Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Database: Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text

As the business pro says in the National Car Rental commercial, "I'm gettin' an upgrade!" Actually, we're all getting an upgrade as Sawyer Library has just subscribed to an enhanced version of Criminal Justice Abstracts (CJA) that includes unique, selected full-text journal, magazine, conference proceeding, research report and book content.

Those of you who regularly use CJA will have noticed that it (along with Communication Abstracts) switched to EBSCOhost from Sage via CSA last year. Because of Ebsco's solid linking capability and the synergy that exists between various EBSCOhost products, having a simple abstracting index--with no inherent full-text--like CJA go to Ebsco is a boon.

First of all, articles in related databases like Academic Search Complete and SocINDEX with Full Text will have "Linked Full Text" icons for easy connection to articles. And now, Ebsco has procured additional full-text materials just for this database. Of the more than 200 journals and other publications that have full-text loaded in the new CJA, 121 are unique to this index and not in ASC or SocINDEX.

And, as always, if there is no full-text directly linked to a record in your results list, don't forget to click the "Check Library Catalog" as well as the green button "360 Link to Full Text" options below the record to see if we own access to the item you want in one of our many other resources.

Ebsco says of this enhanced product: "The increasing globalization of criminology is reflected in this essential resource’s coverage of hundreds of journals from around the world. Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text offers comprehensive content and features covering all areas of criminal justice, including more than 300,000 records selected from the most important sources within the discipline (with over 500 titles presented with cover-to-cover coverage)."

So if you are researching a topic related to Criminology, Corrections and Prisons, Criminal Investigation, Forensic Sciences & Investigation, Substance Abuse & Addiction, Probation & Parole or any topic in related fields, do add Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text to your primary research tools.

Need more tips on Criminal Justice research? Don't forget to also consult Connie's excellent Library Guide on the subject!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Notable E-Book: Handbook of Bioentrepreneurship

Biotech is one of the linchpins of the Massachusetts economy. If you read the daily headlines from the Boston Business Journal (BBJ), which we also get as a research database, you will constantly read articles about product development, M&A activity, or other news related to "Life Science" companies like Genzyme, Biogen, Charles River Laboratories, and EMD Millipore. You might also hear about the latest biotechnology start-up. (Since Massachusetts has a large population of academic researchers doing cutting-edge research at places like MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital, we are one of the leading states for new companies, new drugs, and new technological breakthroughs.)

As a BBJ Survey has cited in this year's Book of Lists, "there are more than 450 biotechnology companies located in Massachusetts, 277 of those companies are researching and developing new therapeutic drugs."

It is a challenging and rapidly-changing field. How do you get a handle on the business creation dynamics of this particular industry? Holger Patzelt and Thomas Brenner led an international group of academic researchers in addressing just that challenge. And the resulting book was just recently added to our SpringerLink ebook collections. It is the Handbook of Bioentrepreneurship.

Sarah Cooper indicates in her review of this title in the International Small Business Journal, which we have through our Sage Online Journals: "In compiling this volume the editors have brought together 11 chapters from leading international researchers in the field which they have arranged around 4 key themes. The Handbook, thus, provides a good overview of the current state of research in bioentrepreneurship." The reviewer goes on to say: "Diversity within the biotechnology industry makes studying it something of a challenge; however, the chapters in this volume provide a good overview of the sector while also exploring critical themes, processes and debates."

Springer ebooks tend to be quite academic. They are not pop reading by any stretch of the imagination. But for those who wish to really delve into this important subject, here is a research handbook that should provide a solid grounding.

And for those who want the quick-fix news, the earlier cited BBJ or our Business Source Complete database might provide other easier reading options.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Technical Issues: Library System Downtime

The Library's infrastructure system, or ILS (integrated library system) will experience some downtime this coming Thursday, March 17th.

How does this affect our users? In several ways. For one thing, our Online Catalog (or OPAC) will be down. This will prevent you from looking up specific books and ebooks, and from accessing your personal circulation record to do things like renew books.

But here's the key issue: Our Proxy Server, the means of authenticating as a Suffolk user before being relayed into research databases, will also be down. THIS MEANS THAT OFF-CAMPUS ACCESS TO OUR LIBRARY DATABASES WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE DURING THIS SYSTEM WORK.

The library will be closed for Evacuation Day, which is also St. Patrick's Day, and in the middle of our Spring Break Week. We chose this day, specifically, as the one weekday that would be convenient for Innovative, our ILS company, but which would also create the least amount of disruption for our users.

If you happen to be ON campus, say, in a faculty office, you may still be able to access databases, by hitting them directly (and being authenticated through IP recognition, rather than Proxy Server authentication). To do this, our electronics librarian, Amy, has created a handy guide that lists database links without the proxy parts of the URLs.

This guide is http://suffolk.libguides.com/noproxy

But remember, this will only work from an ON-campus location where your IP can be detected (and recognized as being that of a Suffolk subscriber) by the database's server.

Here are the details on the downtime:

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011
Time: At about 12:30 PM, EST--for approximately TWO HOURS

Please plan your research accordingly. And our apologies for any inconvenience!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

U.S. Census Bureau Statistics


Students and researchers often need statistics. Business students and entrepreneurs seek statistics that describe trends in a particular industry, or the ups and downs of the economy as a whole. Social science students often need statistics which may describe the educational and health status of the population, or the population's voting behavior, or other characteristics of the society.

