With the fall semester now well under way, we thought this would be a good time to remind our hard-working students and faculty that the library is not just for studying. Earlier this year, in response to student requests, the Libraries opened a space on the second floor of Perkins specifically dedicated to prayer and meditation.
The Prayer and Meditation Room is available for students and faculty of all faiths. The room is a shared space open to all members of the Duke community to use either individually or in groups.
Room 220 in Perkins Library is located near the open study area with wooden carrels on the library’s second floor. (See map below.)
… What are the libraries’ hours? … How do I find a book? … Who can help me with research? … Where can I print?*
Duke University’s newest students will find the answers to these questions (and more!) on the Library’s First-Year Library Servicesportal page.
Each August, a new class of undergraduates arrives in Durham ready to immerse themselves in the Duke Community. Duke University Libraries serve as the core of intellectual life on campus. Because East Campus is home to the First-Year students, Lillyand Music Libraries have the unique opportunity to introduce our newest “Dukies” to the array of Library resources and research services available.
To help navigate the vast library resources, there is a portal especially for First-Year Students. Through this portal page, new students (and even some not-so-new) can discover all that the Duke University Libraries offer:
The term “Hackathon” traditionally refers to an event in which computer programmers collaborate intensively on software projects. But Duke University Libraries and the History Department are putting a historical twist on their approach to the Hackathon phenomenon. In this case, the History Hackathon is a contest for undergraduate student teams to research, collaborate, and create projects inspired by the resources available in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library collections. Projects may include performances, essays, websites, infographics, lectures, podcasts, and more. A panel of experts will serve as judges and rank the top three teams. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
When is the library open? How do I find a book? Where do I print?*
Duke University’s newest students can find the answers to these questions (and more!) on the Library’s First-Year Library Servicesportal page.
Each August, a new class of undergraduates arrives in Durham ready to immerse themselves in the Duke Community. Duke University Libraries serve as the core of intellectual life on campus. On East Campus particularly, the Lilly and Music Libraries have the unique opportunity to introduce our newest “Dukies” to the array of Library resources and research services available.
To help navigate the vast Library resources, we’ve created a portal especially for First-Year students. Through this portal page, new students (and even some not-so-new) can discover all that the Duke University Libraries offer:
Quick Facts: about collections and loan policies Where: to study, print, and … eat! How: to find and check out books & material, and get… Help!: Meet the “who” – Librarians, Specialists, & Residence Hall Librarians Research 101: how to navigate the Research Process Citation 101: how to cite using recommended styles *And when is the Library open?
Find the answer in our list of the Top 12 Questions, developed with input from First-Year Library Advisory Board students.
In order to make our library resources more mobile-friendly, we’ve picked up a new tool called BrowZine, an app for iPads and Android tablets that lets you browse, read, and monitor current academic journals in your subject areas. And best of all for our Duke users, it’s free!
Here’s a 2-minute video about how it works:
If you want to use BrowZine, you can download it to your iPad or Android device by following these easy steps:
Go to the App Store or Google Play, search for BrowZine, and install it. (It’s free.)
When you open BrowZine for the first time, you’ll see a list of schools – select Duke, then enter your Net ID and password.
Select subject areas, and start browsing journals. That’s it! You can save your favorites to your personal bookshelf.
How many journals are included? BrowZine has relationships with these academic journal publishers, so any journals included in that group and published since 2005 should be viewable through the BrowZine app.
Give it a try and let us know what you think.
BrowZine is compatible with Zotero, Dropbox, Evernote and other services (Mendeley and RefWorks are coming soon), allowing you to organize and manage your research seamlessly. You can also save articles to your BrowZine pin board to read later, even when you’re offline.
This post is brought to you by Alerts! – a special section of Library Hacks. As they are released, you can look forward to new database announcements, updates, and (rare) outage notices. Stay tuned!
Ab Imperio Quarterly
“Ab Imperio Quarterly is an international humanities and social sciences peer-reviewed journal dedicated to studies in new imperial history and the interdisciplinary and comparative study of nationalism and nationalities in the post-Soviet space… The languages of publication are English and Russian with summaries, respectively, in Russian and English. Manuscripts, subject to double-blind peer reviews, are accepted in five languages (Russian, English, German, French, Ukrainian).” Among the points that form the journal’s stated mission is this: “Providing an opportunity for research and debate on the history and theory of nationalities (including Russian) in the region, an opportunity that should engage academics from all over the world.”(Quote Source)
“Region is a peer-reviewed international journal that explores the history and current political, economic, and social affairs of the entire former Soviet bloc. In particular, the journal focuses on various facets of transformation at the local and national levels in the aforementioned regions, as well as the changing character of their relationships with the rest of the world in the context of globalization, a perspective that stresses both local adaptation to global phenomena and that adaptation’s transnational or even global significance.”
The following topics are most prominently featured:
+ Regional identities in globalized societies
+ Communication and transmission of information
+ Migration and boundaries
+ Transition: politics, economy, society, and culture
+ Theories and methodologies of regional studies in the context of “glocalization”
+ Imagined territories: cyber space, urban vs. rural, center vs. periphery, etc.+ Inter-regional cooperation
+ Identities in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods, memories, and nostalgia (Quote source)
Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory
“Interdisciplinary Literary Studies exemplifies the diversity, complexity, and rewards of integrating literary study with other methodologies… seeks to explore the interconnections between literary study and other disciplines, ideologies, and cultural methods of critique. All national literatures, periods, and genres are welcomed topics.” (Quote Source) In addition, “The hallmark of research today is “interdisciplinary,” and Interdisciplinary Literary Studies exemplifies the diversity, complexity, and rewards of integrating literary study with other methodologies. Drawing upon a broad base of critical theories and applying these to a wide range of literary genres, contributors reward us with daring interpretations, such as a mathematical reading of triangles in Robert Frost’s poetry or an “engaged Buddhist response to trauma” reading of Le Ly Hayslip’s Child of War, Woman of Peace.” (Quote Source)
“Since a year after its founding, in 2005, Ecotone is one of only two literary magazines in the United States to have had its work reprinted in Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, Best American Science and Nature Writing, PEN / O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize. It is based at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and comes out twice a year. Each issue contains new fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork.
The magazine bridges the gap between science and culture, bringing together the literary and the scientific, the urban and the rural, the personal and the biological. Ecotone has published original writing by winners of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award, as well as new work by emerging authors.” (Quote Source)
Electronic resources such as e-journals and databases are generally accessible only to Duke community members such as faculty, staff and students.
“I read an article about that a while ago. No – wait. I cited it in a paper… What was the title again? The author’s name started with a J, I think.”
Perkins-Bostock Library offers a series of workshops for Zotero, RefWorks and EndNote. If you’d like to sign up, please do so here. Some of the benefits of these citation managers include storage of .pdfs or links to .pdfs, organization of citations and exporting bibliographies according to a variety of styles. Each of these programs also allows you to cite your references while you compose your research papers.
If you are trying to decide which workshop to take, ask your favorite professor what she or he uses to manage their citations. (In general, Zotero is used by researchers in the humanities, and EndNote is preferred by scientists and social scientists.) Keeping your research organized is smart and will be beneficial to you when it comes time to write your senior thesis, study abroad or write your graduate school applications.
This post is brought to you by Alerts! – a special section of Library Hacks. Weekly, you can look forward to new database announcements, updates, and (rare) outage notices. Stay tuned!
– Audiobooks from Recorded Books Incorporated via NC Live
Duke Libraries will be offering a great selection of downloadable audiobooks later this month, according to NC Live:
“On Monday, September 19th, NC LIVE will disable the MyiLibrary Audio Books platform from use. Beginning September 19th, you will no longer be able to access or download audio books via the MyiLibrary service.” Instead, a new audio book provider and platform – Recorded Books One Click service – will be available later this fall. The new Recorded Books platform will be an improvement with regard to download and searching capabilities.
– Information set free!
JSTOR announced today it is making journal content published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world. This Early Journal Content includes discourse and scholarship in the arts and humanities, economics and politics, and in mathematics and other sciences. It includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals. To learn more and to watch a video tutorial on how to access Early Journal Content, click here.
– DRAM – Database of Recorded American Music
From the DRAM website : “DRAM is a not-for-profit resource providing educational communities with on-demand streaming access to CD-quality audio (192kbps Mp4), complete original liner notes and essays from independent record labels and sound archives. Continuing in the tradition of DRAM’s sister company New World Records, one of DRAM’s primary focuses is the preservation and dissemination of important recordings that have been neglected by the commercial marketplace, recordings that may otherwise become lost or forgotten.
Currently DRAM’s collection contains more than 3,000 albums worth of recordings from a distinctive set of 26 independent labels, and we are continually working to add more content. The basis for the current collection is the diverse catalogue of American music recordings by New World Records. From folk to opera, Native American to jazz, 19th century classical to early rock, musical theater, contemporary, electronic and beyond, New World has served composers, artists, students and the general public since its inception in 1975 with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.” (Quote source and more information from DRAM.)
Contact librarian: Laura Williams
Subject Categories: Arts & Humanities – Music
– Naxos Video Library
From the Naxos Video Library: “more than 250 full-length videos of concerts, operas, ballets, and documentaries from prestigious performing arts labels such as Arthaus Musik, Dacapo, Dynamic, EuroArts, H‰nssler Classic, Medici Arts, Naxos, Opus Arte and TDK. Featuring performances from legendary artists including Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Martha Argerich, Gerald Finley, and celebrated conductors such as Arturo Toscanini, Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev and many more, videos are available to stream at 700 Kbps (standard quality) and 2 Mbps(high quality) and the service is compatible with both PC and Mac computers.”
