Tuesday, June 15, 2010
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. ]