Friday, December 3, 2010

Circulation Notes: Overdue/Lost Book Enforcement

We wanted to add an informative blog entry, as fair warning, to the Facebook posts and signs that have been placed in and around the library for over a month. Please note that Circulation/Reserves will soon start enforcing overdue policies by blocking student accounts for the use of all reserve materials, including reserve textbooks and library laptops. This policy goes into effect at the start of the new calendar year: January 1, 2011.

At the start of next month, Patrons with overdue, unreturned materials on their library account will no longer have reserve privileges until the missing material is returned, replaced, or paid for.

How do you avoid this dire fate?

Simple: Return you books and other library materials on time. Or renew them before they are due. (For details on renewing, see )

Check your Suffolk-issued email. The Library will send you an email when your materials are overdue. Pay attention to your due dates and get the materials back in a timely manner. (If you get a notice about an item that you think you returned, don’t ignore it. Talk to the folks at Circulation/Reserves.)

Need to check to see what you have out? You can determine this online. See or click the "View Your Circulation Record" link from the online catalog search page (as illustrated below)

Take advantage of our Extended Amnesty Period:

Return your (even overdue) books, videos, etc., in December and all is forgiven.

What if you lost the book?

If you can provide us with the exact equivalent edition of the exact same book, we will also forgive all charges.

What if your account IS blocked in January?

First: Return the missing material, the block will be lifted immediately.

Second: If you want to replace the missing item, Circulation/Reserves staff can put together a receipt that lists the correct title, author, and edition for the missing item’s replacement. Only material exactly matching what has been lost will be accepted as a replacement. Circ. Staff can also inform you of the replacement cost if the Library must order the new copy.

Third: If you want to simply pay to replace the missing item, you may do so. However, an additional fee of $50 will be charged on top of the cost of replacing the missing book. (Want to check the cost yourself? Just look at the LIST--not discounted--price you find at You will then have to go to the Student Accounts Office to pay the charges. No monies may be accepted at the Circulation/Reserves Desk.

The Circulation Department is not doing this to be mean or uncooperative. They are simply doing this to "get our stuff back." And we do mean OUR stuff. Library materials are shared resources that are meant to support the research needs of the entire Suffolk community. When you fail to return materials you’ve checked out, you are not only making extra work for staff, you are penalizing other library users who might need that material.

So.....Please return you library materials on time!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Notable E-Book: APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial and Organizational Psychology (often abbreviated as I/O psychology) is a multi-faceted and ever-changing branch of psychological research. As the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology (which we have on Credo Reference) defines it, it covers "organizational, military, economic and personnel psychology and including such areas as tests and measurements, the study of organizations and organizational behaviour, personnel practices, human engineering, human factors, the effects of work, fatigue, pay and efficiency, consumer surveys and market research." And not just in the classic corporate environment, either. I/O scholars conduct research into the operational and human dynamics of hospitals, prisons, universities, public-service agencies--any and all types of organizations!

That's a lot of territory. And it deserves an extensive and up-to-date reference handbook. It has one now through the APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Although we also purchased the paper copy, most users will be interested in the electronic version of this three volume set. Click a link--you will authenticate through the proxy server off-campus--for one of the three volumes. Each numerical chapter is presented in order as a PDF. (You are supposed to be able to click the abstract link to the right to read a summary, but this does not work for these ebooks. You only get a page linking to the three volumes and a description of the entire reference work...which is not particularly useful.)

You can, however, use the search option in the upper right of any page to search within the handbooks.

And, since this handbook set is from the American Psychological Association, the publisher also indexes the chapters in their PsycINFO database. Which is useful, but not as much as it should be. Because handbooks like this one are expensive extra content, beyond what is contained in the PsycBOOKS database (to which we also provide access), the chapters do not directly link in PsycINFO--although we are currently working with both APA and Ebsco to see if we can make that happen. For now, when you find a chapter in PsycInfo (as in the example below), just go to our online catalog (or one of the links in this blog) to get to the ebooks and their content.

This is a valuable handbook that will benefit not only psychology majors, but also those in the management, public management, government and even the sociology/criminal justice fields. Take a look at this latest handbook for I/O psychology. But remember that others are available. We also own the Sage Handbook of Industrial, Work and Organizational Psychology on Sage eReference, and we even have a respected older print handbook which is still quite useful for some topics. The four-volume Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the Consulting Psychologists Press is now located in the circulating collection on the 4th floor, along with many of our other I/O psychology monographs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Database: Biological Abstracts

Interested in exploring journal literature "in virtually every life sciences discipline, including biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, pre-clinical and experimental medicine, pharmacology, zoology, agriculture, and veterinary science"? Then a database that we've just added will be a valuable tool!

Biological Abstracts (aka BIOSIS) is considered the definitive index to life science literature, and has been so for generations. Over 250,000 records from journals worldwide are added annually to Biological Abstracts. Over 4,200 journals from 100 countries are indexed. And "every item included in Biological Abstracts has met the high standards of an objective evaluation process that eliminates clutter and excess and delivers data that is accurate, meaningful and timely."
Unfortunately, with the word "Abstracts" in the title, you know that this is an index that provides citations, useful controlled vocabulary (subject and other limiting terminology) and summaries....and nothing more. That is the main reason that we got BioAbs on our familiar EbscoHost platform. Ebsco provides direct-linking to many articles available in its proprietary databases like Academic Search Complete. But it also allows us to make use of Custom Linking and our Serial Solutions 360 Link (look for the green 360 dot-link below results list records).

It's not unusual to have more than one access option on some articles. Although with indexing as extensive as this, not all articles will be available through our collections.