Functions and features:
Ability to stream videos at 700 Kbps (standard quality) and 2 Mbps (high quality) resolutions
Create custom clips, which can be edited and added to individual playlists
Access to pre-defined video chapters, as well as individual arias and scene breaks of operas
Subtitles in up to 5 languages
The ability to follow along with scrolling libretto text
View video as Full Screen, 2/3 Screen or 1/4 Screen
Advanced search functionality, including the ability to search by category, role, composer, artist, production, personnel, work venue or festival (Quote source and more information)
Contact librarian: Laura Williams
Subject Categories: Arts and Humanities, Music, Film/Video; Area Studies and Cultures – Film/Video
– Political Science Complete (PSC)
From EBSCO: “PSC contains full text for more than 530 journals, and indexing and abstracts for over 2,900 titles, (including top-ranked scholarly journals), many of which are unique to the product. PSC has a worldwide focus, reflecting the globalization of contemporary political discourse.” Topical coverage includes : Comparative politics,Humanitarian issues, International relations, Law and legislation, Non-governmental organizations, Political theory” ( Quote source, title list and more.)
What do librarians think? This database received a “Highly Recommended” rating in a 2010 issue of Choice, the American Library Association’s review magazine.
Contact librarian: Catherine Shreve
Subject Categories: Social Sciences – Political Science
– IPA Source (Transcriptions and Literal Translations of Songs and Arias)
From the IPA site: “Online since 2003, IPA Source is the web’s largest library of International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) transcriptions and literal translations of opera arias and art song texts. Now with over 5598 texts including 955 aria texts! Using the dropdown menus, search for titles by composer, poet, title, opera aria, or Latin text.” Tip: This resource requires the Aodbe Acrobat reader. (Quote source)
Subject Categories: Arts and Humanities – Music
Electronic resources such as e-journals and databases are generally accessible only to Duke community members such as faculty, staff and students.
Here is a great way to use the QuickSearch tab found on the front page of Duke Libraries webpage. Because searches in that tab search a lot – journal databases, the catalog (books), and more, it is a great place to start. In particular, it is a great way to follow up on an article or post of general interest because QuickSearch tab allows you to find most everything on a particular topic. You can get a comprehensive view in one spot.
In this example, we can follow up on an NPR story that was posted and re-posted on Facebook. In the NPR story, psychologists performed a series of experiments on inattentional blindness arising from a police brutality case from the mid-1990’s. This is a great example for Quick Search because it covers academic research, a formal psychological theory, a book about the police trial and a current event found in newspapers.
In our first search – a search for officer “Kenneth Conley” – Quick Search returns over 200 hits, mostly newspaper articles. A search for “inattentional blindness” returns almost one thousand hits, most of which come from scholarly journals, such as the Journal of Vision or Consciousness and Cognition. (The psychologist’s study, published in the journal iPerception is also available through the QuickSearch tab.) You can also use the Quick Search tab to search for Boston Globe reporter Dick Lehr’s book on the Conley case. A search for “Dick Lehr” also returns over a thousand hits, but the very first one is Lehr’s book The Fence, which is about the Conley case. You can also immediately see that The Fence is in the collection at Perkins/Bostock!
The QuickSearch tab makes it easy to find more about various aspects of the original story with a few searches, zeroing in on what aspects interest you.
This in just yesterday from Zotero’s blog: “A new third-party plugin called Zotpress is now available. It runs on WordPress, the open source platform widely used for personal, professional and course websites and blogs. Zotpress was created by community member Katie Seaborn, and it allows you to pull and organize items from your or another Zotero library into your WordPress site. The plugin harnesses the power of Zotero’s server API by grabbing library data dynamically and presenting it outside Zotero.
So why would you use it? Zotpress is great for scholars or job hunters who want to easily organize their CVs or resumes on their personal websites. Teachers can use it as well to present bibliographies to students. Or, if you just want to share some stuff you’ve been reading or studying, you can use Zotpress for that, too. In short, Zotpress is useful because it expands on Zotero’s mission by offering a new and easy interface to share your data freely with the world.”
This is great timing for Duke, because Duke WordPress was just updated to version 3.1.2 earlier this week. For members of the Duke community using WordPress for classes, group projects or multimedia presentations, you can now easily show your scholarly side, using Zotpress. For more information about Duke WordPress, contact the OIT Help Desk, and for more information about Zotpress, ask Ciara Healy, support librarian for Zotero.
This post is brought to you by Alerts! – a special section of Library Hacks. Weekly, you can look forward to new database announcements, updates, and (rare) outage notices. Stay tuned!
Database Upgrade –
On Wednesday, 1 June 2011, IEEE will implement an upgrade to the IEEE Xplore digital library. There is no scheduled downtime during this upgrade.
Specific improvements with this upgrade include
One of the largest technical and scientific associations in Europe – VDE VERLAG (VDE) – integrates VDE’s conference proceedings into IEEE Xplore. This includes 3,100 VDE conference papers from 20+ annual conference titles, with 1,000 new articles being added every year.
Sort search results by “Most Cited”: This upgrade includes a new feature to IEEE Xplore that will allow you to sort your search results by “Most Cited”. Also, you will also see the article’s citation count in the article metadata. Find articles of high impact quickly with this new feature.
Quickly and easily perform your search in IEEE Xplore and also see further relevant results from scitopia.org based on your search terms. Sciptopia.org provides a federated search of content from 15 leading scholarly society publishers in science and technology.
eBooks – a dedicated web page has been created for eBooks OPAC that includes both the HTML persistent link list as well as the Excel versions and Customers with OpenURL activated on their account will now find OpenURL links next to eBook chapters. (IEEE information for this post provided by IEEE.)
From the University of Pennsylvania press, “Change Over Time is a new, semiannual journal focused on publishing original, peer-reviewed research papers and review articles on the history, theory, and praxis of conservation and the built environment. Each issue is dedicated to a particular theme as a method to promote critical discourse on contemporary conservation issues from multiple perspectives both within the field and across disciplines. Themes will be examined at all scales, from the global and regional to the microscopic and material.”
This journal can be readily accessed through Duke’s ProjectMUSE database subscription. (Journal description provided from ProjectMUSE.) Here is a link to the journal’s web page, with information on the Spring & Fall 2012 calls for papers.
“The majority of Latino Literature is in English, with selected works of particular importance (approximately 25% of the collection) presented in Spanish. The three major components deliver approximately 200 novels and many hundreds of short stories; 20,000 pages of poetry; and more than 450 plays… Social historians will find much of value in Latino Literature…Authors are indexed for national heritage, gender, birth and death dates, literary movement, occupation, and more.” (Description excerpted from longer description provided by Alexander Street Press.) Free, browse-only access provided here, by Alexander Street Press.
Electronic resources such as e-journals and databases are generally accessible only to Duke community members such as faculty, staff and students.
When you return from Spring Break, the articles search from the library homepage will look a little different. There will be no changes to the look of the homepage or the Articles tab, but your search results will reveal an improved system for finding articles.
The big improvements will be speed and a more comprehensive search. The new system creates a single index (like Google), which allows for much faster searching–results will display in around 2 seconds. The new system also includes much more content, searching over 90 percent of our journal subscriptions, giving users access to a much larger (if not complete) slice of Duke Libraries’ resources.
When searching from the Duke University Libraries’ homepage, you’ll be searching only for journal articles (the “Content Type” box on the left will be checked Journal Article.) Any subsequent search from the results page will search across all content types, adding books, newspaper articles, etc. You may search across all Duke Libraries collections simultaneously, but there may be times when you want to see only books, only journal articles, etc. You have complete control over this–-simply check the appropriate box under “Content Type.”
We are excited about this new search tool and welcome your feedback as you begin to use it.
Are you thinking about going on in school? Do you want to get some practice in before taking your GRE, MCAT, GMAT, or LSAT? Well the library can help! We have a database called Learning Express Library that can help. Once you get into the database, create a free account so that you can keep track of your results. Then click on College Students in the menu on the left. Then choose Graduate School Entrance Exams Preparation. Choose the test you want and get started!
Are you an EndNote or RefWorks user? Many people on Duke’s campus are. There is an open source alternative, however that you might want to check out. Starting out as a Firefox browser plug-in, Zotero let users capture any bibliographic information they came across while on the internet. With a click, you could capture and store bibliographic references from Amazon, Google Book or anywhere else. You could also organize your references in folders, search your folders and generate works cited pages.
Now Zotero has a stand alone option (in beta) that works with Google Chrome AND Safari. Granted, this makes Zotero have pretty much the same features as EndNote and RefWorks in that all three now have web based and desktop solutions for citation management.
What makes Zotero competitive? Try it and find out. Duke Libraries now offers some support for Zotero users, similar to the help you can get with RefWorks and EndNote, as well as upcoming instruction opportunities.
For more information on Zotero’s latest standalone option, click here. To find out more about Zotero support within the Duke community, contact librarian Ciara Healy at Perkins Library.