The U.S. Federal government is the main collector and aggregator of these statistics, and it is the Census Bureau that does much of this work, although other agencies also collect and publish statistics. However, knowing how to locate the statistics you want, or even having an idea of what exists, is pretty daunting both for students, and for this writer. Here are links to three blogs from the Census Bureau and one newsletter from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which give users an idea of the types of statistics that are available, and which simultaneously illustrate how the data casts a spotlight on our society.

U.S. Census Bureau: Random Samplings Blog (http://blogs.census.gov/).
"The official blog of the U.S. Census Bureau," aims to describe the Bureau's objectives and the results of the surveys. Recent entries include one on the geographic mapping tools available in the Census Bureau's LED (Local Employment Dynamics)/state partnership program.

U.S. Census Bureau: Director's Blog
The Director of the Census Bureau, Dr. Robert M. Groves, writes a blog specifically about the 2010 Census and its interpretation, as well as the science of statistics.

U.S. Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Division: Global Reach Blog
"The official blog of the U.S. Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Division (FTD)." The FTD is the official source of U.S. import and export trade statistics. Blog entries relate to one of three categories: Trade Data, Foreign Trade Regulations, and information for exporters on electronic filing of shipments (Export Filing (AES). Note: some trade data may only be available through subscription.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Publication: Spotlight on Statistics
This small collection articles, heavily illustrated with charts and graphs, dates back to 2007. Recent topics include "Women at Work" and "Employment Situation of Veterans."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Notable E-Book:Encyclopedia of Quantitative Finance

Is quantitative finance and the people who perform it (often called, not necessarily with affection), "quants," to blame for our recent "Great Recession?" It's all according to who you ask. Still, many many articles, like this one from The Economist have clearly stated that "[t]his crisis stemmed from the obscure world of quantitative, or quant-based, finance." In the first months after the crisis started, quants (along with greedy and incompetent bankers) took a lot of heat. Now, with newly polished algorithms and tweaked computer models, we read in the general and business press that quantitative finance is making a "comeback" and a "rebound."

Rather than simply mutter "Heaven Help Us!," perhaps you'd like to learn more about this mystifying science. If so, a newly purchased encyclopedia from Wiley might help.

Termed "essential" by Choice, that ALA publication's review also said that "This four-volume encyclopedia is the first to provide comprehensive coverage of essential subjects in quantitative finance. It covers both theory and applications, along with the history of the field and the names associated with it. This valuable contribution to the field of mathematics and modeling techniques of modern financial markets features signed articles from 415 international academics and practitioners. Articles include formulas, charts, and/or graphs, along with references, recommendations for further reading, and, when applicable, cross-references to related articles elsewhere in the set. "

The publisher claims that this is a "multi-volume reference work aimed at quants, risk managers, graduate students, academic researchers and all those interested in quantitative modeling in finance. Published in 4 volumes of approximately 500 pages each," content ranges from biographies of ground-breaking quant theoreticians to "up-to-date surveys of the state of the art in computational finance: Monte Carlo simulation, partial differential equations (PDEs), Fourier transforms methods, model calibration" and the like.

Not exactly a fun read, but a useful one, we hope. At the Wiley landing page for the Encyclopedia, simply pick either the "Articles by Title" or the "Articles by Topic" option from the left frame, as shown below.

If you wish to do a keyword search instead, you may do so. Just don't put your search into the search box in the upper right, or you will search ALL of the Wiley Online Library, which is mostly journal articles. Instead, click the link below the search box to "Search in this book" (as highlighted below), and new search boxes will open in the middle of the page with various search options.

We hope anyone interested in this very important finance field will explore this "comprehensive" reference resource....and then to help protect the retirement accounts of us all!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Notable E-Book:Encyclopedia of Body Adornment

We recently added an infusion of new reference books into our Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) database. These include many sets and series published by third parties. Titles include quite a few new editions of the useful "Who's Buying"marketing demographics books. (Titles cover everything from Apparel to Restaurants and Carry-Out.) We also added the currently available volumes of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability (more will be published later), as well as other reference encyclopedias from a variety of publishers from ABC-Clio to CQ Press to Princeton University Press.

One of the more unusual titles is the Encyclopedia of Body Adornment from Greenwood Press, described by the publisher here. (And, yes, we have had reference questions in the last few years about the topics covered by this encyclopedia!)

Those topics include all those you would expect, and more besides. Tattoos, piercings, corsets (pictured above) and foot binding are just a few examples. Entries run from short to sizable, and often include a short bibliography listing "Further Reading."

GVRL has a nice clean interface. You can click a link in the online catalog (OPAC) to consult a particular volume and then browse the table of contents, or search within the publication from the left-hand golden search box. I did a search on Maori and pulled up several entries, including Moko, which is a "curvilinear facial tattoo worn by Maori men and women as a sign of status as well as affiliation." Initial results display in HTML, with links. But you can also view the entry in a PDF that looks just like the original book.

If you wish to explore the entire range of reference books in GVRL, you can also search everything as a database, or explore subject categories of titles that display below the search box.