The really admirable thing about Biological Abstracts is the great many precise "Limit Your Results" options that you have from the opening search screen or from the Source Type and Subject limits in the left frame of any results list after you perform a search. There are also many clickable link terms attached to individual article records.

Below is an example of the kind of index links that are available on a single record about shad in the Merrimack River:

In addition to publication level limiters such as: Date Published, Journal Name, Abstract Available, Language, Publication Type and Document type, the updated Biological Abstracts database also offers a host of additional limiters designed to support complex relational indexing, for example:

* Taxa notes
* Type of Organism Name
* Disease Affiliation
* Organ System
* Chemical Role

If a particular term or concept looks promising, click it to explore the entries that use that term or code. Or do what I usually do: perform a simple keyword combination search (like myotis lucifugus and echolocation) and then browse through multiple records, decide if there is better terminology available, and then use those terms in a fresh "advanced" search for more precise results. To get a sense of BioAbs terms, you can also search or browse the "Major Concepts," which is a link in the upper left frame of any screen, as seen below.

If you wish to see a more extensive list of the Controlled Vocabulary (Authority File) for the Biological Abstracts and BIOSIS databases, you can also take a look at this website from the publisher.

Biological Abstracts
is an expensive database, with older segments based on purchase instead of lease. We could not afford to add very deep backfile to the index yet. However, we did all coverage years back to 1995. This dovetails nicely with the kind of fulltext access we have through other databases and publisher aggregates.

Those of you interested in the life sciences should definitely make this professional-level abstracting service a regular research stop.

[FIND Biological Abstracts on the Sciences page of the "Database by Subject" Lists.]

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Notable E-Book: Encyclopedia of Research Design

We are adding new content to our Sage Reference Online database this autumn. And one of the recent adds is a fairly unusual resource called the Encyclopedia of Research Design. The 3 volume set self-describes as "a collection of entries written by scholars in the field of research design, the discipline of how to plan and conduct empirical research, including the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods."

Entries cover everything from "Chi-Square Test" to "Krippendorff's Alpha" to "Semipartial Correlation Coefficient" to "Zelen's Randomized Consent Design." Not all topics are quite so esoteric, of course. Want to read an essay on the "Case Study" technique? You can do that here. And this encyclopedia also has a couple of useful entries that help explain the differences between "Qualitative Research" and "Quantitative Research." Editors point to "two topics [that] are especially interesting and set this collection of volumes apart from similar works: (1) a review of important research articles that have been seminal in the field and have helped determine the direction of several ideas and (2) a review of popular tools (such as software) used to analyze results."

As with all Sage eReference, you can do a quick search and see entries that relate, or you can browse through an A-Z presentation of entries. As you read one essay, a list of "See Also" entries will be listed in the left the frame, offering other articles to peruse. And below that, you'll even see cross-links to other Sage eReference titles that might be worth exploring. In the left side frame there are tools to format for printing, email, or create a citation, too.
Research Design is a complex matter. The over 500 entries included in this encyclopedia are only a starting place. But for a short introduction to a variety of complicated concepts, this resource might be quite useful.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Database: SourceOECD Becomes OECD iLibrary

OECD, or the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development is a Paris-based group dedicated to "help its member countries to achieve sustainable economic growth and employment and to raise the standard of living in member countries while maintaining financial stability – all this in order to contribute to the development of the world economy." Although only 20 (developed) countries originally signed the Convention forming the OECD 1960, it has, in recent years, expanded both its scope and membership. OECD now "shares expertise and exchanges views with more than 100 other countries." And their membership is expanding. Chile became a member in May of 2010; Slovenia became a member in July; and Israel became a member in September of this year.

One of the group's strengths has always been its research and publishing. As they say of themselves: "For more than 40 years, OECD has been one of the world's largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistics and economic and social data. As well as collecting data, OECD monitors trends, analyses and forecasts of economic developments and researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more."

Several years ago, we added the first version of their research database and ePublishing portal, SourceOECD. It was slow, awkward, but had a great deal of valuable data and information, not only about its wealthier member nations, but also about the developing world.

Now, SourceOECD has become the OECD iLibrary. It is now more user-friendly, with data that is easier to capture and manipulate. And the depth of resources and data are even greater than before. Content includes over 5,000 books covering anything from statistics to major policy topics. The specific Glossaries section contains a great many subject specific dictionaries, as well. You can also find over 2500 working papers, 300 datasets, and 5000 Excel tables in this database.

A few new publications are usually featured on the opening screen. And you can quickly jump to resources on a particular country, or to materials in major subject areas by opening the drop-down boxes mid-screen on the homepage. Note, too, the links in the top frame, which include the Statistics module. Here you can quickly get Tables from a mid-screen list or get to PDFs from OECD Factbook links to the right. To the left are links to actual data files that can be manipulated and/or exported to Excel. As with most databases, we do not have access to ALL materials here....but almost all! The one component you will not be able to access is the affiliated IEA (International Energy Agency) data sets. But the great wealth of OECD data and publications should be readily available to all CAS and SBS students and faculty through our link.

OECD material can be useful for everything from Economics to Business to Social Science research. Explore! And if you would like to see an overview two-sheet guide to the new platform, take a look at this PDF.