20th Century African American Poetry:
A database of modern and contemporary African American poetry, featuring almost 9,000 poems by 62 of the most important African American poets of the last century, including Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Imamu Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde and Rita Dove 2011-02-28
African American Biographical Database:
The African American Biographical Database (AABD) brings together in one resource the biographies of thousands of African Americans, many not to be found in any other reference source. These biographical sketches have been carefully assembled from biographical dictionaries and other sources. This extraordinary collection contains extended narratives of African American … 2011-02-27
Black Abolitionist Papers:
This collection documents the efforts of African American activists in their international effort to abolish slavery in the United States. Covering the period 1830-1865, the 15,000-item collection records the full impact of African American efforts to oppose slavery by displaying the writings and publications of the activists themselves. 2011-02-28
There exist several complimentary routes to getting your textbooks. Obviously, purchasing them at the bookstore is the easiest way – if you have more money than time. For those who have more time than money, there are other places to check first, so get started early. (For a little background on why textbooks are so expensive, check out the Government Accounting Office’s report on textbook price inflation.)
Tip: Have the textbook’s ISBN handy. Having this number will help you to know that you have found the exact book (and edition) you need for class. Textbook information – including the ISBNs, exact title, edition number etc.- can be found at the Duke book store and on their website.
Google Book: Google Book is a specialized Google search for, well, books. Only books. Is your textbook available? Search by title. Almost no book in Google Book is available in full text, however, so pages are always missing to conform to US copyright laws. BUT there are often whole chapters to be found. Google Book also offers links to finding the book in a nearby library (WorldCat) and online sale outlets (Books-A-Million, Half.com and others).
Perkins Library : Might your professor have put a copy of the book on reserve? Though your access to the reserve copy is limited – it may be currently checked out by a classmate or restricted to in-library use only – a book on reserve is f-r-e-e! The book may also be sitting right on the shelf. Check the catalogue as well.
Blackboard: Perhaps your professor put the first chapter or two in your Blackboard course site. Professors are not obliged to do this, but some do and it will buy you more time, so double check.
Electrify: The electronic version of the textbook may be available at Perkins/Bostock to read on the computer or though an online store, especially if you have a Nook, iPad or Kindle. There is a special ebook search in our library catalogue, just under the main search field on the front page.
Editions: Consider earlier or other editions of the textbook you need. Sometimes a new edition is created to include significant new material and findings. Sometimes a new edition is the same information rearranged and has added features like a CD-ROM or access to online materials. So, an older edition might suffice. So might a soft cover edition, instead of the hard back.
InterLibrary Loan : Using this service, you can request to borrow from another library. ILL is a popular option, however. Also, the lending period for these books is determined by the library that holds the title, not Duke. You may have quite a short loan period and if there is high demand, it is likely that the book has already been requested or will not be lent so that patrons at that library may have a chance to use it first.
International: Often the UK or Canadian publication or a printing meant to be sold in another country is the same as the US edition you need. These may be significantly cheaper to purchase, but consider shipping costs and timing when pursuing this option. Think Amazon.co.uk, or Amazon.ca and remember to calculate the cost in US dollars to make sure it is a bargain.
Rental options: Compare prices at some of the popular rental sites found with a Google search for “textbook rental”. This is a great time to have your ISBN handy to make sure you have the exact book that you need. Keep in mind that there may be delays with this method and there are few guarantees if there is a problem, such as the wrong edition or pages missing.
Power to the people!
DIY: Consider organizing a book swap or a student-to-student sales site. Often you can sell for more and buy more cheaply when you make a deal person-to-person, compared to a bookstore. This is another good time to check that ISBN to make certain that the edition you purchase is the same one used next semester. With this option, as well, there may be little recourse if you receive a damaged book or find out too late that there is a newer edition in use. Caveat emptor.
The Library of the African Studies Centre Leiden has compiled a web dossier on Southern Sudan to coincide with the 9 January 2011 referendum.
In the referendum, southern Sudanese throughout the country will vote on whether to remain part of Sudan or secede and become a separate country. The referendum marks the end of the six-year interim period under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), also known as the Naivasha Agreement, which was signed by the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Nairobi in January 2005 to end the decades-long second Sudanese civil war.
The dossier contains titles of books, articles and online publications on civil war in Southern Sudan, the peace process, and the events leading up to the referendum.
The annual Commemorative Service for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will take place Sunday, January 16th at 3:00 pm in the Duke University Chapel. This year’s theme, Connect to the Dream, reflects a desire for today’s youth to stay connected with, or reconnect to, Dr. King’s values and vision for a world together.
Randall Robinson is the author of An Unbroken Agonyand the national bestsellers The Debt, The Reckoning, and Defending the Spirit. He is founder and past president of TransAfrica and is known for his impassioned opposition to apartheid and for his advocacy on behalf of Haitian immigrants and Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Frequently featured in major print media, Robinson has also appeared on Charlie Rose, Today, Good Morning America, and the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.
Duke’s MLK Program
Time: 3:00 p.m. Duke Chapel
Free and open to the public
Free Parking — Bryan Center Parking Garage
Looking for resource materials on Dr. King? Begin your research here.
Sourced from The National Archives, Kew – the UK government’s official archive, Foreign Office Files for China, 1949-1980 provides primary source materials in English language for researchers at all levels.
Published in three sections covering the periods 1949-1956; 1957-1966; and 1967-1980; this database addresses a crucial period in Chinese history, from the foundation of the People’s Republic, in 1949, to the death of Zhou Enlai and Mao, the arrest of the Gang of Four and the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976. This complete British Foreign Office Files deals with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in this period. These files are particularly important because Britain was one of the first countries to recognize Communist China and to maintain diplomatic relations with China and from 1950 onward. From their vantage point in Beijing British diplomats reported on the turbulent and confusing political, social, and economic developments.
The Foreign Office’s reporting on politics, industry, trade and cultural affairs include:
Eye-witness accounts and detailed reports on life in China, 1949-1976.
In depth analysis of the Communist Revolution and all the major figures.
Material on the Korean War, the Cold War, US relations and the Cultural Revolution.
Please note that files for 1980 have not been released under the 30 year rule in time to be included at this stage but will be added by the publisher as soon as possible.
Library Hacks has blogged about Zotero before, and it continues to develop into an interesting and useful citation management tool. Unlike EndNote or RefWorks (both of which are freely available to Duke users under a campus site license), Zotero is an open source application, freely available to all. Currently it works only as a Firefox plugin, but plans are in the works for Zotero Everywhere which will be browser-independent.
The Libraries are beginning to offer workshops (such as this one for English and Literature graduate students) and will continue to explore ways to support Zotero users. How can we best help you to explore research tools like this one? Give it a try and leave a comment to let you know your thoughts!
Google Scholar is a search engine that allows users to search for scholarly materials on a topic. Instead of searching the entire web (like Google), Google Scholar searches the scholarly literature provided by numerous academic publishers, professional societies, universities and scholarly organizations.
Search results include citations from peer-reviewed journals, theses, papers, books and technical reports.
For the most part, Google Scholar provides citation-only results. The full-text of an article or book can be accessed by using the Get it @ Duke link.
If you are using Google Scholar off campus, you will need to set your ‘Scholar Preferences’ to Duke University Libraries.
Want to learn more about Google Scholar?
Go to: http://library.duke.edu/research/help/googlescholar/index.html
The Professional Affairs Committee of Librarians Assembly invites you to join Haiti Lab Co-directors Laurent Dubois and Deborah Jenson, Franklin Humanities Institute Director Ian Baucom and Librarians Holly Ackerman and Heidi Madden for a brownbag discussion of the Haiti Lab and the potential for involvement of Duke Libraries staff in future humanities labs.
When: Friday, December 3 from 11:30 am-1 pm (moderated discussion will begin at noon)
Reduce connection charges while flying..most major carriers charge between $5.00 to $13.00 for internet service. Gogo Inflight (gogoinflight.com) offers six-packs and 24 our flight passes that may cut your charges by as much as 30%. An alternative to online charges is to check out our E-readers, go to library.duke.edu/ereaders for more details.
To highlight the generosity of donors, the Collection Development Gifts Unit is now adding electronic gift plates to records for new gifts in kind.
Searchable in the catalog, the text can be found on the details tab.
The default text on the book plates is” Gift of [Professor Kindheart]” but other text options are available.
Since nearly 100% of donors during a pilot offering have already agreed to have this note added, we expect this option to be well received. It will soon become the default, though donors will still have the choice of anonymity.
If you have further questions about donating books to Perkins Library, please contact staff in the Collection Development Gifts Unit, Cheryl Thomas or Ian Holljes.
AllAfrica.com-Africa News Online is a comprehensive resource featuring stories from newspapers, magazines, and news agencies. The news service posts more than 1000 stories daily in English and French and also provides access to the Africa News Service Archives, a resource of more than 900,000 articles on Africa dating back to 1997.
For pre-1997 materials, look no further than the Duke University Libraries. The Africa News Service was founded in 1973 by a trio of Duke graduates, Bertie Howard (’69), Tamela Hultman (’68), and Reed Kramer (’69). The Africa News Service resource files for 1960-1996 were donated to the library in 1997.
The finding aid for the archives is available at: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/rbmscl/africa/inv/
Jakob Nielsen , a renowned Danish researcher in the field of web design for user satisfaction, compared the speed of reading (Lesegeschwindigkeit) in print, on the Kindle and on the iPad in his latest research
His conclusion is:” The iPad measured at 6.2% lower reading speed than the printed book, whereas the Kindle measured at 10.7% slower than print.” The article links to more information on what we can expect from e-readers and tablet computers in the future; the future is bright indeed (no pun intended).
