Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Recurring Reference Question: My Teacher Wants Me to Read the Wall Street Journal Daily...How Do I Do That Without Paying for a Subscription?

Many times students come up to the desk and ask if we have the Wall Street Journal, because their professor wants them to read it every day, but they really can't afford the extra expense of a subscription to either the paper or the online version.

The answer is, of course we do! Besides getting the paper delivered, we also have digital microfilm for backfile and a ProQuest database version (current to today's date) that we pay thousands of dollars for. We maintain that expensive subscription to help our students, so take advantage of it!

Still, you do NOT want to go to to do this. You want to come to our database files, which not only allow for on-campus access, but also allow you to authenticate through our proxy server for online access, anywhere, 24/7. (All you need do for remote use is enter your name and Suffolk ID number when prompted.)

What's the process? Let's step through it. Start by going to our Databases by Subject/Business or A-Z Database list. Click on the Wall Street Journal, but make sure that you pick the current 1984+ version and not the deep digital archive. As below.

The database starts on an Advanced Search screen because most people want to look for a topic in the paper. If you do a search for a topic (keyword, company name, person, etc.) the results will appear with the most current first. But if you want to read or browse today's paper, you probably want to take a different approach.

First click "Publications" right under the banner name of the paper, as illustrated below.

For some reason (known only to ProQuest), two options are listed. For current issues, either will do, so I just pick the top option by clicking on Wall Street Journal 1984-present

When you get to the next screen, it will offer you search options again. Or you can click through the years and dates. But if you want today's paper, the best thing to do is look for the not-that-noticeable link next to "Publication information" that allows you to View most recent issue.

This will put you into today's newspaper, presented in a page-one onward page order. You can reverse this if you like.

It sounds more complicated than it is. And although it doesn't look like the paper, all the articles are here.

Here's another tip. On the same page as the "View the most recent issue" link (see the green circle in the screenshot, one back, above), there is also an option to "Set Up Alert." Although it takes a day to receive your first alert, you can sign up to have the latest day's contents delivered to your email box. HOWEVER, the database does NOT proxyize the links to the stories, so you will only be able to click-and-access the stories ON it may not be worth bothering with.)

As always, if you have questions about this, check in with us at the Reference Desk.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Notable E-Book: Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World

We have just added a very useful new online encyclopedia to our Oxford Reference Online Premium (OROP) platform. It is the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, and it is designed to provide a "broad, comparative, and multidisciplinary approach in dealing with issues that span across a multitude of countries and centuries."

This encyclopedia "presents students, researchers, political analysts, journalists, and common readers with accurate, comprehensive, and balanced scholarship on all aspects of the world's fastest-growing religion and the areas it affects: society, politics, economics, everyday life, culture, and thought."

A six-volume work (first published in print in 2009 but recently released online) constitutes a major revision and massive expansion of the 1995 Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (which is also still available here on our Reference shelves). "In addition to covering Islamic societies in the modern world from the eighteenth century to the present, as the earlier four-volume set did, it will add a depth of historical background going back to the pre-Islamic era. The new reference also covers the full geographical extent of Islam by focusing not only on the countries in which Islam is dominant, but also on regions in which Muslims live as minorities, such as Europe and the Americas."

A bit of use advice: the search engine at OROP is a bit awkward, at best. So when you do a search, and click on a promising result, pay attention to the "See Also" suggestions in the left frame, which may well be more appropriate to your research.

Quirky search engine or not, this resource is well-respected, and covers more than you might expect. A Choice review, recommending it, said "Although the primary focus of this encyclopedia is not theological, the topic of sin receives more than passing notice, as does the literary phenomenon of the Hadith; the Qur'an and its interpretation deservedly receive their due. As for modern sociological phenomena, anti-Muslim prejudice is extensively discussed...."

And what about 9/11? Yes, there is an entry. But this encyclopedia goes far beyond events and issues of the last decade. It is a worthwhile starting point for many topics, when followed up with additional books and scholarly journal articles.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Database: Art & Architecture Complete

Here is another example of switching out one database for another that is better, easier to use, and which has more indexing and more full-text (and even images).

We have just replaced our Wilson Art Full Text with EBSCOhost's Art & Architecture Complete This change should provide more extensive research options for NESAD-SU, Humanities, and other Sawyer Library users interested in topics related to the visual arts.

The publisher notes that "this database provides full-text coverage of more than 380 periodicals and 220 books. In addition, Art & Architecture Complete offers cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 780 academic journals, magazines and trade publications, as well as over 230 books. The database also provides selective coverage for more than 70 additional publications,and an Image Collection of over 65,000 images provided by Picture Desk and others."

Our users are well-familiar with the EBSCOhost interface and with all the useful text-linking options available on the EBSCO platform. There will be many previously unavailable options for getting scholarly articles and trade magazine content from this useful file. And although there are lots of ways to limit and refine your search on the opening screen, if you are interested just in the images, you might want to click "More" in the border and open just an image search. As illustrated below.

However, keep in mind that if it is images you are interested in, ARTstor is a much more useful image-only database. (The only downside to that resource is it doesn't work well with our proxy server and really requires that interested users register for a personal account when they are on-campus.)

Art & Architecture Complete, on the other hand, should work well off-campus, for any current Suffolk CAS/SBS user--no individual accounts required! We hope you'll take advantage of this "Complete" database the next time you have "artistic" research needs.

[Find Art & Architecture Complete on our A-Z database list, or in our Subject Database List for Literature, Arts and Humanities.]

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Staff Notes: The Passing of Kristin N. Djorup

The start of the fall semester is always a happy and active time. We nonetheless feel the need to record the passing (suddenly, on August 18, 2011) of our former colleague and friend, Kristin N. Djorup. Kristin was a Senior Reference Librarian here at Sawyer Library for several years, and during that time Kristin also completed an MBA here at Suffolk.

Some students, many faculty and staff, and ALL of her former colleagues will remember Kristin for her intelligence, her enthusiasm, her friendly and consistently polite manner with everyone--no matter what--and her ability to put a positive spin on everything. (This latter trait could be quite exasperating for us mere mortals who have a tendency to view this crazy world with a more jaundiced eye.) Kristin saw the best in all people and situations. I sometimes questioned her view, but I never failed to admire her ability to "keep on the sunny side."

Kristin brought this positive, can-do attitude not only to her job as Manager of Library Research & Instructional Services at Babson's Horn Library, but also to her gardening, her care of her father and many pets....And also to her final fight with throat cancer.

We were expecting (and fervently hoping) that Kristin would beat her cancer. We are devastated to just learn that she did not. Still, we celebrate the warm, wonderful woman that she was and send our sympathies to her family, friends, and Babson colleagues.