Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Database: SourceOECD

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international grouping of 30 member countries "sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries and economies, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach. Best known for its publications and its statistics, its work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, development and science and innovation."

SourceOECD is an online portal that delivers the OECD thousands of publications and data sources online. The resource includes access to OECD books and periodicals in PDF format, as well as interactive access to OECD statistical databases in which data can be selected and downloaded as MS Excel™ (.xls) or Comma-delimited text (csv) files.

SourceOECD is an open access portal. But the great majority of web-based materials on their servers are only available to institutional subscribers like the Sawyer Library. It's the difference between seeing a (indicating allowed access), or a (indicating you will not be allowed to access particular content) when you find a useful material. So, although you can hit SourceOECD from anywhere on the web, make sure that you access it from the Sawyer Library's proxyized links which we maintain on our database lists and guides. That way, all current faculty and students will be able to make full use of all the many sources of country and regional information related to social issues, economics, and global markets available here.

The homepage of the database includes links to new materials on the main body of the page. Also keep an eye out for the links in the left frame to "OUR TOP 12 MOST FREQUENTLY USED SERVICES." In the colorful top border, you will find tabs that bring users to the main sections of the the site, which include Books, Periodicals, Statistics, At a Glance, Working Papers, and Reference resources. When in doubt you can also just search for the country or topic you are interested in using the search box right below the top border.

[FIND SourceOECD on our "Databases by Subject" List in three categories: "Business and Management," "Social Sciences," and also "General Resources." ]

Thursday, January 25, 2007

New Database: S&P Global Industry Reports

When is a new database NOT a new database? When it's a new research module that has been purchased by the Library and then integrated into an existing database.

A case in point is the Global Industry Surveys, a new addition to our S&P NetAdvantage database.

As many business researchers here at Suffolk know, Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys are the crown jewels of research information coming from S&P. They are lengthy reports that provide overview and analysis, as well as comparative company analysis on major industries. The problem was that, until now, these covered only U.S. industries. But take heart International Business researchers! That has changed with the introduction of the Global Industry Surveys.

Global Industry Surveys provides industry analysis focusing on the Asian and European regions. S&P now has 54 additional industry studies, in addition to their current 52 North American Industry Survey studies. For instance, they now cover Biotechnology in Asia, Europe and North America in 3 different reports. The global studies are being updated twice annually (similar to the 52 North American Industry Surveys) and delivered only thru the NetAdvantage platform.

Unfortunately, there is no link to the Global Industry Surveys on the busy opening page of S&P NetAdvantage. (Although you can do a quick jump to the U.S. Industry Surveys, as well as handy publications like Company Profiles and the famous investment analysis newsletter, The Outlook, from links and search boxes on the right side of this opening screen.)

To find the Global Industry Surveys, look for the "Industries" button in the top blue banner:

Below the box for selecting U.S. Industry Surveys, is the area for Global Industry Surveys. The top box in this section allows you to change the default option of Asia to Europe (or to the very limited but growing Latin America reports). After selecting your region, you can open the Industry selection box and choose from those available.

Standard & Poors should be building on this content as time passes, and we will acquire any reports as they become available.

[FIND S&P NetAdvantage on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "Business and Management" category.]

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Link of the Week: MedlinePlus

Everyone has health issues. And we often want quick and reliable information on the web for our own health concerns, or those that relate to family and friends. One good portal for general web information in the area of medicine and health is MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health.

The site describes itself this way: "MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. Preformulated MEDLINE searches are included in MedlinePlus and give easy access to medical journal articles. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news."

On most secondary pages, there will be tabs under the main banner that allow you to quickly jump to a variety of site areas including an Encyclopedia of (over 4000) basic health entries, and a Merriam Webster medical Dictionary. I find the extensive Health Topics presentation especially handy. And this website covers public health topics beyond classical medical conditions, too. To show the variety of subject areas and linked sites at MedicinePlus, take a look at their "Health Topics" page on Domestic Violence.

MedlinePlus can certainly be a useful source for "consumer" health information. But if you are researching a paper, don't forget that your teacher probably wants you to use scholarly (peer-reviewed) journal literature. Browse our database lists for these high-quality electronic indexes to journals, which often also provide full-text access to cited articles. The most appropriate database would vary according to your exact topic and the type of class you are doing research for.

Academic Search Premier is our best general academic database, covering major journals in everything from medicine to sociology. But we also have databases that look specifically at medicine. These include Health Reference Center Academic, Health Source--Consumer Edition, an Ebsco-produced version of Medline (the National Library Medicine's online journal index), a Stanford-based public-access biomedical database called HighWire, and several others.