On a related note…don’t miss this interesting classroom experiment comparing textbooks on Kindle versus iPad: “The E-Textbook Experiment Turns A Page,” broadcast on NPR this evening. User satisfaction with the Kindle seems to be significantly lower than user satisfaction with the iPad: “The problem is that the Kindle is less interactive than a piece of paper…”
Use the comment section to share your experience with various devices.
If you deal with large amounts of data and especially if you use spreadsheets to work with it, there is a new tool for you. Freebase Gridworks allows you to upload data and then examine, filter and do data cleanup for ‘grid-shaped data.’ Visit the Gridworks project site for more information and videos that more fully explain and demonstrate some of the functionality of this tool.
Short List of Gridworks Functions
Bring similar data together for normalization (CIT and C.I.T. or just plain old data entry errors)
Create facets based on any column of data
Make graphs of any two columns to quickly visualize relationships
Pull data from the Freebase database to add to your own data
Make external data sets more useful by creating linking
This is just a brief list, but visit the site for more detail and see how Gridworks could save you time in data cleanup or help to create visualizations you couldn’t before.
Computer users often have ways to backup their computer files but, if you use a number of cloud-based services, you should also think about developing a strategy for backing up your cloud data.
Hopefully, you won’t need the backup but we all know that problems with data storage can cause headaches: servers and internet access can go down and internet companies can have policies that change your access to your files.
Chris Brogan, President of New Marketing Labs, recently wrote, “I woke up this morning in Montreal to find that my access to my Google accounts has been temporarily disabled due to a ‘perceived violation of either the Google Terms of Service or product-specific Terms of Service.'” So, if you rely on such services as Gmail, Google Docs, and Flickr, you should think about a backup plan.
Backup Your Photos
If you use Flickr to archive or display your photos, you may already have your photos backed up on your hard drive. But, if you upload photos directly from your computer or camera to Flickr, you may want to check out FlickrEdit, an open source program that allows you to download, backup, or upload your photos to and from Flickr.
Backup Your Gmail
The mail program Thunderbird is a simple and free way to backup your Gmail. Thunderbird is a mail program that collects and stores copies of your Gmail messages. Messages are stored in a simple text file so they are easy to access.
Backup Your Google Docs GDocBackup, a free and open source utility, can be used to backup all your Google Documents to a local disk. It backs up those documents not found on your hard drive or with a different date.
Other Ways to Backup Your Cloud?
If you know other tools to use to backup cloud data, please post them as comments. I’m sure others would like to hear your suggestions. Thanks!
From the website: “The annual Horizon Report is a collaborative effort between the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC). Each year, the report identifies and describes six areas of emerging technology likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression in higher education within three adoption horizons: a year or less, two to three years, and four to five years. “
The areas of emerging technology cited for 2010 are: Mobile Computing ; Open Content; Electronic Books; Simple Augmented Reality; Gesture-based Computing; Visual Data Analysis. The full report is available at: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD5810.pdf The July 12 Webinar presentations are also online at http://www.educause.edu/Resources/HorizonReport2010ProjectsinEBo/207847
This news item came to my attention via Resource Shelf http://www.resourceshelf.com/
The Library of Congress announced that it has acquired and will archive every public tweet since Twitter’s service started in 2006. That’s more than 50 million tweets per day. Twitter declared, “[it is] very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history.”
Notable tweets include:
Obama’s tweet when he won the 2008 election: http://tiny.cc/srs68 and the first tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey: http://tiny.cc/aa2nt.
The Twitter archive joins the Library’s Web capture project that already has stored 167 terabytes of digital material.
There are some limitations. Personal tweets will not be collected and the Twitter archive will be available only for scholarly and research purposes.
Google doesn’t think you should have to wait for the Library of Congress to make archival tweets available—it’s turning on a feature that lets you choose a date and “replay” the tweets from that point on. Google’s search combines Twitter updates with those from MySpace, Facebook and Buzz.
National index to Chinese newspapers and periodicals, 1833-1949 全国报刊索引 is an index database is from Shanghai library and covers about 18,000 Chinese newspapers and periodicals published 1833-1949. There are approximately 400,000 entries in NICNP (1833-1910) and more than 4,000,000 entries in NICNP (1911-1949). From 1833 to 1949, China experienced great changes from the dynastic reign to the establishment of Republic of China(1912) then to the founding of the People’s Republic of China(1949). These journals and newspapers record the major and minor events at that time, including two Opium wars in mid-19th century and the Japanese invasion of China(1937-1945). They are important primary source materials to the study of China’s politics, economics, ideas and culture in this period.
The layers were created by Duke’s Facility Management and are being provided for download by Perkins Library’s Data & GIS Services Department. Categories of data include general campus features (e.g., building footprints, parking lots, crosswalks, Duke Garden trails), campus vegetation (e.g., coniferous trees, hedges), topography (contour lines), and color aerial photography in geo-referenced MrSID compressed format. The area of coverage includes not only West, Central, and East campuses, but many of the surrounding Durham neighborhoods. But no, undergrads, we have nothing showing the tunnels!
We hope to improve the documentation over time with improved metadata, as well as periodically update the layers. Users should contact Mark Thomas or other staff in the Data & GIS Services Department for help in using this data.
A while ago, Library Hacks blogged about Zotero, an open source research organizer/citation management system developed at George Mason University. One of their tag lines is “Good bye 3×5 cards, hello Zotero.” (Yes, we know that many of you don’t even remember taking notes and saving references on 3×5 cards…).
A lot has happened since those blog posts, including the release of Zotero 2.0. The new version has features that enhance collaboration and information sharing, one of Zotero’s four key functions (collecting, organizing, citing and collaborating). Your Zotero collection can now be synced between multiple computers, and you can backup your files on Zotero’s web server. If you want to collaborate with others to compile material in Zotero, you can now create a group, access material in real time, and move materials among group members. Groups can be public (here’s a list of public Zotero groups that you can join or view) or private (for a course assignment, research or work-related project).
What are some advantages of using Zotero? It’s fairly easy to learn to use it, it works with a wide variety of materials, the collaborative features are great, and it’s free.
NYU Libraries created a great site that compares Zotero, RefWorks and EndNote. Interested in migrating from EndNote to Zotero? Check out the useful migration instructions prepared by George Mason University.
More information about Zotero 2.0 can be found here. The Libraries are looking at how we can support Zotero at Duke. Stay tuned.
There is now a new way to download audiobooks straight from the web. NC Live is now providing 750 downloadable audiobooks that are available in .mp3 format so you can burn them to a CD or transfer them to a portable device like an iPod. Just browse, select, and download the title of your choice to your computer, then transfer your selection to a portable listening device for on-the-go audio enjoyment.
Subjects focus subjects focusing primarily on language learning, classic literature, history, and biography. Available titles include The Shawshank Redemption, Slaughterhouse Five, Atlas Shrugged or learn to speak French, German, Greek or Thai.
Screencasting technology allows you to record what is happening on your computer screen with accompanying audio commentary and then share it with others. It enables remote collaboration and learning and provides an effective medium for educating users in the best use of databases and online resources.
It is a handy and useful tool for students, teachers and developers of software and web resources. Screencasting is especially useful in learning environments where it can be used to make live recordings of presentations or training sessions, to comment verbally on projects and assignments, to remotely show students how to use software or search a database, or for collaboration on projects. Developers can use screencasting to highlight features in new products or to give a tour of a website or resource.
These tools can also be used socially for things like sharing narrated slide shows with friends. More advanced tools with additional features, such as Camtasia and Adobe Captivate, are available for purchase. These tools allow you to edit your content and import still images, video, and PowerPoint slides and also let you create accessible tutorials and lessons through the use of closed captioning. Several basic tools such as Jing, Screenr and Screen Jelly are available for free. These online tools are designed for easy use so you can begin making screencasts immediately.
Have you tried any screencasting tools? What did you think?
During the month of January, Reference librarians at Perkins Library answered a total of 1,795 questions, excluding questions sent in by chat.
Here is a sampling of the questions asked last month –
* Need help tracking down the volume in which a 1883 botanical illustration appeared?
* game theoretic applications to executive compensation?
* US and global railcar manufacturing?
* Seeking 1968 Soviet physics journal?
* I spilled some coffee–do you have any paper towels?
* I am trying to locate a book of collected drawings of the Great Kanto Earthquake by children. I have found an oblique reference to it in a caption to an illustration without any bibliographic info?
* Stem cell biology in traumatic brain injury: effects of injury and strategies for repair?
* what citation management tool do you recommend?
* GIS : how to get started; availability of data for India?
* trouble accessing journal article?
* help finding articles for class?
* speech by Booker T. Washington in Atlanta, 1895?
* can you eat in the library?
* How to find Russian books?
* 2001 Indian Census volumes for Gujarat
* I can’t find this shelf at all, where are these books?
You can ask reference questions in person (Perkins Reference Desk), im/chat (click on the askusNOW icon), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (660-5880). Save some time and get the information you need quickly!
Quiet study spots
Looking for a quiet place to study in Perkins/Bostock? No need to limit yourself to the designated quiet rooms in Bostock – the International and Area Studies Reading Room on the 2nd floor and the Carpenter Reading Room on the 3rd floor. Check out some of the lesser known places.
For those who want large spaces in which to study, the Gothic Reading Room on the 2nd floor of the oldest wing of Perkins (closest to the bus stop) could be perfect.
On the 3rd and 4th floors of Perkins individual open carrels are available on the side facing CIEMAS. On lower level 2 of Perkins, you might find an individual table/chair tucked away at the ends of aisles. Individual carrels are available around the edges of the 5 upper stack levels in the oldest part of the building, accessed by making a u-turn around the circulation desk, entering level A, and taking the interior stairs to levels B-F. Additional open carrels are available at the back of the 3rd and 4th floors of Bostock.
