Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Database: Education Research Complete

Sawyer Library is happy to have recently added a high-quality database of educational literature called Education Research Complete (ERC). Delivered via our familiar EBSCOHost platform, this proprietary database from Ebsco is the most wide-ranging database available for the discipline.

Here's how the publisher describes it: "Education Research Complete is the definitive online resource for education research. This massive file offers the world's largest and most complete collection of full text education journals. It is a bibliographic and full text database covering scholarly research and information relating to all areas of education. Topics covered include all levels of education from early childhood to higher education, and all educational specialties, such as multilingual education, health education, and testing.

Education Research Complete also covers areas of curriculum instruction as well as administration, policy, funding, and related social issues. The database provides indexing and abstracts for more than 1,870 journals, as well as full text for more than 1,060 journals. This database also includes full text for 133 books and monographs, and full text for numerous education-related conference papers. "

You might think "I'm not an education major, so this database has nothing to do with me." But many of the topics that Suffolk students (who've never taken an education course) write reports or prepare speeches about do, in fact, relate to education in some way. Topics like school violence, local property taxes, uniforms and dress codes, assessment in higher education, self-esteem issues affecting the young, financial aid for college students and scores of other topics could be found in this database.

If I were interested in girls bullying each other in school, I might start with a search for girls and bullying.

I end up with over 200 possible sources to utilize.

Although many journals, chapters, papers and documents are available full-text in ERC, not everything (especially the most recent articles) will appear with a PDF or HTML symbol underneath the citation. But if that is the case, don't forget to click the 360 (green dot) or other links that will likely be presented. These might well link you to the article you want in another electronic file.

As is always the case with an EBSCOHost database, I could limit the 242 articles I find on girls and bullying by clicking one of the subject headings in the left frame (like Bullying in Schools), or I could limit to Academic Journals in the left frame, or perform the same limit by checking the box for Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals in the right frame, and then updating my results. Do this type of limit if the teacher ever tells you that the articles you use must be scholarly, and cannot come from secondary materials like magazines and newspapers.

We hope that this database will be the go-to file for any of our students and faculty researching anything related to education.

[FIND Education Research Complete on our "Databases by Subject" List on the second column of our "Social Sciences" list.]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Library Systems Alert: Server Replacement, May 27th, 2009

Time of Latest Update: 11:25 am

Status: All Library Systems Are Back Up on the New Server. Our testing indicates we are back to normal. Please advise if you have any issues with the Online Catalog or Database Access. And thank you for your patience!

As we previously warned through the University Email, Library News, and this blog: The Suffolk University Libraries are replacing our systems server TODAY, May 27th.

This process will NOT affect any other University web services (like Blackboard or email). This will ONLY affect library functions. During the server switch library users will not be able to access library databases OFF-campus through the proxy. Nor will they be able to access the online catalog or their circulation records online.

We hope this process will not take too long and we apologize for any inconvenience. And we will try to update this page with information, as we learn it.

For most of our users, the most practical approach to this outage of service is to simply avoid doing research during this time period. However, for those who wish to pursue a "work-around" during the down time, here are a few detailed notes on two major library research functions.


We are sorry, but OFF-campus use of databases is not possible during the server replacement. However ON-Campus, our databases can operate through IP recognition. But you cannot go through the proxy server for access. So, you will need to capture the shortcut and remove the proxy parts of the URL.

First, go to our database list as you normally would, but instead of left-clicking on the name of the database you want, right-click on it and on the box options that display, choose to "copy shortcut." Then paste this shortcut in, say, Notepad (or directly into your browser address bar, if you are very comfortable with web manipulations)

For Academic Search Complete, the shortcut we copy would look like this:,uid&profile=asp

To make the database recognize our IP WITHOUT going through the proxy server we would remove the bolded parts (a leading 0- and the from the first part of the address) :,uid&profile=asp

which leaves us with a URL that reads,uid&profile=asp

If I copy and paste this stripped-down URL into my browser address bar and hit enter, the database will pick up on my valip IP address (if I am ON CAMPUS) and allow me into the database.

If you are here at the Suffolk Boston campus, you can de-proxyize any of our database links and you should be able to get at the database. But, again, this will unfortunately NOT work if youare at a non-Suffolk (Boston Campus) location.


Here is an alternative to our Archer Online Catalog (OPAC):

Go to

On campus, WorldCat will pick up our Suffolk IP and will enter a 02108 "location" and indicate on the search results pages that "You are connected to the Sawyer Library network." If this does not happen, you can "enter your location" by zip code when you see the appropriate box. For Suffolk, enter 02108.