Remember: When in doubt, ask a reference librarian for suggestions on the online tool that will best suit your research needs!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Database Use Tip: Browse the Wall Street Journal by Date and Page Number

The Wall Street Journal, offered in full-text from 1984 to the present through Proquest and available to current Suffolk University students and faculty, has the unique ability of allowing users to browse by date and page number.

From the opening search screen, choose the ‘Publications’ tab:

Then click on:

You will see the individual issues listed in reverse chronological order. Choose an issue, and the articles will be listed in alphabetical order by title. The articles may also be viewed in page number order by changing the drop down box:

So, the next time you see an interesting article on the front of the WSJ, but you don’t have the time to stop and read it, and you find later that you’ve forgotten both the title and the date of the article, then this is a way to browse the paper as if you had it in hand.

Those of us who still prefer to look at the paper in print can find the most recent weeks on level 3 of the Sawyer Library.

[FIND the Wall Street Journal on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "Business and Management" category.]

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Link of the Week: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, our first "Link of the Week" is to Dr. King's Papers Project at Stanford University.

"The King Papers Project is a major research effort to assemble and disseminate historical information concerning Martin Luther King, Jr. and the social movements in which he participated.

Initiated by the Atlanta-based The King Center, the King Papers Project is one of only a few large-scale research ventures focusing on an African American. In 1985 the King Center's founder and president Coretta Scott King invited Stanford University historian Clayborne Carson to become the Project's director and senior editor. As a result of Dr. Carson's selection, the Project became a cooperative venture of Stanford University, the King Center, and the King Estate.

The King Papers Project's principal mission is to publish a definitive fourteen-volume edition of King's most significant correspondence, sermons, speeches, published writings, and unpublished manuscripts. The published volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., have already influenced scholarship and become essential reference works. Building upon this research foundation, the Project also engages in other related educational activities. Using multimedia and computer technology to reach diverse audiences, it has greatly increased the documentary information about King's ideas and achievements that is available to popular as well as scholarly audiences."

Among the resources at the website are a short biography of Dr. King, a King Encyclopedia, a few Audio Files, and an Inventory of Papers that usually either links to the material, or identifies where it is published or housed.

Want the text to his most famous "I Have a Dream" speech? Yes, you can link to that here.

This is a very worthwhile resource for King studies, and for documents in the history of the civil rights movement.

One additional note: Sawyer Library does own the ongoing book series that represents the Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. as well.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Database Use Tip: Using the Online Catalog to Search for Videos

Yes, Virginia. The Sawyer Library DOES own videos. While not a large collection, we do have a small assortment of VHS and DVD videos that correspond to curriculum needs here at Suffolk. We will not have the latest Hollywood blockbusters. And with our limited budget and space for videos, we do not even attempt to collect the types of movies you are likely to find in your local video store. Our collection is mostly documentaries, course support selections, or adaptations of literary works (like BBC productions of Shakespeare plays) that might help a student understand what they are reading in class.

But how do you FIND if the library owns a video on a particular subject? The best way is to use the Library Catalog, which is sometimes referred to as the OPAC, or by its name, "Archer."

First, do a Keyword Search on a word or phrase that relates to the topic you are interested in.

For example, if we do a keyword search for ancient rome, we'll get over 100 hits, but these are almost entirely books and e-books. But when we look at the top of the screen (as seen below), we note that there is a blue button that allows us to "Modify Search."

If we click that option, we can "Limit" our search to a particular "Material Type," in this case, a VIDEO,

We would then click the blue "Submit" button, and we would have one result, a 4-part DVD set on the History of Ancient Rome, produced in 2003.

Use this same "limiting" technique to find, say, only e-books on a particular topic. And you can also limit your results by date, language, or in various other ways. Just use such methods sparingly, as you might eliminate search results you are actually interested in!

Videos can be checked out, or used in the library in one of the VHS/DVD players in the group study rooms.

[FIND the Library's online catalog on several locations on our webpages. It is the top option under "SEARCH FOR BOOKS E-BOOKS & JOURNALS" on the upper left of the library homepage. On the upper right of the homepage there is also a quick search box for the catalog.]

New E-Book: Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Steven Rogelberg, Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference, 2007. 2 vols.

The Sawyer Library maintains extensive e-book holdings in the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), and one of the many outstanding titles found in GVRL is the Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. This searchable two-volume set offers an overview of the field of industrial and organizational psychology for students and researchers in the disciplines of psychology, business, and human resources.