Duke users now have access to the sociology research database SocINDEX with Full Text. This new subscription provides comprehensive coverage of sociology resources, encompassing all sub-disciplines and closely related areas of study.
SocINDEX with Full Text features more than 2,066,400 records; extensive indexing for books/monographs, conference papers, and other non-periodical sources; abstracts for more than 1,200 “core” coverage journals dating as far back as 1895; and provides cited references that can also be searched.
SocINDEX with Full Text offers coverage for topics including: abortion, anthropology, criminology, criminal justice, cultural sociology, demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage and family, politics, religion, rural sociology, social psychology, social structure, social work, sociological theory, sociology of education, substance abuse, urban studies, violence, welfare, and many others.
In addition, SocINDEX with Full Text features over 25,000 author profiles. Each profile includes contact information, journals of publication, and author’s areas of expertise and professional focus.
We previously discussed the growing number of sources for getting lecture videos in the post Free Video Lectures. These are great ways to provide an alternative for the classroom experience. But what about using video as an alternative to traditional scholarly communication or publishing through journals, books, etc? Here are a few sites promoting open scholarship by allowing researchers to display their research methods and results through video.
This site is focused in terms of content, focusing on the sciences, but could be helpful for a wide range of audiences. There are videos here for children through postgraduates. They build in nice browsing features as well, so users can select the proper language, audience, subject and sort by recency or popularity. Contributors also include figures, supplemental materials and links to the original article or presentation. The theme here is openess as anyone can view or contribute anything.
While not as slick and easy-to-use as YouTube, Research Channel focuses on high quality submissions from research universities, like Duke, and large organizations such as the National Institutes of Health. You can browse by institution, program title or subject and the quality is good and from respected sources.
An interesting and well-designed site. It focuses on videos about politics and economics, but also includes categories such as the environment, science, technology and culture. This is a great place to come to see mental celebrities (General Richard Meyers, Dr. David Kessler for example) talk about the subjects for which they are famous. FORA.TV can’t compete for YouTube in terms of volume, but it more than makes up for that with its quality and interesting discussions.
Another example of lower volume, but higher quality. These videos have big thinkers (if not always big names) discussing the big ideas. Instead of talks about individual research projects, these videos focus more on big-picture synthesis of research on important topics of the day. While it’s not the open model of SciVee or YouTube, Big Think provides a platform for discussion of important issues by those who speak knowledgeably and engagingly about them.
What are other good sites for publishing or viewing research-oriented videos?
*Thanks to Lisa R. Johnston for her SciTech News column which inspired this post.
Before finals Information Technology Services (ITS) polled patrons at the Perkins Reference desk to see which netbook they preferred the Lenovo s12 or the slightly smaller Lenovo s10e. 9 of 10 surveyed said they preferred the slightly larger s12 over the s10e because the larger keyboard was easier to use and the 10 inch screen display was clearer. Some also felt the wireless on the s12 was faster. Overall the larger model was easier to use while not compromising portability. Based on these findings, we will likely purchase the s12 to replace the current pool of loaner laptops next fall.
Patrons were also asked what software they would like on these laptops. Most said they would need Office and a Web browser but there were also requests for Adobe products and EndNote. What software would you would like us to include on the build?
Previous posts have focused mainly on text- and image-based resources. This installment will highlight audio, specifically free resources available on the Internet. Here are a few:
The British Library’s public collections include field recordings of natural and urban soundscapes, music from around the world, a survey of English dialects, early spoken word recordings, as well as historical information on sound reproduction technology.
Xeno-Canto hosts an archive of bird sounds from across the globe and makes good use of Google Maps in its search and information display interfaces.
London Sound Survey is a nice example of how audio can contribute to an overall picture of a geographical place and its culture and history over time.
The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds (focusing only on sounds, not songs).
Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal music downloads directed by New Jersey’s freeform radio station WFMU.
This is just a small sample of what’s out there. Now it’s up to you to decide how audio could enhance your research, project or presentation. Here’s some inspiration: http://tenement.org/folksongs/client/
Ready to start that term paper? Not sure how to start? The University of Minnesota Libraries have created an assignment calculator to help students organize their time to meet their research needs. Start with today’s date, enter the date assignment is due, a timeline is provided, with research milestones. Use Duke Library links for local, on-site research assistance. For example, How do I begin my research? or Find a Librarian in my subject area? or ask for help are just a few of the services available to you through the Duke Libraries.
Global Access and Local Action- Health Information and Open Access
Friday October 23rd , 1-3pm
217 Perkins Library.
In an era of globalization, issues of connectivity and access to information concerning health care and health related systems remain uneven across the world. Duke students and faculty from Trinity College and the Duke Global Health Institute will discuss their experiences with information access in health projects around the world, as well as their interactions with health consumers and professionals in other countries.
Sponsored as part of Open Access Week by Duke University Libraries and the Duke Medical Center Library
For people who are interested in colonial Taiwan(1895-1945), there’s some good news. Libraries inside and outside Taiwan are digitizing their special collections including photographs and art images and make them free available to interested researchers and general public. The following are four selected collections:
Three photpgraph collections from Lafayette college’s digital collection. All the photos have very detailed descriptive data (bilingual in many fields) and the images are of good quality themselves.
We’ve been getting more and more questions in the library about how researchers can find information from other disciplines. For example, how can someone working on membranes in Psychiatry connect up with someone working on membranes in Materials Science? In a world where waiting for the published article is increasingly too late, we’ve been trying to find new avenues.
To answer the question above, I thought, ‘I wonder if there is a social networking site for scientists?’, did a Google search, and voila – Labmeeting!
The interesting part about Labmeeting is that it is only freely available to scientific researchers. You have to either get invited by a scientific researcher you know, or show online proof that you are doing scientific research. Or pay $99. Thus, not being a scientific researcher, nor willing to part with $99 for a look-see, I was unable to join.
A search on Duke presented 120 results and included the following:
Associate Professor at Duke University interested in the following topics: Monomeric lambda repressor, Ribonuclease P protein, Protein A, NMR, CD, fluorescence, stopped flow, amide exchange, dynamic NMR
PhD Student at Duke University interested in the following topics: In vivo model systems, genetic screens, immunoblotting
PhD Student at Duke University interested in the following topics: Photonics
Finding textbooks – Most know Amazon, but there are some other options out there for online textbook shopping. Bookfinder searches across many online book retailers, making it easy to compare prices. Chegg is a big textbook rental site, allowing for use of books for only a short time.
Lifehacker tips – This site helped inspire the name of this blog and is a great source for little ways to make life better, often with technology, but often without.
Sleep better: Includes alarm clock suggestions and napping strategies
Take better notes: Taking notes seems simple enough, but there are three methods here for getting more out of those scribbles
For a large list of all types of web apps that could be helpful for students, check out this list from readwriteweb. This list is a couple years old, any new apps on the scene since then?
Student raising his hand in a classroom, 1970
William Gedney Photographs and Writings
Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
There are iPhone apps for just about anything. They’ve got you covered if you need to get Danish handball scores, calculate alimony, keep track of your pet’s vet records, or create and test palindromes. There is more than just fun in the world of apps, though. Here are some great research tools for mobile devices.
At Duke, there are a number of great ways to work in the library wherever you are. You can use the library’s mobile website to find library hours, available computers, directions, contact info and more. If you’re doing medical research, take a look at Duke’s Medical Center Library mobile site. It’s full of features enabling you to do PICO analysis, browse e-journals, and link to many helpful mobile resources.
On the Digital Collections blog, it was recently announced that you can search, browse and view our Digital Collections on your mobile device. Be sure to watch the short video demonstrating the ease of this feature in their post announcing this new tool. Just announced this week, you can now watch vintage ads from Duke Libraries Hartman Center from Duke iTunes U.
There are other nice mobile tools outside of Duke as well. This is just a partial list and some of these are third-party apps, but this will give you an idea of the possibilities out there. Some useful apps include those for WorldCat.org, the arXiv pre-print server for physics, math, computer science, etc, or the Papers PDF organizer software in mobile form.
I’m sure I’ve missed some helpful mobile resources. What others are out there?
Do you find yourself waiting longingly for the next post of Library Hacks? Is there just nothing that will satisfy your thirst for research, technology and library related news?? If so, LibWorm is the tool for you! LibWorm, a search engine that searches over 1500 library related or librarian maintained blogs, can help you find research tips, tools and strategies from librarians of all types from all over the world. Just type in a topic of interest and – PRESTO! – Hundreds of librarians are at your fingertips.
Sticky notes are great for jotting down quick thoughts to act on later. On the negative side, they have serious shortcomings when it comes to organizing all these ideas and sharing them with others. Here are a few web tools which expand the utility of sticky notes and bring them to your electronic environment.
Here is beefed-up, electronic version of your paper sticky note. Here you can create sticky boards and cover them notes, photos, to-do lists and documents and mark them up as you want. Then you can share them with group members and they can make and see edits and updates too.
This tool is a great way to organize your thoughts and is very easy to use. The interface is very appealing and is really fun to use. Plus, you can share your maps and collaborate with others with Twitter, Skype, iGoogle gadgets, Firefox add-ons and various export options. You can get a basic account (read: free) with up to six maps and premium accounts for a little more than free. Check out a completed map.
