Category Archives: Research Help

Regulatory Disaster Scene Investigation- A Bass Connections Project Team and the Library

Regulatory Disaster Investigation - Bass Connections ProjectContributed by Carson Holloway

Beginning May 13th 2014,  a Bass Connection project team of undergraduate and graduate researchers faculty and I began our collaboration, meeting in a dedicated space in Bostock Library and our project team will carry on there through early July.  The Regulatory Disaster Scene Investigation project provides an opportunity to evaluate the process of assisting groups in focused research activities using the resources and expertise available through Duke Libraries. This project is in line with the projected opening of the Library Information Commons in 2015.

The broad intellectual question the group is investigating is “how does government best respond to crises?”   The outcomes from this particular Bass Connections project will include a working visit to Washington D.C. to interview regulators and officials, producing a policy brief/ white paper, and possible conference presentations. This Bass Connections group work will make a contribution to a projected edited work which falls under the umbrella of the Recalibrating Risk working group in the Kenan Institute on Ethics.

The work group was convened in the Library by Professors Lori Bennear and Ed Balleisen and began with a discussion of assignments to investigate the history of government responders to crisis such as the NTSB, the Chemical Safety Board, the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, British Parliamentary Commissions and corresponding institutions in other countries around the globe.  The  group members were assigned the task of preparing annotated bibliographies about the institutions and their histories.

As the project moves forward, librarians with subject specialization and language expertise including Holly Ackerman on Latin America and Greta Boers who has expertise in Dutch are helping these researchers make the best use of their limited time.  Only four more weeks- yikes!  In the future it seems likely that the role of librarians will expand in assisting researchers in time-delimited participation in work groups revolving around new spaces like the Information Commons.

Carson Holloway is Librarian for History of Science and Technology, Military History, British and Irish Studies, Canadian Studies and General History

Alerts!

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!

Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (NIB)

“Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (NIB) provides a forum for exploring current issues in bioethics through the publication and analysis of personal stories, qualitative and mixed-methods research articles, and case studies. Articles may address the experiences of patients and research participants, as well as health care workers and researchers. NIB is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of bioethical issues by engaging rich descriptions of complex human experiences. While NIB upholds appropriate standards for narrative inquiry and qualitative research, it seeks to publish articles that will appeal to a broad readership of health care providers and researchers, bioethicists, sociologists, policy makers, and others.”  (Quote source.)  Submit a personal story here,  for the Narrative Symposia.

LexisNexis State Capital
“For the first time, researchers can search for information about one state, any combination of states, or all 50 states—all from a single, comprehensive Web source.  Bills and laws, constitutions, proposed and enacted regulations, legislature membership, newspapers of record—they’re all here—most updated daily—in LexisNexis State Capital.

US State Capital locations
State capitals
  •     Compare law and public policy developments.
  •     Monitor proposed and enacted state laws.
  •     Analyze national and regional trends.
  •     Get facts about state legislators and their staffs.
  •     Access state newspapers of record.”

Quote source

Academic Video Online
“Academic Video Online brings you content from the BBC, PBS, Arthaus, CBS, Kino International, Documentary Educational Resources, California Newsreel, Opus Arte, The Cinema Guild, Pennabaker Hegedus Films, Psychotherapy.net, and hundreds of other partners. Newsreels, award-winning documentaries, field recording, interviews, lectures, training videos, and exclusive primary footage come together in a vast and powerful collection – 22,000 full-length videos by 2013…Make custom clips at per-second start-point and stop-point accuracy. Create custom playlists with your clips, whole videos, or content selected from anywhere on the Web—anything that has a URL can be put into your playlist. Each of your clips and playlists lives at a permanent URL—so you can cite them all in papers, blogs, and courseware, email them, share them.”  Quote source
Subject Categories:   Area Studies and Cultures – Film/Video; Arts and Humanities – Film/Video

Leiden Armenian Lexical Textbase

Armenian Lexicon
from LALT

“This textbase is designed to provide basic tools, in the form of texts and lexica, for the study of Armenian from the classical period, with a focus on the oldest states of the language. For texts: the textbase contains Biblical and theological translations and native texts up to the time of Movses Xorenats’i in the late eighth century. Every word in these texts has been lexically analyzed, for its dictionary form and part of speech, and is searchable on each of these. For lexica: four major Armenian dictionaries have been included, complete or in substantial excerpts. Together, these cover the complete range of the classical language down to the latest periods. The four lexica are supplemented by Greek and Armenian wordlists. Uniquely, all words of all texts and all entries in every dictionary have been linked together through a ‘base lexicon’ which allows readers to find every occurrence of every word throughout. ”  Quote source
Subject Categories:   Arts and Humanities –  Religion

