Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Database: MLA International Bibliography

In an attempt to provide the best possible professional-level resources for literature and related subjects, we made a database switch this summer.  We removed Literary Reference Center Plus from our roster of online files, and substituted the well-known MLA International Bibliography.  Although this database has no full-text content on its own, it is considered a premier index.  And since we are getting the MLA International Bibliography via EBSCOhost, we will be able to link many of the citations researchers will find to the complete articles they'll want.

The Modern Language Association (MLA) claims their product is "the most comprehensive listing of scholarly material in language, literature, culture, and folklore."

It is certainly a detailed bibliography of journal articles, books and dissertations and because it was converted from a paper bibliography going back almost a hundred years, citations date back to the 1920s and total 2.3 million references.  The MLA International Bibliography indexes than 4,400 journals & series, and 1,000 book publishers.

Coverage is international in scope and includes almost 60 selected titles from JSTOR's language and literature (deep backfile) collections, all of which link as full-text.

MLA International Bibliography also contains nearly 11,000 subject names and terms. Subjects consist of literature, language and linguistics, folklore, literary theory & criticism, dramatic arts, as well as the historical aspects of printing and publishing. Listings on rhetoric and composition and the history, theory and practice of teaching language and literature are also included.

In addition to the bibliography, the database includes the MLA Directory of Periodicals; the association's proprietary thesaurus used to assign descriptors to each record in the bibliography; and a proprietary, searchable directory of noted authors' names, with links to brief descriptive notes.

The MLA International Bibliography works perfectly well just doing a simple keyword or field search from the landing page.  Howeve, if you wish to explore the the indexes, just click the "More" link in the top blue border.  If I browse the index of "Literary Technique," for example, for the word iambic, I am offered several options, including "iambic meter," "iambic pentameter," "iambic tetrameter" and "iambic trimeter" with an indication of the records count for each index term.

The other complimentary add-on is The MLA Directory of Periodicals (which is also a link in the top border). Although most researchers won't need it,  it does provide useful facts about journals indexed, including information for potential contributing authors--like submission requirements and details (like time between submission and publication decision).

Remember, MLA International Bibliography is not inherently a full-text database, but you will find lots of full-text provided.

We hope that students and faculty in the English and Humanities & Modern Languages departments--and anyone studying international culture--will find this a vaulable database to consult.

  [Find MLA International Bibliography on our A-Z database list, or in our Subject Database List for Literature, Arts & Humanities.]

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Database: Nursing Resource Center

We have several options for finding useful medical information. These include MEDLINE with Full Text, Health Reference Center Academic, the more consumer-oriented Health and Wellness Resource Center and several other databases and reference resources listed on our Sciences Database list and our Medicine and Radiation Therapy Resource Guide.

Now, thanks to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Mass Library System, we have access to one more--a database specific to the support of nursing students and professionals--called Nursing Resource Center.

Either click on or search specific drugs or diseases in the right search boxes (indicated the screenshot above) or do a simple keyword search in the Basic Search box in the yellow area to the left.

The default results will usually link you to "Diseases and Conditions" entries from a Gale medical encyclopedia or two. These would be useful to get a grounding in the topic and to learn some of the vocabulary used in discussions of that subject. But if you are supposed to use journal literature, click the separate tab for Journals. (See arrow in above screenshot.)

Reference book materials include a 2008 PDR Nurses Drug Handbook, Delmar texts like Foundations of Basic Nursing, and the Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health. There are drug monographs, medical illustrations, and even more than 200 nursing-related animations in the database, as well. For more on what's in the database and how to search effectively, take a look at this publisher webpage.

To be frank, this is NOT the best database we have for medical research. If you need scholarly journal literature related to medicine or psychiatry, I would recommend MEDLINE with Full Text as your best option. This exhaustive database indexes just about all medical journal literature and links you to all the publisher content that we have (just look for the 360 link green dot below results entries). And if you want more readable content for personal information, the user-friendly Health and Wellness Resource Center might be your best bet.

But if you do have an interest in nursing information specifically, then this database provided by the Commonwealth is worth exploring.