This is a similar tool to MindMeister. It’s not as feature-rich, but for what it does, it’s simple and easy. It has great keyboard shortcuts that allow for quick brainstorming and notetaking. Again, it keeps things organized and related in a way that you can make sense of all the notes you’re taking.
What you get here is basically a clean slate. It approximates a clean white board and you are free to doodle, add text, change colors, etc. It also has browser buttons that, when clicked, bring that web page into Twiddla where you can mark on them and share with others. This could be a helpful way to comment on the design or content of a web page and let others see your ideas.
What web tools do you like for keeping track of your thoughts and collaborating?
*Thanks to Lisa R. Johnston for her SciTech News column which inspired this post.
Name ambiguity is a recurring issue that impacts research accuracy and quality, career advancement and tenure, global collaboration among researchers, and identification and attribution of funding for institutions and individual authors alike.
2collab is a collaboration platform designed specifically for researchers in the science, technical and medical communities.
Produced by Elsevier and intended for use by professional researchers in academic, government and corporate institutions, 2collab provides a great solution for the following challenges:
1. I need a place to store and manage my online bookmarks
2. I’m collaborating with colleagues and I need a place where I can share information easily with my network
3. I need new ways to get recognition for my work
As a published author you can import and display your publication history (with citation counts!) using Elsevier’s extensive coverage of over 2.5 million validated author profiles and a database of 15,800 peer-reviewed journals.
There are a number of ways to analyze the impact of publications of a particular researcher (including yourself). A longtime favorite has been ISI’s (Social) Science Citation Index, which has come to the web as Web of Science. The web has introduced a number of other tools for assessing the impact of a specific researcher or publication. Some of these are GoogleScholar (don’t forget to set your preferences!), Scopus, SciFinder Scholar, and MathSciNet among many others.
Joining this group is Publish or Perish, with a slightly different take on this process. Publish or Perish uses data from Google Scholar, but it automatically does analysis on the citation patterns for specific authors. After searching for an author (works best with first initial and quotes, such as “DG Schaeffer”) you can select the papers you want to analyze and you get metrics such as total citations, cites per year, h-index, g-index, etc. Any analysis done can be exported to EndNote, BibTeX or a CSV file.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have all your research (your papers, articles, etc.) in one place? Papers (for Mac, iPhone & iTouch) allows you to download, browse and organize all of your research from within its attractive and intuitive interface (2007 winner of Apple’s Design Award).
Papers allows you to perform searches in major databases, like Web of Science, JSTOR, Google Scholar and PubMed (to name a few). Articles retrieved from databases include rich metadata goodies, like full bibliographic info. The marketing of this tool seems to be geared towards science-related research, though it has potential for any form of research.
The $42 fee may be a deterrent to some, but students can purchase Papers at a 40% discount ($16.80). The application does wonders for organizing your papers, but does not support bibliographic managment (EndNote, RefWorks and Zotero).
For all the PC owners out there, sorry…the creators of Papers (Mekentosj) show no love for the PC. But check out an earlier post on the PC-friendly pdf organizer, Mendeley.
Even the best professors, books and classmates can be improved with some additional information. In this post we’re going to list a few places where you can find some great lectures to supplement what you’re getting in your own course.
The first is a series of lectures from Academic Earth. This site includes one-off lectures on a given topic or entire courses from schools like Harvard, Princeton and UC-Berkeley. They can be browsed by university or subject area. Viewers also have an opportunity to rate each lecture or course so others can see which are “top-rated.” There are resources for many different subjects including political science, astronomy, religion and entrepreneurship. Get started with an Introduction to Ancient Greek History.
Lecturefox provides a search engine and browsable lists for lecture materials. The site indicates the title of the lecture, the university and whether video, audio, and/or notes are included. You can browse by chemistry, computer science, math and physics categories, but again, there are other subjects included.
It’s the one little line in your assignment that can lead to hours of work:
Format your paper in APA (or MLA, or Chicago, or Turabian…)
Inserting correct citations and a properly formatted bibliography used to involve complicated manuals, memorization of arcane facts about space placement after a period, and a lot of hair pulling. Kudos to those who want to keep citing by hand…but for those who don’t, it’s….
REFWORKS to the RESCUE!
We’re kicking off a whole week of RefWorks training, which will run between March 30th to April 3rd, to introduce you to your new best citation friend.
What is RefWorks? It’s a web-based program that collects all your research and references in one handy spot, search and select them, and automatically generates citations and bibliography in whatever style your Professor is asking for.
Got a pile of PDFs on your computer? Turn your research documents into your own personal digital library with Mendeley–a new tool for organizing and sharing research.
Mendeley has a downloadable (free!) desktop software component, as well as a web-based component (Mendeley Web). Mendeley Web allows you to sync your library of PDFs, so that you can access them while you are away from your computer. Mendeley Web also serves as a social networking tool for connecting with researchers in your field.
When adding PDFs to Mendeley’s desktop client, Mendeley extracts the metadata (author, title, publication info, etc.) and creates a record for each PDF that you add to your Mendeley library. In addition to storing your PDFs, you can use the tool to add annotations and tags.
How does Mendeley differ from a tool like Zotero? In a nutshell, Mendeley grabs citation info from a PDF, whereas Zotero grabs citation info from webpages. Many reviewers note that the Mendeley’s sharing and collaboration features are superior to other tools, including tools like Zotero. Reviewers also pointed out another notable difference in the development philosophies of these tools…Zotero is ‘open source’ (developers are sharing the code, so that many people can contribute). Whereas, Mendeley is currently a closed, commercial product.
Note: Mendeley is still in ‘Beta’, which means its developers are still tweaking the tool!
If you have questions, you can go to the reference desk or IM, email and text librarians. But what if you just want some general updates on library happenings? What if you’re curious about some of the fascinating questions we are asked each day? How do you get that kind of information?
Why, from Twitter of course! If you’re already glued to Twitter, then you can follow us now! While you can post anything you want to your account, we try to keep it interesting.
Our updates range from tips on ways to use our services (like texting a librarian if you’re in the movable stacks and they are stuck) to highlighting important days (two weeks ago we celebrated W.E.B. Du Bois’s birthday on Twitter by including a link to some of his works in our collection). Sometimes librarians are pretty hip, so we Tweeted about our Full Frame Film Archive for those of you who couldn’t get enough of the Oscars last week.
And sometimes…sometimes we get questions that are just awesome. So we will Tweet them to give you something to think about. You want an example? “Where can I find information about spontaneous cataracts in dogs and monkeys?” So, yeah. You’re interested.
Find us by searching for ‘askref’ or just click here.If you have yet to enter the Twitterverse, you can check out these frequently asked questions to see what it’s all about!
The library has provided quite a few ways to contact us with your questions including phone, email, IM, research consultations and the reference desk on the first floor of Perkins. Take a look at the Ask a Librarian page for more details.
Now you can ask questions just by texting us. Send us a question via text message and you’ll get an answer on your mobile device within minutes. Send a message to 265010 (that’s right, just six digits), enter ‘dukeref:’ followed by your question and send.
This can be handy if:
You’re on the bus and you want to confirm that the library is open
You want to see if that book on reserve is available right now
You’re in the library and you can’t seem to locate your book or get the shelves to move
You have a research question and you just love to talk with your thumbs
Messages are limited to 160 characters and texting rates apply. But if you like to text, you knew that already.
Even if you like to read books, can be hard to find the time or get into the habit of reading for pleasure. This is especially difficult for those of us that do a lot of reading for work and school. When we find ourselves with free time, we often neglect reading for other activities.
Using DailyLit, you can read short sections of books each day, received by email or RSS feed. Each installment is very short (intended to be read in 5 minutes) and can be sent daily, on weekdays, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, etc. Some books are available for a fairly small fee, but many others are available for free.
Audiobooks outside of Duke’s libraries
For more extensive collections, check out your local public libraries:
Chapel Hill residents (requires a Chapel Hill Public Library card):
Download audiobooks from the NC Digital Library here.
Durham residents (requires a Durham County Library card):
Download audiobooks from Overdrive here.
You may need to contact the library for your ‘PIN’, but it should be the last 4 digits of the telephone # you used to get your library card.
**Unfortunately, these downloadable books are not compatible with iPods.**
Both Chapel Hill & Durham also have collections of Books on CD & cassette on-site.
There’s always the option of podcasts, too! Like this ‘podiocast’ site for serialized fiction: podiobooks.com. Free podcasts (and not-so-free audiobooks) are also available from commercial sites like, iTunes, Audible.com and Amazon.
If you do work on two or more computers, or work on teams, Dropbox might be a helpful tool for you. Working on multiple computers allows us to be productive more often, but it adds a layer of coordination. Do you keep emailing myself files or carry a USB drive back and forth? And ensuring that you are working with the most current version can also cause confusion.
Dropbox, in beta phase, could provide a better way. Download the software onto the computers that you use and want to be connected and link them with your single Dropbox account. It fits right into the file directory systems for Windows or Mac machines. You just have to drag and drop the files and they are immediately synced between computers. Revisions or changes made to the file are immediately available in multiple computers. Your Dropbox folder also has a public folder which you can share with friends and co-workers. This could help facilitate group projects where many people on many computers are working with the same files.
There is no online storage of files with Dropbox, but it does revision history, so if you accidentally save a file and want to revert to an old version or deleted a file, Dropbox can recover any previous version. Check out the video below for a complete demonstration of its features.