Topics covered include virtual teams, cyberloafing, outsourcing, mentoring, and labor law. Key subjects described include research methods, leadership, professional organizations, training, motivation, staffing, ethics, and much more.

[FIND Gale Virtual Reference in our “Databases by Subject” List in the E-Books category; or, search the title, Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, in the Suffolk University Online Catalog and click on Gale Virtual Reference Library.]

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Database: Oxford African American Studies Center

With Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month coming up, we want to make sure that library users know about a new database we've added: Oxford African American Studies Center (OAASC).

OAASC provides fulltext access to scores of publications from Oxford University Press relating to African American studies. Here's what the database says about itself:

"The core content includes the highly acclaimed Africana, which presents a powerful account of the African and African American experience in five volumes. The new Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 documents the full range of the African American experience from the arrival of the black explorer, Esteban, who arrived with the Spanish in 1527, to the death of Frederick Douglass. A forthcoming companion set, the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present, offers the most extensive treatment of African American history into the twenty-first century and will be available online in late 2006. Bringing the contribution of African American women to the fore is the fascinating three-volume Black Women in America, Second Edition, edited by Darlene Clark Hine. And finally, the much-anticipated African American National Biography presents African American history through the lives of its people, ultimately offering over 6,000 biographies. At launch, the site will include hundreds of biographies from this project with new entries added as part of the regular update program.

In addition to these core reference works, the Center draws on other key resources from Oxford's reference program, including the Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature and selected articles from other major reference titles. Over 1,000 images, primary sources with specially written commentaries, and over 100 maps have been collected to enhance this reference content. And over 100 charts and tables offer information on everything from demographics to government and politics to business and labor to education and the arts."

So, if your research interest relates to the lives, history and culture of African Americans, be sure to do a bit of browsing or searching in Oxford African American Studies Center.

[FIND Oxford African American Studies Center on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "Social Sciences" category.]

New Database: NoodleBib via NoodleTools

Are you sick and tired of searching through the MLA Handbook or the APA Publication Manual, in order to discover the mysterious proper citation method for your most excellent research paper? Do you spend hours attempting to complete this tedious task? The Library now offers a solution to this chore. When creating an MLA works cited list or an APA reference list, NoodleBib guides the student through the steps needed to produce proper bibliographies.

After selecting a citation type, MLA Advanced or APA Advanced (never use MLA Starter), the software provides field-by-field assistance for every citation element. This, of course, includes all manner of online and Web sources. The student keeps his or her various bibliographies in a “Personal Folder,” which can be shared with others, if the student wishes. Contents of bibliographies are automatically generated in alphabetical order.

In addition, NoodleTools offers NoodleBib notecards or “e-index cards,” which allow the student to pull out, organize, and integrate research information. Notes may be linked to sources and/or created separately as independent ideas and then organized within the “Personal Folder.”

When logging into NoodleBib for the first time, identify yourself as a student, and create a personal ID and password.

[FIND NoodleBib via NoodleTools on our “Databases by Subject” List in the “General Resources” category]

New Database: CQ Press Political Reference Suite

Have you ever used CQ (Congressional Quarterly)'s excellent online annual set of major U.S. primary documents, Historic Documents? If so, you might be wondering what happened...as our Social Sciences Database List no longer includes a link to CQ Historic Documents. Do not fear, my friends, we haven't canceled our Historic Documents subscription. We've simply expanded our subscription to include several other worthwhile CQ products under the new name CQ Press Political Reference Suite.

CQ Press Political Reference Suite includes our old friend, Historic Documents Series, which is described as "key documents and analysis--updated yearly since 1972." It also includes Congress and the Nation, described as "the definitive source for actions of the U.S. Congress from 1945-2004," Political Handbook of the World, described as "the most authoritative resource for political information on more than 200 countries," Politics in America, described as "lively, unbiased profiles and assessments of every member of Congress," Supreme Court Yearbook, described as "essential coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court - updated yearly since 1989," as well as the basic directory, Washington Information Directory, described as "the essential guide to key contacts at government agencies and national organizations."

Many of the titles included in the CQ Press Political Reference Suite are ones that we have previously purchased as physical reference volumes--and massive, heavy ones, at that. But now these books and resources will be available 24/7 to any current member of the Suffolk student and faculty community. The other advantage, of course, is that you can search across all the content of the suite at once, if you are interested in a particular topic. For example, if I search Roe v. Wade in the opening screen search box, I get almost 150 items from various reference works that mention that landmark case, and touch on the issue of abortion and reproductive rights.

