Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Database: Science Reference Center

We have recently added a new database available on the familiar EbscoHost platform. The database is called Science Reference Center and it is good, basic, largely full-text database for science topics.

Because Science Reference Center is a broad audience science database, meant to serve high schoolers as well as college users, it is sometimes too basic. That is, it does not have the same depth of coverage as a good University-oriented database like Academic Search Complete. Nor does it provide the kind of specialized science journals that you might find in a subject-specific academic database like BioOne. Science majors doing advanced topics will find these higher level databases to be a better option for their research.

However, sometimes a student in anything from an English to a Communications to a Sociology class might need to get quick access to an assortment of good articles on a science or medical subject without sorting through the multi-subject false drops in a general academic database, or pulling up the more esoteric and overly-scholarly articles in a higher-level science database. These students will be well served by Science Reference Center.

For example, if I do a search for breast cancer, I get a variety of results:

These include good basic news journals like "Science News," but also recognizable academic journals like the "American Journal of Public Health"--both available full-text. And because this is an Ebsco database, there are familiar functions like narrowing by subject heading (in the left frame), or limiting to peer-reviewed journals from the opening search screen check-box.

I you need just a few quick articles on a topic related to medicine or the sciences, Science Reference Center can be a useful tool.

[FIND Science Reference Center on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "Sciences" category.]

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Notable E-Book: Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology

I have extolled the virtues of electronic reference books before. They are easy to search and easy to access from anywhere you have an internet connection and a valid, current Suffolk ID number. But there is sometimes another key advantage to electronic reference sets, and that is that publishers often don't just close out the content with the publication of the print version. They actually continue to revise, update, and add fresh content. This kind of continuing effort does not occur with all eReference, but it is the case in our latest Notable E-Book, the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology.

This current (2007) encyclopedia is based on a companion print resource of some 11 volumes. Our electronic version has all of the over 1800 entries in the paper set, but also includes regular updates--there have been two so far --of new and revised entries and other features. I've just received notice that 20 new entries have been added. These include Adoption, Biosociology, Global Warming, Practice Theory, Sweatshops, as well as several biographical entries on famous figures like Kant and Darwin.

Blackwell, a respected publisher, says of the encylopedia: "This ground-breaking project brings together specially commissioned entries written and edited by an international team of the world's best scholars and teachers. Published simultaneously in print and online, it contains...clear, concise, expert definitions and explanations of the key concepts, entries ranging from short definitions of key terms to extended explorations of major topics, both classical sociology and contemporary developments in the field, and introductions to sociological theories and research that have developed outside of the United States and Western Europe. "

The online version is not particularly elegant in design, but it is serviceable. Search for key words in the search box in the upper right of the screen, or browse the Table of Contents by alphabetical entries using the links in the left frame.

When you are looking for quick overviews or definitions of sociological theories and topics, this extensive electronic encyclopedia might well be worth consulting.

[FIND the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology the same way you would any other book, checking the title in our Online Catalog.]

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Notable E-Book: Barrier: the Seam of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Barrier [electronic resource] : the seam of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict / Isabel Kershner
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2005

This is an outstanding online title available to Suffolk University students, faculty, and staff. Isabel Kershner describes the effects of the controversial barrier erected by Israel between itself and Occupied Palestine. She does so by interviewing both Israelis and Palestinians who are continually impacted by this tragic necessity. The book is not so much about the physical structure of concrete and wire but about the humanity caught in "the seam" and about those who created the barrier. The views of academics, military planners, and 'martyrs' are presented and in the process, the reader gains an understanding of the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This title is an ebrary online book, available only to those affiliated with Suffolk University. To access the content from off-campus, a Suffolk University ID number is required. If the user is off-campus, go to "ebrary" in "List of Databases" and download the ebrary reader and/or view brief training videos.

[Find Barrier : the seam of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by searching the title in the Suffolk University catalog. This title may be found also by choosing "Databases by Subject"-"E-books"-"ebrary."]