LibX is a web browser extension (also known as a plug-in or add-on) that places a toolbar in your browser, visual “cues” in certain web pages that link to Duke Library resources related to the item you’re viewing, and new menu items in the right-click menu in your browser, getting you quick access to Duke Library resources from whatever web page you’re on. A version for Firefox has been available for some time but the creators of LibX have now released a version that works in Internet Explorer (IE) 6 and 7.
More information about what you can do with LibX, where to get it, and how to install it in both Firefox and IE can be found on the Library’s LibX Tool page.
We’ve probably all experienced the frustration of automated telephone systems. Your needs are never included on the menu. You feel like you have a quick question that could be solved in 30 seconds if you could just talk to a real person. Or that sinking feeling when you realize you’ve heard this menu before. And let’s not forget the feeling of foolishness associated with giving canned voice commands to a computer. Shouted expletives generally aren’t understood by these calm-voiced operators.
There is, however, a resource for getting to human operators. In 2005, Paul English created the gethuman database, which has a listing of companies and services from insurance to hardware. For each phone service, there is a list of instructions for what to do to get out of the automated menus.
In addition to this original database, there is get2human.com, which is “more actively maintained” than the original site, but which has some obvious design differences.
Writing this post made me think about how interacting with companies like those listed in the gethuman site differs from the interactions that users have with libraries at Duke and elsewhere. Duke Libraries has expanded its service points from face-to-face contact to include phone, email, IM chat and now text messaging (click here to see all the ways to contact reference staff). But regardless of the method of communication, you’ll always reach an actual person who is trained and eager to help answer your questions. We hope this service enhances your work and keeps your blood pressure low.
**This tool is not yet ready for public use, but it seems to offer a lot of promise, so we’re sharing it with you now.**
Adobe Systems, working with researchers at the University of Washington, has just debuted Zoetrope, a new tool which we hope can illuminate the past of the Web. Web sites and pages within those sites change so quickly that the past is easily forgotten. It can be very interesting to look back at changes in layout and content and to track trends.
We wrote about the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine as a way to look at selected snapshots of Web pages in the past. The Wayback Machine has saved a huge quantity of data and is a unique tool for preserving the Web of the past. Zoetrope adds the ability to track changes by creating tools for easily browsing past Web pages. Users could use a slider to move back and forward in time. As displayed in the video, you could also create a “lens” to track a specific piece of information like the price of gasoline and compare it to the price of oil over time.
During the current testing phase, Zoetrope creators chose 1,000 websites that update frequently and stored information captured every hour over four months. While this is much more limited than what the Internet Archive is saving, the Internet Archive has expressed an interest in sharing its data. Maybe soon we’ll be able to use the Zoetrope tools to browse and analyze the vast data of the Internet Archive.
The video best displays the cool features of Zoetrope. Take a look and comment on some of its possible applications for personal or research use.
This is part of a beta site providing Library web content formatted specifically for cell phones and other handheld devices (iPod Touch, Blackberry, etc.). Feel free to give us your feedback letting us know what Library information you’d like to access via your cell phone’s browser.
Kudos to Jim Coble, Matt Gates, and Jason Simons for making data on available computers accessible to our patrons.
Many of us use Google to search the web for personal research and library resources for scholarly publications. Sometimes, however, it’s not clear whether what we need will be on the web or in scholarly literature. I’d like to point out some nice search engines for specific types of information that combine the ease of Google with the specialization of a library database. These tools could help you make sense of the web.
Scirus – Specializing in scientific information, it allows researchers to search for journal content and also scientists’ homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents and institutional repository and website information. Also, its new ‘topics pages‘ are Wikipedia-style entries with identified (usually scholarly) authors.
Meta-Index to U.S. Legal Research – This site gathers search engines for U.S. legal information from across the web and puts them all in the same place. It points you towards good tools for searching legislation, judicial opinions and regulations on the web.
CiteSeer – This search engine for computer science and information science is full of features including citation analysis tools.
InternshipPrograms – A nice way to search for internships and for organizations to find interns. Register by including your résumé and interests.
Clusty – Provides search results in a list, but also includes a sidebar with categories, so you can review results by subject area.
Google – Don’t forget about Google’s own features such as Advanced search, Google Books, Google Scholar, Google News, etc.
New to college and looking for advice about how to get started researching and writing all these papers?
Want to give your students some extra help in learning how to navigate the research process in an academic environment?
Are you just a sucker for charming Canadian accents?
The University of Prince Edward Island has created a really nice set of videos to help students with skills like active and critical reading, choosing a topic, using library databases and essay building. The videos are about 5-10 minutes long and are fast-moving and clear in the style of the “… in Plain English” series.
These videos could be really helpful and even enjoyable for people who have a long list of papers, but just can’t seem to get started. Good luck!
I know that some of you think your professors have sent you out into the world of research and writing with no allies and no weapons. I’m here to tell you that you are mistaken. A group of superhero-like librarians have been summoned from the ends of the earth and brought to Duke to equip you with subject specific knowledge and tools.
Trying to figure out if you need a subject librarian? Do you have a really specific topic? Are you looking for data, obscure documents or resources? Do you feel the need for an in-depth research consult? If you answered yes to any of these questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Astronomy? Got it. Korean Studies? Yep. Music Media? You know it! And that’s only a taste of the subject coverage we’ve got! What’s that? You want to contact them right away? You want to learn more about the subjects they cover? I thought you might feel that way. All the information you need is here.
If you still have questions, don’t forget that the reference desk is always a great place to start. You can always save time and ask a librarian!
Do you ever come across the following error message while doing research on the Internet?
The requested URL /was not found on this server.
There may be a solution!The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine allows you to browse through 85 billion (!) web pages that have been archived since 1996. Simply enter the URL of the site and the Wayback Machine will show you all the available versions of the site since 1996.
For example, ever wondered what the Google page looked like before Google became a household name. Click this link to see the Google page from 1999.
Wish you had a photographic memory? Me too, but since that’s not an option, I use Evernote. Never heard of it? Let me fill you in.
In a nutshell: Evernote is an application that allows you to collect information as you encounter it. What do I mean?
Viewing a website or an email and want to remember a certain passage or image? Just highlight it and copy it to Evernote. Looking through a friend’s class notes and see something you missed? Take a picture of it and upload it to Evernote. The same goes for whiteboards, business cards, fliers, and more! Text within images that you copy to Evernote are completely searchable. Even photos of handwritten notes! Glued to your QWERTY board? Use the phone application to send ideas, to-do lists or other reminders as they come up.
The best part (besides the fact that it’s free!) is that there is a web-based version, so you’re not tied to your desktop. Search your information from your laptop in the Perk or on your web-ready cell phone.
What else? Keep your information private or share it with your friends. Add tags or notes to make your images and entries more searchable or sortable. Want to browse by dates? You can do that too. For some additional bells and whistles, use the Windows or Mac application too (don’t worry, it syncs with the web version).
It’s so tempting to leave your books and laptop in your favorite study spot while you head to the bathroom or to The Perk for a refill. Unfortunately, it only takes seconds for that precious laptop — along with the months’ worth of work saved to its hard drive — to vanish.
In response to what has become a problem on campuses nation-wide, a group of professors and grad students from the University of Washington, the University of California-San Diego and the University of California-Davis has developed Adeona, a free open-source program that can help users locate lost or stolen laptops.
One particular advantage of Adeona (named for the Roman goddess of safe returns) is that only owners have the ability to track their laptops — users aren’t required to report their information to a third party. In fact, Adeona’s website boasts that it is “the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service.”
Take a few minutes to download and install Adeona, and post your thoughts on the new software here.
Last week, Duke Libraries launched a brand new interface to its catalog. There’s a lot that you can do with the new catalog that you couldn’t do before, so get ready for many new tips and tricks here on Library Hacks.
This post will focus on using RSS (really simple syndication). RSS “feeds” free you from having to constantly check web sites to see if anything new and interesting has been added. Instead, the information is delivered to you as soon as it is available. If you’re not familiar with RSS or would like a refresher, take a few minutes to watch this “RSS in Plain English” video by CommonCraft:
Of course, the library catalog is neither news nor a blog. So, you might ask, what can you do with RSS in the library catalog? You can…
Get alerted when items of interest to you are added to the catalog
Let’s look at some examples of items. I’ll use the first to demonstrate.
(Bookmarked with the “Save Search” feature):
Whether you are just browsing by clicking around or you have narrowed a set of results with a combination of search terms and selections from the left-hand “Refine Your Search” menu, you’ll see an RSS icon ( ) next to the number of results found.
Right-Click (or Option-Click) on the RSS icon to copy the feed URL. Click Copy Shortcut (or its equivalent–see below).
In Google Reader, click “Add subscription,” paste in the feed URL you copied from the catalog, and click “Add”.
Now that you have subscribed, any time an item is added to the catalog that matches what you were looking for (in this case, feature film DVDs at Lilly Library) the item will appear in your reader, just like new blog posts and news articles, with a link that will take you to the item in the catalog interface.
This is a great way to find out quickly and effortlessly about new additions to the catalog that match your interests.
Other uses of RSS feeds from the Catalog
Beyond delivering notices to your personal reader, you can use a feed from the catalog to generate a linked list of new additions that match a particular interest, and embed that in another web site. You could add a list to a blog, your Facebook profile, a course or departmental web site, or someplace else. The steps to do this will differ depending on which site, widget, or application you’re using, but use the same technique as above to get the feed URL.