[FIND OECD iLibrary on the Business and Social Sciences pages of the "Database by Subject" lists.]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Database: MasterFILE Premier

Although we encourage our students to use high-quality academic journal literature in most research situations, the fact is that sometimes the content of more popular news and consumer magazines is just what is needed. Perhaps you want to see how news magazines have covered our recent health insurance reform legislation (sometimes pejoratively labeled "Obamacare"). Or perhaps you are a Second Language student hoping to find a few basic readings to look at before tackling the more complex English of scholarly journal literature. Or maybe you want to see PDFs of Consumer Reports because the only other online source for that magazine, LexisNexis Academic, only has HTML, without the photos of the new car models.

For instances like these, we have added a database originally designed for public libraries called MasterFILE Premier. This database contains full text for nearly 1,700 periodicals covering news, general interest, business, health, education, general science and multicultural issues. It also contains full text more than 500 reference books, over 107,000 primary source documents, and an Image Collection of over 510,000 photos, maps & flags.

MasterFILE Premier offers PDF backfiles (as far back as 1975, in the case of Science News) for key publications including Foreign Affairs, History Today, The Nation, National Review, Saturday Evening Post, and many more.

Another feature is the Lexile Rankings, listed at the end of the citation. These are reading levels. Designed to help educators get an estimate of the reading difficulty of the particular article in the results list, it provides an approximate grade level reading ability required for comprehension. Therefore this might be useful for Second Language Learners. (As a reference point, 1100 to 1300 is considered Grade 11 & 12.) This first article that I pulled up in a search for healthcare reform and consumers--see screenshot--is at level 1660, so it should be appropriate for college students of all types.

However, let me emphasize that this database is no substitute for the use of scholarly journal databases, of which we have a great many, including Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, and Sage Journals Online. If a teacher says "academic only," then MasterFILE Premier is not a good option. But if you want some consumer magazines on the best brands of refrigerators or some quick news articles on a current topic, then MasterFILE Premier might do very well for you.

[FIND MasterFILE Premier on the General Resources page of the "Database by Subject" Lists, right below another good popular magazine database called General Reference Center Gold.]

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Database Alert: Too Many Linking Icons!

Don't be alarmed if you do research in our EbscoHost databases and discover an overabundance of linking icons in your results list. See this screenshot for an example:
You can see that the "Custom Linking" option at Ebsco has gone a bit crazy. It is attempting to link an article from Consumer Reports to anything from BioOne (all peer-reviewed biology journal literature) to HeinOnline (an archival database of law-related materials). Clearly, Consumer Reports would not be at either location!

So, don't be distracted by this plethora of linking options. First, look to see whether the article is sitting right there in the database you are currently in. In this case, it was. (See the PDF link?)

If the article is not there, rather than click on all the custom link options in the hopes of finding it, look for the icon that looks likeThis will send you to our Serial Solutions link-resolver and that will check across all of our databases for that specific article, rather than throw a great many inappropriate individual database link options at you.

We have reported this issue to Ebsco and they tell us that it is a "known issue. The Custom linking is affected by an error somewhere involving Local Collections. We are aware of this, and are working [on] this with our highest priority. "

Hopefully, before long, the only Custom Links you will see in your EbscoHost results lists will be appropriate ones!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Database Alert: Gale Rebrands Several Databases

Gale has decided that a snazzier interface was worth going for with several of their "Resource Center" databases, all of which we have access to through regional and state contracts. The new databases are Biography in Context (formerly Biography Resource Center), Opposing Viewpoints in Context (formerly Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center), U.S. History in Context (formerly History Resource Center: U.S.), World History in Context (formerly History Resource Center: World) and Science in Context (formerly Science Resource Center).

If we look at the homepage of, say, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, we see a very busy opening screen with links to featured videos, featured news, categories of hot button social topics and the like. Feel free to browse and explore. However, if you are trying to get at a particular topic, you might want to open the link to "Issues" in the black frame to a see a lengthy browsable alphabetical list of topics, or, better yet, simply put in a keyword search in the search box in the upper right.

Note that the types of materials are also listed above the search box. (And I find some of the secondary ones, tucked away in a drop-down called "More," actually more useful because they include the categories of "Academic Journals,' "Primary Sources" and "Statistics.") In any case, if you click one of these, the database will search specifically for this type of material at the same time it looks for your keyword. So, I can search everything for a single keyword like immigration or a keyword combination like children and internet, or I can search specifically within source type like "Viewpoints" or "Reference" by clicking the word above. And when you do a search, pay attention to the subjects listed to left. These will allow you to limit the results by major subject heading.

Whatever you call it, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, like our CQ Researcher, is an excellent database to use any time you are looking for both sides of any social issue that is currently a matter of public debate.

Another useful database that made the design switch is Biography in Context. It works in a similar way. Simply search for your person--anyone from literary authors to pop stars--in the upper-right search box, and then explore the resulting materials, displayed in categories. Note, although some popular figures will open with an extensive introductory write-up. Others will present simply as search results, as in my search for Aung San Suu Kyi below. I can look through the first few Reference book entries in the results list or further limit to types of materials (e.g., Magazines) from the list in the left frame.

For quick information on a famous person, Biography in Context is definitely a go-to database.

The others listed in the first paragraph are fine, but since they are more oriented towards high-school learners and public library clients, you would not want to do ALL of your research in U.S. History in Context , World History in Context, or Science in Context . They are good for introductory information, but they contain relatively little of the kind of high-quality scholarly journal literature that you might find in a JSTOR or BioOne.

Want to learn a bit more about why Gale thinks these new database platforms are an improvement? Here is a page on the interface. (More information is available in the links to the left.) And here is a video introduction to the "in Context" suite.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Database Module: Global Forecasting Service

Database platforms change all the time--and often these changes are of questionable benefit to the end-user. One database that changed its interface in the late summer is our Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) file called Country Commerce. Many moons ago, when this was published in paper form by a different publisher, it was called Investing, Licensing and Trading Conditions Abroad, and that old title is still a pretty good summary of the information Country Commerce provides.