Taiwan Electronic Periodical Service
TEPS (Taiwan Electronic Periodical Services) is an on-line database offering the most full-text Taiwan periodicals around the world. Currently TEPS contains more than 900 Taiwan Periodicals in various disciplines… Users are able to easily search, browse, and print articles online….”   Quote source
Subject Categories:   Area Studies and Cultures – Chinese Studies, Taiwan

Naver news archive

Naver news Archive
Naver news Archive

Also known as the Naver digital news archive and the Naver news library, Naver News Library provides a Korean digital newspaper archive for articles published between 1920 and 1999 from four major Korean newspapers: Dong-A Ilbo, Kyunghyang Shinmun, Maeil Business Newspaper and Hankyoreh.  For more information about what this resource offers, check out their You Tube video!

American Bench: Judges of the nation
“This is the only directory which contains biographical information on current state court judges. It contains entries for federal judges as well. It also provides information on each court, including location, jurisdiction, method of selecting judges, and maps of judicial divisions. It is arranged alphabetically by state, with a separate section for the Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals. Information on federal district court judges is provided in the state section in which the judge presides.”  Quote source

Selden Society Publications  & History of Early English Law (available in HeinOnline) – “Access to English and American legal history dating back to A.D. 1066 in an online digital format. ” Quote source

Spinelli’s Law Librarian’s Reference Shelf   (available in HeinOnline)

Includes:  Legal dictionaries, legal bibliographies, AALL publications series, memorials of Law Librarians and MORE! For more information, see the .pdf brochure.

 

Bonus Alert and holiday gift suggestion for your favorite researcher!

The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, has launched what it claims is the largest academic-based cloud storage system in the country. The system is capable of an initial raw 5.5 petabyte of storage and is 100 percent disk-based with high-speed 10 gigabit Ethernet network interconnections.  SDSC’s Cloud uses two Arista Networks 7,508 switches, providing 768 total 10 gigabit Ethernet ports for more than 10Tbit/s of non-blocking, IP-based connectivity.  Pricing information for space:  https://cloud.sdsc.edu/hp/pricing.php

Electronic resources such as e-journals and databases are generally accessible only to Duke community members  such as faculty, staff and students.

Wrangle your resources

Distorted Clockface
Get wise: citation managers are time-savers!

“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.

Alerts!

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!

- Changes to OCLC’s FirstSearch:

Though these databases may be available from other sources, beginning June 30th, 2011 FirstSearch from OCLC will no longer offer access to the following databases:

•    ABI/INFORM
•    Applied Science & Technology Abstracts and Index
•    Art Abstracts and Art Index
•    Biography Index
•    Biological & Agricultural Index
•    Biology Digest
•    Book Review Digest
•    Books in Print and nooks in Print with Reviews
•    Business Dateline
•    CA Student Edition
•    Contemporary Women’s Issues
•    Dissertation Abstracts Online
•    Education Abstracts
•    Education Index
•    Essay and General Literature Index
•    General Sciences Abstracts and General Sciences Index
•    GEOBASE
•    Humanities Abstracts and humanities Index
•    Index to Legal Periodicals & Books
•    Library Literature
•    Newspaper Abstracts
•    PAIS Archive
•    PAIS International
•    Periodical Abstracts
•    PsycINFO
•    Readers’ Guide Abstracts
•    SIRS Researcher
•    Social Sciences Abstracts
•    Social Sciences Index
•    Sociological Abstracts
•    Wilson Business Abstracts and Wilson Select Plus

– Taylor & Francis Online

“Taylor & Francis’ new online platform, Taylor & Francis Online, www.tandfonline.com, will replace access to the 1,600 Journals and Reference Works currently on informaworld…We are currently in the advanced stages of testing and plan to migrate from informaworld to Taylor & Francis Online over the course of the weekend beginning 25th June 2011…The new site will then be live from 27th June.”

Electronic resources such as e-journals and databases are generally accessible only to Duke community members  such as faculty, staff and students.

Learning to love the “QuickSearch” tab

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.

Dick Lehr's book The fence
Image source: http://www.harpercollins.com/books/The-Fence-Dick-Lehr/?isbn=9780061894022

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.

Alerts!

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!