When you search for an item, the links to libraries will appear below the book information. With a 02108 zip, Suffolk will come up first if we own the book. However, you will not be able to click on "Sawyer Library" to get the call number (since the server is down and the OPAC is non-operational). Therefore, if you wanted to try to find the book in our stacks, try clicking on the next library listed and look for a call number.

For example, I search for Panic : the story of modern financial insanity

and click on the book in results list. I see that Sawyer Library owns the book, but I cannot click into our OPAC by clicking on the Sawyer Library link, so I click on Boston Public Library (BPL), the entry below Sawyer, instead.

I see that BPL owns the book--although all of their copies are checked out or on hold. I also see that they assigned the book the call number of HB3722.P36 2009, which happens to be the same Library of Congress (LC) call number our copy was given. (The fact is that most academic and large public libraries will assign the same LC call number to a book.)

With that call number and the knowledge that Sawyer owns the book, I should be able to find it in our 4th floor stacks. (With one caveat: If the book is checked out or at a secondary location like "New Books" or "Reserve", it would not be on the normal stack shelves.)

NOTE: WorldCat might try to get you to create an account and sign in to create a bibliography, but you do not need to do this to use the service.

If you do not wish to "wait out" the server change, give these work-around techniques a try. And if you need additional assistance, please come and see us at the reference desk. Although we will also be inconvenienced and frustrated by this systems outage, we will try our best (as we always to) to provide research assistance to Suffolk researchers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Database: Public Administration Abstracts

Public Management is an active field of study here at Suffolk. But until now, student and faculty researchers in that discipline never had their own professional-level database. They had to sort through all the private sector materials in our excellent Business Source Complete in order to find the public sector articles, or they needed to find appropriate resources through our governmental databases, like Political Science Complete.

Both of those techniques can still be useful, in many instances. But a better starting point for public management research can now be found in Public Administration Abstracts (PAA).

Many years ago, Public Administration Abstracts was a print index and abstracting service published by Sage. Ebsco, our primary supplier of databases, recently acquired the index and besides keeping it up-to-date in an electronic form, they have also digitized the entire archive, bringing the index (of 60,000 records) back to 1974.

Abstracting services are not generally full-text oriented resources. If "Abstracts" is in the title, that is usually an indication that you will see a short summary of any indexed material, but you will not be able to see the entire article or publication. In one sense, this is also true of Public Administration Abstracts. However, because of all the linking we can do between PAA and Business Source Complete, Academic Search Complete, Political Science Complete, and the "custom-linking" we can do with other non-Ebsco databases like JSTOR and LexisNexis Academic, anyone using PAA here at Suffolk will find a surprising number of records will link directly to PDF or HTML full-text. And those that do not might well link out to the full-text, with a few extra clicks, after following the shortcut to our other aggregates via the eJournal Locator (the green-circle "360" link below records in any EbscoHost database).

Suffolk researchers in public management can find a wealth of research articles in a much more consolidated and convenient way, using the familiar and flexible EbscoHost platform, now that we are able to provide them with Public Administration Abstracts.

[FIND Public Administration Abstracts on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "Business and Management" category.]

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Notable E-Book: Encyclopedia of Homelessness

The two-volume Encyclopedia of Homelessness describes the basic knowledge of homelessness, including the history of homelessness, the current situation in the United States, and examples of homelessness around the world. This is an online fully searchable ebook available to Suffolk University students and faculty through both Gale Virtual Reference and Sage eReference. Entries cover causes, history, legal issues, governmental policy, legislation and programs, health problems, services, demography, lifestyles, and world perspectives. Specific articles describe homelessness today in eight major American cities, including Boston, New York, Houston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, and more than thirty cities and nations around the world.

Some of the more specific topics covered include, social welfare policy, the Great Depression, HIV and AIDS, health care, child care, causes of homelessness, legal advocacy, mental illness, families, food programs, legislation, housing (fair housing laws and shelters), and literature (hobo and tramp).

The Appendix includes a Documentary History of Homelessness (23 primary documents), a Directory of Street Newspapers by state and country, and a Filmography of American Narrative and Documentary Films on Homelessness.

These two volumes are geared toward sociologists, anthropologists, economists, historians, and other social scientists, social policy analysts, program administrators, physicians, social workers, advocacy lawyers, journalists, and students in high school through graduate school.

[FIND The Encyclopedia of Homelessness by entering this title in the Suffolk University Library Catalog or by going to our "Databases by Subject" list and selecting E-Books. Choose either Gale Virtual Reference or Sage eReference, and enter this ebook title.]