Unfortunately, when you go to the new platform for the database, it opens to a general introductory page, that provides several options. See below illustration. You can select a country from a list on the left drop-down window. (And a warning here: Not all countries are covered by EIU products!) You can sign up for a global economy news briefing. You can view a video briefing. Or, the the right-hand drop-down window, you can "Select a Report." That is, you can select Country Commerce and go to its opening page. You will then be presented with a rather unattractive page of country name links. This is how you will get to the current and archived reports, available in both PDF and html.

However, also in opening that right-hand drop-down window, you will also have the option of exploring a new module from EIU. It is called Global Forecasting Service. And this is a useful new offering for those interested in global business issues. According to the publisher, this new module provides:

* A full monthly report providing EIU's detailed central forecast.
* Regional channels that allow you to drill down to those areas most important to you.
* Regularly updated articles on the critical issues that have a bearing on economic prospects.
* In-depth analysis of world trade and exchange rates.
* Overviews and forecasts for 25 hard and soft commodities.
* Frequently revised risk scenario analysis with intensity ratings.

So, do explore this new module when you access Country Commerce.

And one additional note on this EIU product. We have experienced some loading issues with the database in IE8, running the database through our proxy server. So, if you have trouble loading the file, try opening it in your Firefox browser.

[FIND Country Commerce on the Business and Management page of the "Database by Subject" Lists.]

Monday, September 13, 2010

RefShare in RefWorks

RefShare allows users to share their RefWorks database or specific RefWorks folders with other Suffolk community members. Users may post their folders or entire database on a RefWorks Shared Page, and this page is viewable by all Suffolk RefWork users. RefWorks and RefShare instructions are provided within the RefWorks Libguide.

RefShare has many uses, including the following:

-Providing access to citations for researchers who collaborate on a project
-Posting reading lists one a Web page
-Providing a searchable and linkable research database created by faculty members
-Publishing a database of references for sharing within the university community

To Share a Folder or RefWorks Database:

1. Select the Folder/Share Folder or the Tools/Share References drop-down menu on the tool bar

2. From your list of folders, click the Share Folder button or buttons, or click the Share Entire Database

3. From the newly created Shared Folder Options page, a specific URL is generated, and the user may email this URL for the shared folder or database to the intended RefShare recipients

4. Also from this Options page, the user may determine the print, export, and bibliographic options available to RefShare recipients.

5. When the selections have been made, click the "Email URl "button. A new window opens, containing an automated e-mail message. Fill in the email address or addresses of the recipients. Click Send Email button at the bottom.

6. At any point, the user my click the Remove Share button and end sharing

7. The Statistics button shows total hits per database or folder for assigned time frames

8. At the bottom of the page, there are more options - The shared folder/database owner may check the box to Include in (my institution's) Shared Area. He/she may assign the Category for the folder/database in the Shared Area

Importing Citations from RefShared Area to a Personal RefWorks Account:

[In order for reciepients to import citations, they must be RefWork subscribers]

1. Click on the unique folder or database URL

2.Select All on the list

3. Click Export

4. Export directly to your RefWorks account

5. The file will open in the Last Imported Folder

For further instructions for using RefShare, see RefShare vendor tutorials.

[FIND RefWorks on all pages of the "Database by Subject" Lists]

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Database Alert: STAT-USA Shutting Down

We very seldom cancel databases we have consciously selected, but in the case of STAT-USA, a government database providing business-related product, economic and trade information, the database has decided to cancel itself....greatly inconveniencing us and all the rest of its clients.

The database will cease operations at the end of this month, September 30, 2010.

A message from the database director read, in part: "After more than 25 years of operation, STAT-USA is closing its doors. This was not an easy decision, but the world of access to government information has evolved to the point that STAT-USA’s business model, as a fee for service office, is no longer viable. In its early years, STAT-USA was on the progressive edge of government data delivery. Its mandate from Congress, to serve as a central collection and delivery mechanism for economic and trade information from all the federal agencies, was a much-needed innovation. Since then, the Internet and information technology in general have grown and changed at dazzling speed. Information sharing, data tools, and social media have become intrinsic parts of American life. In this new atmosphere, STAT-USA/Internet’s historic role as a straightforward storehouse of static government information releases has become outdated. "

Those of us who have had to use STAT-USA over the years were indeed often frustrated (as the above implies) by the platform's very user-unfriendly interface and the often dated nature of the materials accessed.

Since much of the material from STAT-USA is and always has been available for free, on the web, from the government, you might want to make use of the Google search engine just for government and military websites, called Uncle Sam, when you are looking for government information on anything from olive oil imports to trade with Senegal to the Federal Reserve Bank's "Beige Book." The Uncle Sam results will often be unwieldy and sloppy--but so were the results in STAT-USA! Another good option is to look at the targeted resources cited in our library guides--like Sonia's on International Trade and Connie's on Economics.

If you actually like STAT-USA, do make use of it while it lasts, over the next couple of weeks. And we will continue to keep our eyes out for an affordable alternative database.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Database Module: ACS Legacy Archives

Although we have had the current (1996+) full-text content of the many journals published by the American Chemical Society for several years, we are happy to have just added the deep backfile of ACS journals to our available resources.

Called the ACS Legacy Archives, this journal module "provides full-text searching and instant access to all titles, volumes, issues, and articles published by the ACS from 1879 to 1995." That means that science (and other interested) students and faculty can now make use of an additional 464,037 articles, 11,103 issues, and 966 volumes of the valuable research literature published by the ACS over the years. Instantly access the "best minds from 117 years of chemistry...including 180 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine."