Northern Ireland. A Divided Community 1921-1972
Contact person:  Margaret Brill
” Northern Ireland: A Divided Community 1921-1972 presents a full record of every cabinet meeting for the duration of the Stormont administration, the devolved government of Northern Ireland, 1921-72. Separate files exist for each Cabinet meeting and include minutes and memoranda. The discussions and decisions reflect the wide range problems and activities involved in making the new administration work.
Boys in fornt of grafitti, N. Ireland
Topics debated and reported in just one sample year of the Troubles (1970) include: policing, arms and explosives, social need, Prevention of Incitement to Religious Hatred, Army occupation of factories, road spiking, routing of Orange Day parades, dock strikes, law and order, riots and the roles of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

With immediate access via browseable indexes of organisations, subjects, places and people (cabinet members, politicians, senior civil servants and police officers), in addition to full-text searching of the typed minutes themselves, this digital archive will be essential not only to teachers and researchers in Irish and British History, but will support students of politics, peace studies and conflict resolution. ” (Quote source.)

Oxford Bibliographies Online. Atlantic History
Contact person:  Margaret Brill

Selected new articles (Spring 2011):

African American Religions by Stefania Capone;  African Port Cities by Ty Reese, University of North Dakota;  Coffee by  Michelle Craig McDonald, Stockton College; Visual Art and Representation by Susan Scott Parrish; and  Sugar by Justin Roberts,  Dalhousie University (New articles source)

Oxford Bibliographies Online. Hinduism
Contact person:  Edward Proctor

“The study of Hinduism is diverse—it combines religion, philosophy, history, and textual studies, as well as informing a variety of comparative studies. Because the field comprises so many varied aspects, research and scholarship is wide-reaching in its response to different interpretations. Much of this work has moved online so that students and researchers have ready access to key primary source texts and a range of other electronic resources. ” (Quote source)

Forthcoming articles (Fall 2011):  Marriageby Lindsey Harlan; Hinduism and Buddhism by Greg Bailey, La Trobe University; Sacrifice by Kathryn McClymond, Georgia State University;  Hinduism and Psychoanalysis by Jason Fuller; Philosophical Approaches to Hinduism by Vishwa Adluri, The City University of New York.

Slavery and Anti-Slavery. A Transnational Archive
Contact person:  Karen Jean Hunt

Organized in 4 parts, Slavery and Anti-Slavery. A Transnational Archive now has available the first part:
“Part I: Debates over Slavery and Abolition – available now – contains 1.5 million pages, including more than 7,000 books and pamphlets, 80 newspaper and periodical titles, and a dozen major manuscript collections. For academic researchers, historians, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and others studying slavery, these varied sources shed light on the:

– Abolitionist movement and conflicts within it slavery_antislavery Gale

– Anti- and pro-slavery arguments of the period

– Debates on the subject of colonization”      (Quote Source)

Electronic resources such as e-journals and databases are generally accessible only to Duke community members  such as faculty, staff and students.

Alerts!

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!

Wiley Online Library outage

On Saturday May 21st,  access may be interrupted to Wiley Online Library due to essential site maintenance.  The interruption will begin in the US at 5am eastern time and may continue for 2 hours.

New journal in Project MUSE – The Minnesota Review

Minesota review "Feral" cover
Minesota review "Feral" cover

Also indexed in MLA Bibliography, Minnesota Review is now available, from 2010, in full text through the Project MUSE database. “Publishing contemporary poetry and fiction as well as reviews, critical commentary, and interviews of leading intellectual figures, the Minnesota Review curates smart yet accessible collections of progressive new work.  This eclectic survey provides lively and sophisticated signposts to navigating current critical discourse.”(Quoted from Project MUSE’s journal description.)  This journal is also available through Duke Libraries in the following databases:  Literature Online (from Spring 2004),  ProQuest (from 04/2004), Humanities International Complete (from 03/2006), and Open J-Gate (from 2006). Check out The Minnesota Review’s Creative Writing Blog.

New database:  The Foundation Directory Online

“To meet the needs of grantseekers at every level, all FDO subscribers can search by county, metro area, and ZIP code as well as by city and state; save searches and store them in a password-protected ‘My FDO’ e-folder; tag records with any reminder word or phrase; E-mail, print, and save records; export lists of up to 100 search results at a time into Excel with a single click; and exclude grantmakers that don’t accept unsolicited applications… Updated weekly, Foundation Directory Online includes details on nearly 100,000 funders and over 2 million recent grants.” (Quote from www.foundationcenter.org)  Click to see a sample record from the Foundation Directory Online.

Electronic resources such as e-journals and databases are generally accessible only to Duke community members  such as faculty, staff and students.

Alerts!

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!

Outages:
– UNC Libraries online services will be unavailable on Wednesday, May 18, from 2:30 a.m. until noon, because of a critical equipment upgrade. This outage will affect all electronic services, including: the online catalog; digital collections; access to electronic journals, databases, and e-books; request forms; interlibrary loan;
and the University Library website. Both on-campus and off-campus access will be affected.