In further Facebook takes over the universe (at least the parts not already claimed by Google) news, there’s a new application in Facebook called CiteMe. You enter the title of the book you want to cite, click go, and the app spits out a formatted citation in one of five styles (APA, Chicago, Harvard. MLA, or Turabian).
It uses the WorldCat library catalog to find books, so it won’t be helpful for citing journal articles. If you’re working with journal articles, you can check our Citing Sources pages for examples and do them by hand, or get started with RefWorks or EndNote, the two citation managers Duke has site licenses for, or Zotero, a free online citation manager. Lots of choices, but CiteMe is a nice little addition to the mix!
Some of you avid fans of RefWorks will be happy to hear that you may now access this online research management system FREE through Duke’s OIT.
For those of you who haven’t yet been wowed by RefWorks’ user-friendly interface and robust functionality (think Works Cited pages in seconds; in-text citations in a couple of clicks; unlimited storage space for citations and notes), take a few minutes to create a free account:
Go to www.refworks.com/refworks from any computer on campus
Click on Sign Up for an Individual Account
Enter your information and click Register
You’ll find that RefWorks is fairly intuitive, but it’s worth taking a look at the Quick Start Guide or the step-by-step RefWorks tutorials when learning how to format bibliographies and import citations from databases to your account.
And if you’re off-campus, never fear: Just enter Duke’s group code RWDukeUniv.
Questions about RefWorks? Contact Emily Daly. And let us know your thoughts about Duke’s latest time-saving tool for researchers!
A lot of the technoscenti have become coverts to Twitter in the last six months. Twitter is a microblogging platform that allows you to post 140-character snippets (via text message, web or other media) and have them read at the site, fed into your Facebook status page, or delivered in a variety of other ways. I know an office that uses Twitter instead of an old-fashioned in/out board, and Twitter got a lot of press as a result of the “revolt” at the SXSW Keynote Address.
Despite the high quality of both the planned and unplanned sessions, the best part, by far, was meeting other Twitter users. It was a tremendous amount of fun observing and participating in conversations during the actual sessions while also tweeting about what the presenter was trying to convey. …
I was effectively live blogging or taking notes on what I considered to be the main points of each session and others who were attending the conference or following along from a remote location, could see them using twemes.com or hashtags.org.
And then I found a series of posts at AcademHack discussing using Twitter in the classroom. This is from the faculty perspective – but certainly a study group of students could work together to take collaborative notes in a lecture using hashtags. What do you think, faculty, and students?
If you’re a user of the Duke LibX browser plugin for Firefox, you should soon be getting prompted by Firefox to update the plugin. If you want it right away, go to the Tools / Add-ons menu and click “Find Updates” in the Extensions tab.
The new version is 1.2.8, and includes a couple of changes.
One is that the embedded “cues” stopped working in Amazon pages a while back, and this new version applies a fix that makes them work again. When you’re viewing a book page in Amazon, you should see the Duke Library icon next to the book’s title (looks like this: – it’s a silhouette of the Reading Blue Devil weathervane on top of the von der Heyden Pavilion). If you click on the icon, it will start a search in the Duke Library Catalog to see if Duke has the book for you to check out.
The other change is the addition of the option to search the new Search TRLN system via the LibX browser bar and right-click menu. The menu item (labeled “Search Triangle Research Libraries”) will search the catalogs of Duke, NCCU, NCSU, and UNC-CH and show you results from all for universities. There’s more information on Search TRLN in this earlier post.
If you’re a Duke LibX user, please tell us in the comments section what you like or don’t like about it, and if there are things you’d like to see changed added to it. If you’re not already using it, try it out!
In Ted’s recent comments on connotea, he said he enjoyed it, but found that connotea was not such a great citation manager; it doesn’t always gather the metadata needed. On the connotea site, it explains that it is “specially designed for scientists and clinicians,” so it gathers bibliographic data better for some sites than others.
I agree, connotea is no substitute for a bibliographic reference manager like Endnote (to which Duke subscribes) or Refworks. I also agree that it’s “downright fun!” As a librarian, I use it as an academic networking tool, to find, track and tag resources as I come across them. It’s very handy for retrieving items on a particular topic, and for creating feeds for specific classes–I tag resources with the course name.
Ted was also concerned about messy tags. The “related tags” on the right belong to other users, who may create them however they’d like.
That’s both the beauty and the chaos of a Web 2.0 tool–everyone gets to play, and you can follow their leads, or not.
So, the short answer is: the value of connotea depends on your purpose. For a free web-based citation manager, you might like to try zotero (from an earlier LibraryHacks post):
The open-source Zotero (part 1 / part 2) is [a] Firefox extension that allows you to store, retrieve and organize your reference sources for a more streamlined citation process.
Has anyone out there done more than a first foray into zotero? Please send us your comments.
Start your summer research with a bang by learning to use EndNote, a reference management tool that is sure to save you time and frustration. Duke faculty, students and staff may download EndNote to personal or work computers, free of charge.
Perkins Library is offering a free introductory EndNote session on Tuesday, May 27 from 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM in Bostock Library, Room 023. We’ll provide an orientation to the software, show you how to set up your personal EndNote library and then teach you to format a bibliography in a couple of keystrokes.
Interested? Register today! And stay tuned for more Intro and Advanced EndNote sessions this summer!
This year’s annual Instructional Technology Showcase, on April 24 in the Bryan Center, features a number of presentations about using technology tools in teaching. Come hear about:
Duke Digital Initiative 2008-2009
Tips and Tricks for Incorporating Web 2.0 in Your Class
Duke’s New Teaching and Learning Spaces
Second Life in Undergraduate Education at Duke
New Tools for Library Research and Teaching
Google Earth for Teaching and Learning
Of special interest to readers of the Library Hacks blog will be the 10:20 am program on New Tools for Library Research and Teaching, facilitated by Tom Crichlow. We’ll be highlighting some of the tools on the library’s Research Tools page, with tips on how to make them work for your needs, and will be fielding audience questions.
Register, see these tools in action, and meet some of the people behind their use at Duke!
We’ve heard of several faculty and library staff members who are converts to iGoogle, which is sort of a customizable universal home page. If you use iGoogle and the Duke Libraries, you should certainly add our Google Gadget, which lets you put the tabbed search box from the library home page right into iGoogle. Here’s how it looks:
You’ll notice that Catherine also has her Gmail account, Facebook account, Google Reader (for subscribing to blogs, like Duke’s Library Hacks!), Google Docs, and a news feed (plus other stuff you can’t see like weather and Youtube) all feeding in to her iGoogle page.
You can also create your own free-form “gadget” with links to, for example, e-journals or databases that you search all the time, creating a series of research shortcuts for yourself. Give the Duke Library Google Gadget a try and see if other iGoogle tools work for you. If you have a library or research-related iGoogle Hack, leave us a note in comments!
Jump start your research and writing by using EndNote, a reference management tool that is sure to save you time and frustration. Duke faculty, students and staff may download EndNote to personal or work computers, free of charge.
Perkins Library is offering four free EndNote sessions:
Another school (Georgia Tech) set up a system like this, and a student cartoonist in their paper replied with the following:
If you are uncomfortable asking someone to give up a computer even though she is hanging out on Facebook and you really need the statistical software because your paper is due at 5pm, ask a librarian at the desk. We can find you an open computer or help remind others that people using the library computers for academic work should have priority.
Did you know that these local universities have cooperative agreements between their libraries ? Duke students, faculty and staff can use their Duke ID cards to check out books at UNC, NC State, or NCCU, and vice versa, for example.
Now TRLN (the Triangle Research Libraries Network) has launched a new catalog that has a unified search for the collections of all the schools’ libraries. You can request delivery between the schools, which is expected to take 48 hours.
To install it, go to http://apps.facebook.com/dukelibraries/ and follow the usual method for installing Facebook applications, checking or unchecking the settings you want for this application. Then look for it on your profile page. The box should be able to be moved around on your page and fit in either column. With this app, you should be able to do any of the searches that you can do on the library home page.
(Since my first post introducing the research tool Zotero, its development continues apace. Several new features have been added, and over 60 institutions, according to the Zotero blog, now recommend Zotero, including MIT and Rice University–both having published their own tutorials on using it.)
In my initial post I promised to explain why I thought Zotero was something worth writing home about, not just yet-another-piece-of-software. In case you’re still wondering if Zotero is worth the hype, I’ll make good on the promise. First, since Zotero is an open-source extension to the Firefox browser, anyone can modify it to support their needs—for example, by adding new citation styles or integration with word processors like OpenOffice.org. Of course, being open-source software, Zotero doesn’t cost a dime, making it an even more attractive alternative to expensive proprietary options like EndNote. Second, Zotero makes use of the evolving Firefox extension platform (also open-source) which will, I think, become ever more useful and functional development platform, as software proliferates that lives in the space between the internet and your computer. Lastly, Zotero is a modest coup for open access. As Zotero not only creates a citation to the material you’re reading in your browser—a journal article from PLOS Biology, for example—but also a copy (Zotero calls it a “snapshot”), when you need to refer or share the material later, you’ll be able to provide not only the citation but also the content itself. No trip back to the database or journal’s website is required (“Research, not re-search” is among Zotero’s mottos). Imagine thousands of researchers making use of this feature and you can imagine how this might constitute a modest push toward faster, easier access to research material for those who need it.
Next in our tour of online reference works we’ll look at some specific titles. If you want an overview of the things we subscribe to, look in the Resource Finder under the subject heading Reference, and look for Encyclopedias and Dictionaries.
Written by Phoebe Acheson
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