Suffolk users should access this content the same way they have always accessed ACS Publications, through the Suffolk link to the ACS Publications homepage. This busy homepage allows researchers to browse journals (see list in the lower left) or you can simply perform a search for keyword topic or author or title words from the search box in the upper right.

Since the default option of the search box is "Anywhere," I usually open the pull-down box and search specifically for a title concept or author. Note, too, that there is a a light yellow Advanced Search button you can click that allows for more precise searching.

Want to know more about the Legacy Archives? You can take a look at this page or this PDF brochure.

We hope that you find this core scientific literature helpful to your research.

[FIND ACS Publications (including the Legacy Archives) on the Sciences page of the "Database by Subject"Lists, right on the first column.]

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Database: Gender Studies Database

This past spring, we added another database that expands the specialized research options of our student and faculty researchers. Gender Studies Database (GSD) is a newish database from our most familiar vendor, EBSCOhost. But it results from the acquisition of several long- established indexes from a small publisher called National Information Services Corporation (NISC). GSD combines the older Women's Studies International with a Men's Studies database, providing a wide range of gender studies materials.

EBSCO indicates that "GSD covers the full spectrum of gender-engaged scholarship inside and outside academia." But the admission that some of the content is "outside academia" can be reason for caution. Although covering activist and community and "gray" literature is perfectly valid in an index analyzing gender issues, all materials may not be appropriate for ALL research needs. GSD includes "several thousand links to freely available and indexed full-text articles and documents on the Internet," from "carefully selected and important websites." But these items may not be applicable for use in an academic paper. (If you are unsure, review all materials with your professor before committing them to your paper!)

GSD source documents include professional journals, conference papers, books, book chapters, government reports, discussion and working papers, theses & dissertations, among others. This database includes more than 869,000 records, with coverage spanning from 1972 (and earlier) to the present. To review a list of GSD's indexed sources see this list.

Although some full-text (as in the first item in the above search) will be available directly from GSD, or "soft-linked" from other EBSCO databases we subscribe to, like Academic Search Complete, you should check the "360 Link to Full Text" option (as circled in above search example) for any item that interests you that does not display an HTML or PDF Full Text icon underneath the results citation. Note, too, as in the above screenshot, that you can easily limit your results to "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" by simply clicking a box on the opening screen, or in the left frame of your results page. If your professor says "academic journals only" to you, limit your results to avoid any of the general web materials that GSD also indexes.

The coverage of sexual diversity issues is impressive in GSD. Combine it with the earlier blogged-about LGBT Life with Full Text and you will discover a great wealth of materials related to sexuality and gender topics.

[FIND Gender Studies Database on the Social Sciences page of the "Database by Subject" Lists, right above LGBT Life with Full Text, on the second column.]

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Database Module: GMID Passport Industrial

We have had the Global Market Information Database (GMID) for several years. It is probably the most maddening database to which we subscribe. Without doubt, it has more valuable international business intelligence than just about any other database available to educational users. I would also bet that it will frustrate and confuse almost any scholar or librarian that attempts to utilize it for the first time...and maybe for the twentieth time. The information in GMID is very high-quality, but the interface is such that you are more likely to stumble upon a useful report than actually identify it through an intelligent and systematic research process.

Because the database has so much unique and useful information, we continue to build upon it, even as we despair that the platform never seems to become any more user-friendly. Recently, we added the Industrial module to the database.

Euromonitor claims that "Passport Industrial is a breakthrough economic research solution that analyses the industrial makeup of the six largest economies in the world – China, Germany, France, Japan, UK and USA. It provides a strategic assessment of each industry and explains the complex relationships between them."

They go on to say that "Passport Industrial analyses each country in striking detail. An entire economy is split into 177 industry sectors which equate to total GDP for that country. Industries are compatible with the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) code. Each industry is analysed in its entirety, from its sources of supply to its buyers, allowing you to trace the whole value chain from raw material extraction to end consumption.

There are two problems with the early launch. One is that Japan is promised, but is not yet available. The other is that, as a European -based company, Euromonitor does not use the U.S. Government system of the NAICS or the SIC, but rather the ISIC. See this link for more on this different industrial classification schedule.

So, how do you get to the Industrial area of GMID? First, login to the main database as a member of the Suffolk Community (by being at a Suffolk IP or by authenticating through the proxy if you are off-campus). After you accept the agreement, you will go to the GMID homepage.

Click the teal-turning-orange tab in the top banner for Industries (as illustrated in the first screen-shot, above left) and then move down the list and click the word Industrial (as circled in the picture).

Once you get to the opening Industrial page, you can browse recent reports. Or, better yet, look to the left gray frame on that page. Below all the industry categories is another section labeled SEARCH ANALYSIS (see the screenshot above and to the right). Click on the Country Reports category (as circled in the picture).

That will bring you to another page, illustrated below. All (currently 885) reports will be listed there. Above the results list, simply filter the big list (see circle) by geography and/or category to get the reports you want to see.

Alas, it is neither an easy nor an intuitive process. But the material is good quality, so do take advantage of our major investment on your behalf!

[FIND GMID on the Business and Management page of the "Database by Subject" Lists.]

Friday, August 13, 2010

Database Alert: SpringerLink Changes, Use New Link

Please be advised that SpringerLink (like LexisNexis Academic and Wiley Online Library) changed their platform this past weekend. Unfortunately, the company did not warn us that the advanced/citation search (which is a much better approach for those researching a topic or tracking a specific article) would no longer be a stable link. Therefore, the links on our database pages and guides are not currently viable. They will produce an error.