We hope the flexibility and ease-of-use of CQ Press Political Reference Suite will make it a popular tool for Government researchers, as well as those looking for documents and discussion of a wide variety of "hot button" public policy issues.

And don't forget that we also have two other useful CQ databases that represent current issues and deep backfile for two essential CQ periodicals. Those databases are CQ Weekly Online and CQ Researcher, the latter of which is also an essential resource for those hotly-debated public policy issues!

[FIND CQ Press Political Reference Suite and its two CQ relatives on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "Social Sciences" category.]

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Database Use Tip: Hidden Treasure in General BusinessFile ASAP

InfoTrac's General BusinessFile ASAP isn't at the top of our Business Database List for good reason; it just doesn't have as much (or as high a quality of) fulltext as our Business Source Premier database from Ebsco. However, there are some very nice features and content to General BusinessFile. Unfortunately, they are tucked away in the ADVANCED SEARCH screen.

Next time you visit General BusinessFile ASAP, take the time to click the "Advanced search" option in the blue left-hand frame. You will find more detailed search box options on the Advanced Search page. More importantly, look for the links at the bottom of the page.

The Advanced Search page, gives you the option to:

Search another component: [Company ProFiles ] [SIC Description ] [Investext ]

These three components can come in very handy.

The first, Company ProFiles, allows you to search for a company by name, and get a nice simple summary. In addition, to the right of the name and address, you will be given the option of pulling up articles on that company specific to "Earnings, " "Strategic Ventures," and several other categories.

SIC Description, the second Advanced Search component, allows you to search for appropriate Standard Industrial Classification code descriptions (major industry categories). Search by keyword, SIC term, or the numerical SIC code. When you click on a specific SIC code offered in your search results, you can read a description of that industry, with listings of sub-categories included. You also can look to the right of the page for links to profiles of companies in that industry, or articles about that industry.

The last Advanced Search component is real hidden treasure. Here you will find Investext investment house reports on companies and industries. These are issued by companies like William Blair & Company, A.G. Edwards & Sons, Needham & Company, Prudential Equity Group, CIBC World Markets Corp., and Institutional Shareholder Services. These provide facts, financials, and professional analysis on a company and its stock, or on a general investment industry sector.

Remember to explore this "under the radar" content the next time you access General BusinessFile ASAP.

[FIND General BusinessFile ASAP on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "Business and Management" category, as well as listed within the Thomson Common Menu (InfoTrac) masterlist in our "General Resources" section.]

New Database: Cambridge Collections Online

Are you familiar with the valuable series of books called the "Cambridge Companions," published by the Cambridge University Press? Well, the rich research content of many of these books--some 225 at the time I write this--are available through the new ebook database, Cambridge Collections Online. Currently, there is one main collection, The Complete Cambridge Companions, and two sub-collections comprising the Cambridge Companions in Literature and Classics and the Cambridge Companions in Philosophy, Religion and Culture. Each collection is updated with new Companions upon publication.

Individual book titles can cover a broad subject or represent a detailed research guide to a specific author. For example, recent additions include The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Literary Theory and The Cambridge Companion to Keynes .

It's likely that you will use Cambridge Collections Online by simply typing in an author name or research phrase in the yellow search box on the opening screen, and then browse through the results. You can also click on a particular collection--like The Cambridge Companions to Literature and Classics--on the opening page, and browse through the many book titles in that group.

One warning: the search results give you only a little bit of information (like section/chapter and book title). You'll want to explore any promising hit by clicking on the chapter link and then looking below the introductory paragraph on the resulting page for a further link to the "Chapter Content" in PDF form. This will open the chapter in a new window in a form that looks just like the original book. Read or print this content for your research.

This is excellent quality research material, especially in areas of literary research, and classical, philosophy and religion studies. And, like all of our databases, it is available 24/7 via the internet to any current student or faculty at Suffolk. We hope you'll find it useful!

[FIND Cambridge Collections Online on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "Literature, Arts and Humanities" category, as well as in the "E-Books" section.]

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


Welcome to the Mildred F. Sawyer Library blog. The Reference Librarians started this with the goal of improving communication with the Suffolk University community. We will provide information on library databases and other electronic resources, hints for conducting research, new library acquisitions, library events, and more.

We seek your feedback. Please leave comments beneath any entry. We are excited about this project and look forward to your comments and suggestions.