Neither the collections’ ebooks nor its supplemental materials, such as videos, case studies, and self-assessment questions, are readily available elsewhere for libraries to purchase. Exercise science students would benefit from having access to these collections since they can be searched or browsed relatively easily and contain rich content provided by the ACSM. I strongly recommend these collections to institutions with undergraduate exercise science programs.

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