Here is the valid basic link to the database, set to run through our proxy:

Use this URL while we get our links changed through Web Services. Or, you may simply adjust the shortcut in the address window. Our links produce a Page Not Found error that has this address:

Simply remove the error part of the URL, as in

and hit enter, and you should be able to access the database with no problem.

Advanced Search still provides more research options, but you must now click on the button just to the right of GO in the electric orange top banner to get to advanced search.

We are sorry for any inconvenience. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. All of our links should be updated shortly.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Database Alert: Wiley InterScience Becomes Wiley Online Library

Be advised, familiar database Wiley InterScience will transform into Wiley Online Library during the weekend of August 7th and 8th, 2010.

What's in a name? Well, perhaps Wiley wanted to rebrand because the word "InterScience" was not only vague, but also implied an overwhelming orientation towards the pure and applied sciences. But the fact is that Wiley has always covered everything from Business, Economics, Finance & Accounting to Communication & Media Studies. Now the database sounds more subject-neutral.

We have been advised that there will be a period of downtime over the launch weekend. Wiley InterScience will no longer be available from Saturday 7 August at 04:00 am New York EDT. Wiley Online Library is due to go live on Sunday 8 August at 12:00 pm New York EDT.

During this transition period, users will see a message explaining the reason for the unavailability and will be directed to an informational webpage for more details. This interruption in service is necessary "to facilitate a smooth transition to Wiley Online Library."

Once the change occurs, the publisher states that "Wiley Online Library will host the world’s broadest and deepest multidisciplinary collection of online resources covering life, health and physical sciences, social science and the humanities. Built on the latest technology and designed with extensive input from scholars around the world, Wiley Online Library will deliver seamless integrated access to over 4 million articles from 1500 journals."

While we have access to most of the Wiley Journals since 1997, we do NOT own all of the book content that Wiley is also loading into the database. We own some of their ebooks (both monograph and reference) but not even close to all of them. Therefore, since the most valuable material for academic research is peer-reviewed journal literature, you might want to do a keyword, author or other search on the Advanced Search start page and then, on your results page, filter the results in the right frame, clicking Journals to limit the list of citations. See the circled area in the example below:

To quickly see whether you have access to an article, chapter or entry, look for a padlock icon that is unlocked. Accessible materials will fall into three categories, as below.

Our crackerjack librarian team is going to try to stay ahead of these changes but we must wait, in some cases, for the Publisher to make their switchovers and for Web Services to update links. And with all the hundreds of records in the online catalog, we cannot guarantee that all OPAC links will work immediately. Our eJournal Locator company, Serial Solutions, has been working with Wiley during this preparatory period, so when trying to track a journal title, you might want to start by checking the Journal (not article) Title in the eJournal Locator.

We hope this transition goes smoothly. If you have any questions or problems with Wiley content, please stop by, call or email us and we will be happy to assist you.

For more information from Wiley, a page describing improvements and features can be found here. An descriptive flyer can be found here. And a PowerPoint intro to the new platform is available here. Even more tutorials and information should be available at the Online Library's homepage (just look for the turquoise link to the right of the page).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Notable E-Books: SAGE Reference Series on Green Society

From chemistry to government, students and faculty in a wide variety of disciplines are increasingly interested in greener options and what it takes to move society towards an economically- AND environmentally-sustainable future. To help our researchers get a grounding in a full range of topics related to the environment, we have recently added a set of six new eReference titles published by Sage as their SAGE Reference Series on Green Society. Titles in this basic encyclopedia set include Green Energy, Green Politics, Green Food, Green Cities, Green Business and Green Consumerism. The hundreds of entries you will find in these online volumes can provide useful overviews on many areas of interest.

Each of the title links above will bring you to an individual A-Z eReference book. (You will have to authenticate through the proxy server to access these from off-campus.) Once in a title, you can browse the entry list, consult a subject index, or simply put a keyword term or word combination in the search box in the middle of the screen. If I search for greenwashing in the Green Consumerism encyclopedia, I pull up a good assortment of entries. The first, sorted for relevance, is on that exact topic. But entries like "Green Marketing" are also retrieved by this search and are worth reading.

One of the nice things about the Sage eReference platform is that when you retrieve an individual entry, the database will suggest other topics and will even link to different but related reference titles in the left frame. However, some of these system-generated suggestions are a bit of a stretch! So, if you want to explore further, you might be better off simply doing another search for your topic in the full Sage eReference platform (which is linked in the upper left and right of every platform page). This produces another relevance-ranked list of entries.

If I do this with my greenwashing topic, I get entries from most of the other Green Society titles, but I also identify worthwhile entries in some unrelated Sage titles like the Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society.

When you use Sage eReference, don't ignore the icon links at the top of the left frame. These help you to print or email entries. And here you can also see quick citations to the article you reading in APA, MLA and Chicago formatting. And don't forget the last link to "Further Readings." This page will provide leads and (in some cases, active links) to additional resources. These can be handy. For a topic like "greenwashing," knowing what Greenpeace has to say on the topic might be edifying. However, keep in mind that many professors would not find some of Sage's linked suggested readings to be academically acceptable. So, always check with your professor before citing any secondary materials, or even, for that matter, a basic encyclopedia entry like those in the Sage "Green Society" series.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Staff Notes: Farewell to Bob Dugan

With a mix of sadness and great congratulations, the Staff of Sawyer Library says goodbye to Robert E. Dugan, our Library Director of twelve years, as he moves on to a new position as Dean of Libraries at the University of West Florida.

Bob has seen us through many changes--most especially the planning and building of the new Sawyer Library. The old Sawyer Library, largely subterranean, at 8 Ashburton Place, was a challenge for both staff and library users. Bob tried to keep us ahead of the curve, especially in areas of technology--Sawyer Library was one of the first libraries to loan laptops to users and provide them with an in-house wireless network--but the old Sawyer Library was cramped, dark, and an awkward maze of underground floors and mezzanines with no room for new books or new electronics.

Bob worked tirelessly throughout 2004, 2005 and 2006 to get the library planned and built, often rushing back and forth from his Ashburton Place office to the construction site, hard hat in hand--see picture above of "Bob the Builder," hardhat adorned--to attend to every detail. The new library opened, appropriately enough, on Bob's birthday, May 15th, in 2006. (And one of his proudest accomplishments is that the project was on time, under budget, and the Library did not miss a single hour of regularly scheduled service.)

In the new library, Bob continued to keep technology current. Again, our library was an early adopter of several new technologies, including the now popular check-out Kindles. And did you know that Bob was also our IT guy? Bob has spent countless hours "re-ghosting" and repairing Library PCs, laptops, and printers, even filling paper trays, and changing toner. And he also helped many faculty members and departments with software problems and repairs, doing quite a few office and house calls over the years. Clearly, this was not your average--"Don't bother me, I'm thinking big thoughts, wearing my tie!"--library director.

To say he wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty was an understatement. Which is not to say that Bob didn't, in fact, have "big thoughts." Bob has authored and co-authored a great many articles and books on library best practices. His publications include Action Plan for Outcomes Assessment in Your Library, U.S. Government on the Web, and Revisiting Outcomes Assessment in Higher Education. And his latest book, Viewing Library Metrics from Different Perspectives: Inputs, Outputs, and Outcomes just won a prestigious award at the latest ALA Convention.

Bob has even taught classes related to library management at our local "Library School," Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Bob got into this library almost every morning, well before opening, to make sure that the library was ready to greet its public, and he stayed late many a night to set up for and supervise readings and events in the Poetry Center, a facility that he cared deeply about. Shooting video, lining up rows of chairs, Bob did everything he could to make every Poetry Center event a successful one.

His dedication and hard work are not to be questioned. Was he always the most warm and fuzzy boss to work for? I'd have to say no. (Sorry, Dude!) You really did not want to be the person to tell him another printer was broken or some act of petty vandalism had occurred. To this I can testify. But what this proved above all else is how deeply he cared about every printer, every light fixture, every database, and every resource this library offered to the Suffolk community.

That level of commitment and techno-savvy will be very difficult to find again.

So, thanks, Bob! All the best to you in Pensacola. Happy trails to you and to Peg (and your feline pals). And don't forget to crank up the Sugarland on the drive south.

[Bob's Farewell Party, hosted by Dean Greenberg, will be held in the Poetry Center on the Library's 3rd Floor at 3pm on Wednesday, July 7th. Please stop by and celebrate Bob's great service to the University and his future success! And if you can't make the fĂȘte--or even if you can--and you want to leave well wishes here, feel free to do so.]

Monday, June 21, 2010

Notable E-Book: Social History of the United States

History has too often been the story of the rich and powerful (as well as the white and male). In recent years, there has been a movement to reflect the lives of working ("ordinary") folk, people of color and women in history, too. We have many databases that will help scholars get at primary documents--databases like Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online (from Alexander Street Press) and Primary Sources in U.S. History (from LexisNexis). Reference books can also be oriented towards primary documents. (For an example, see the Milestone Documents series, that we have in print and online through the publisher.)

But beyond primary documents, researchers might be interested in finding secondary overview information about changes in American society in the Twentieth Century, and how these changes impacted everyday Americans. For this need, we have recently added an eBook encyclopedia consisting of ten volumes worth of scholarly analysis of United States history in the last century. It is called Social History of the United States, and is available on the ABC-CLIO (formerly Greenwood) platform.

After linking from the catalog, you will be at a page related to this particular reference set. You can browse contents from the left frame, or you will see a green Quick Search box in the upper left that is already set up to search "within this title." (If you want to search all of our ABC-CLIO books, just change the setting of the search box.)

The ABC-CLIO interface is not the most elegant in the world, but it does the trick and quickly gets you into the long chapters in this series. There are lots of tables (which don't always display well in html), charts, and tables, as well as a nice array of historical photographs.

Caption: This store in Oakland, California, was closed following orders that all Japanese Americans evacuate to internment camps during World War II. The owner, a University of California graduate of Japanese descent, placed the “I am an American” sign on the storefront the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese forces in December 1941. (National Archives)

Above the text in the large right frame are many menu options, including print, email, cite and link functions, as well as a quick-use dictionary (the American Heritage College Dictionary, Fourth Edition). This extensive set has a little bit of everything and can be useful for anyone studying American society in the last century. A publisher PDF description of the series can be found here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Database: Oxford Handbooks Online

Not everyone likes to read an entire novel or scholarly treatise online, but almost everyone is happy to read a short essay or article online--especially to get an introductory overview of a specific research topic. Suffolk researchers do NOT need to use unreliable and anonymous web resources (like Wikipedia) when they are starting their research. Instead, they can use the more substantive and reliable materials we provide in electronic reference databases like Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), Oxford Reference Online Premium (OROP) and Sage eReference.

A few months ago we added yet another very useful array of electronic reference books that can definitely help our users get a grounding in a variety of topics related to Business & Management, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religion. This database, just launched last fall, is called Oxford Handbooks Online (OHO). Consisting of dozens of volumes in the 4 subject modules, Oxford Handbooks contain specially commissioned articles--over 2500 so far--with each volume containing between twenty and forty original essays.

Let's say that I am interested in how the economic concept of the "gravity equation" relates to international trade. Well, the Oxford Handbook of International Business (which we happen to have in both print and electronic form, has a good overview essay on just this topic. You might find statistics or tables or graphs in OHO essays. And since authors are also supposed to do a literature review, the commissioned articles include both references and a bibliography of targeted additional readings on the topic.

OHO tries to embed usable links in their online essays that might link you to a journal article or a statistical resource elsewhere. However, be warned, just because a link is provided, it doesn't mean that Sawyer Library owns access rights to the secondary material. Follow the link and if you cannot reach the additional material, double-check access through the online catalog or our eJournal Locator. (And, as always, feel free to talk to Reference if you still cannot find the material you are looking for.)

To search the database, you can click on one of the modules on the OHO homepage to explore a particular subject category, you can put a search in the box directly below the main logo, or you can do an advanced search by clicking the link in the upper left frame. To get some sense of the range of available titles, take a look at this list. (OHO is updated three times a year and we are attempting to purchase all new available volumes.)

Oxford University Press also did an introductory PowerPoint available here. And the database also includes an online tutorial guided tour.

[FIND OHO on several "Database by Subject" Lists, including the one for eBooks. ]

Friday, June 4, 2010

Notable Ebooks: Who's Buying Series

Finding marketing demographics in a well-organized and tidy form is sometimes a challenge. Although we do have entire databases devoted to demographics, like DemographicsNow, and others that try to collect data on consumption of products in the global community, like Euromonitor's Global Market Information Database (GMID), the fact is that both of these databases have quite a learning curve. And a bit of patience is required to use them effectively. Sometimes, people just want a quick demographics snapshot of this or that, which is why the print resources published by New Strategist have been popular resources with our users since before either of the above mentioned databases existed.

New Strategist publications look at everything from public opinion (American Attitudes) to Household Spending to characteristics of specific generations (e.g., The Millennials). And a few years ago, the company started a "Who's Buying" series of small volumes covering a variety of market segments like apparel, health care, travel and pets. We used to have these volumes only in print form, with the latest editions kept at the Reference Desk. But we recently added several New Strategist publications, including the Who's Buying Series as eBooks in our Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) collection, thus extending where and how our users can access these materials.

You can, of course, simply go to GVRL as a database and plug in a topic. If, for example, I search for fast food restaurants, I'll pull up a great variety of materials. These include industry histories, biographies of business leaders like Dave Thomas (of Wendy's fame) AND sections pulled out of the Who's Buying at Restaurants and Carry-Outs.

In many cases, you'll want to see these other GVRL resources, as well.

However, if you only want the specific Who's Buying guide, one option is to look up the individual volume, like the Pets guide, in the online catalog,

and click on the link to the online version, and then either use the search box to left of the opening eBook screen to search "within this publication" or browse the "eTable of Contents" linked in the middle of the page.

And if you don't know the name of a particular book in the series, simply browse the titles in this series list from the online catalog. (The other option would be to pick to the individual titles from the "Social Science" (!) list on the GVRL opening screen, but this is not the best or easiest way of getting to these volumes.)

As handy as these little guides can be, don't forget to use the other databases we have, which may provide you with more up-to-date or varied information. Besides the ones mentioned in the first paragraph or this blog entry, there are many more linked from our subject database lists and from our many research guides, including ones on marketing and demography.

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Database: Health Policy Reference Center

In the past year, many people outside of the governmental and health fields have spent a lot of time thinking about, discussing, and even hotly debating health care policy in this country. The passage of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) this spring has slowed the debate, but has certainly not ended the discussion. And here at Suffolk, we have several programs (like the SBS Healthcare Administration graduate programs and the CAS Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights and Master of Arts degree in Women’s Health ) that are very concerned about the multiplicity of issues related to health and public policy.

For this reason, and many others, Sawyer Library has recently added a brand new database from EbscoHost called Health Policy Reference Center. Ebsco calls this file "a comprehensive full-text database covering all aspects of health policy and related issues. This collection offers unmatched full-text coverage of information relevant to many areas that are integral to health policy." Areas covered include everything from Health Care Administration to Public Health to Maternal & Child Health to Health Care Financing & Economics. The database features over 300 full-text titles, indexing many more, with coverage not only of scholarly journal literature but also selected monographs, magazines, and trade publications. And, because this is an Ebsco database, it soft-links to many additional full-text sources in affiliated Ebsco databases, and also links to articles outside of Ebsco files using our Serial Solutions 360 Article Linker (look for the green dot below results entries).

As with all EbscoHost databases, it is simple to refine a large results list from a broad search by narrowing by Subject:Thesaurus Term and/or Source Type in the left frame. Or limit to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) literature by clicking the box in the right frame. Be very cautious about limiting to "Full Text" in the right frame, however, because this will eliminate many useful articles that you can link to by simply clicking that

Researchers interested in health policy will want to utilize a variety of other online databases besides this quite specialized one. MedLine with Full Text and Wiley InterScience are two examples of additional resources worth exploring. Others are detailed in our research guides for Health Administration and Medicine. And undergraduates looking for basic overviews on the Health Policy debates might find databases like CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center useful, too.

[FIND Health Policy Reference Center on the "Databases by Subject" Lists for both Social Sciences (first column) and Business and Management List (second column). ]