– For those of you who use WiseSearch  (WiseNews, the News archive, is updated every day with items from over 1,600 content providers, including all 18 Chinese and English newspapers of Hong Kong, and a large number of other top-tier newspapers, magazines, newswires, TV and radio broadcasts of Mainland, Taiwan and some Asia Pacific countries) please be informed that a system maintenance will be scheduled on Saturday, 21 May 2011 from 13:00 to 19:00. During this period, the information update on our platform will be temporarily unavailable.  The services will be resumed to normal after the maintenance.

New databases

Listener Historical Archive, 1929-1991
“The Listener Historical Archive, 1929-1991 features the complete 62-year run of The Listener, established by the BBC in 1929 as the medium for reproducing radio and later, television programmes in print.”
Contact person:  Margaret Brill

Picture Post Historical Archive
“The Picture Post Historical Archive comprises the complete archive of the Picture Post from its first issue in 1938 to its last in 1957 – all digitized from originals in full colour.”
Contact person: Margaret Brill

Economy and War in the Third Reich, 1933-1944
“This source provides 30,506 digital page images reproducing… original documents from the London School of Economics and Political Science collection Statistics of the Third Reich analysed, 1933-1944″
Contact person: Heidi Madden, Ph.D.

Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department Central Classified Files
“The U.S. State Department Central Classified Files are the definitive source of American diplomatic reporting on political, military, social, and economic developments throughout the world in the twentieth century.”
Contact person:  Edward Proctor

Federal Response to Radicalism in the 1960s
“This collection provides digital page images reproducing FBI documentation on a wide range of viewpoints on political, social, cultural, and economic issues.”
Contact person: Kelley Lawton

Democracy in Turkey, 1950-1959: Records of the U.S. State Department Classified Files
“This collection of digital reproductions of State Department documents provides access to unique primary source materials on the political, economic and social development of Turkey during a period of democratization in the 1950s.”
Contact person: Christof Galli

Japan at War and Peace, 1930-1949: U.S. State Department Records on the Internal Affairs of Japan
“This collection of digital reproductions of State Department documents provides access to essential and unique documentation on a wide variety of topics relating to Japanese internal affairs”
Contact person: Kristina Troost, Ph.D.

Literature, Culture and Society in Depression Era America: Archives of the Federal Writers’ Project
“This collection presents the FWP publications of all 47 states involved in the project, which ran from 1933 to 1943.”
Contact person: Kelley Lawton

Mountain People: Life and Culture in Appalachia
“This collection consists of the diaries, journals, and narratives of explorers, emigrants, military men, Native Americans, and travelers. In addition, there are accounts on the development of farming and mining communities, family histories, and folklore. ”
Contact person: Kelley Lawton

Amerasia Affair, China, and Postwar Anti-Communist Fervor
“This collection presents documents from 1945-1973. The Amerasia Affair was the first of the great spy cases of the postwar era.”
Contact person: Kelley Lawton

Bush Presidency and Development and Debate Over Civil Rights Policy and Legislation
“This collection contains materials on civil rights, the development of civil rights policy, and the debate over civil rights legislation during the administration of President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993) and during his tenure as vice president (1981-1989).”
Contact person: Kelley Lawton

Civil War in Words and Deeds
“These first-person accounts, compiled in the postwar period and early 20th century period, chronicle the highs and lows of army life from 1861 through 1865.”
Contact person: Kelley Lawton

American Indian Correspondence: Presbyterian Historical Society Collection of Missionaries’ Letters, 1833-1893
“This is a collection of almost 14,000 letters written by those who served as Presbyterian missionaries to the American Indians during the years from 1833 to 1893.”
Contact person: Kelley Lawton

War Department and Indian Affairs, 1800-1824
“This collection consists of the letters received by and letters sent to the War Department, including correspondence from Indian superintendents and agents, factors of trading posts, Territorial and State governors, military commanders, Indians, missionaries, treaty and other commissioners, Treasury Department officials, and persons having commercial dealings with the War Department, and other public and private individuals.”
Contact person: Mark Thomas

America in Protest: Records of Anti-Vietnam War Organizations, The Vietnam Veterans Against the War
“This publication consists of FBI reports dealing with every aspect of antiwar work carried out by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).  In an attempt to keep this group under close watch, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintained diligent surveillance of the VVAW almost from the inception of the group’s activities and running through 1975, when the United States ended its presence in Vietnam. The collection also includes surveillance on a variety of other antiwar groups and individuals, with an emphasis on student groups and Communist organizations.”
Contact person: Patrick Stawski

German Folklore and Popular Culture: Das Kloster. Scheible
“Das Kloster is a collection of magical and occult texts, chapbooks, folklore, popular superstition and fairy tales of the German Renaissance compiled by Stuttgart antiquarian Johann Scheible, between 1845 and 1849.”
Contact person: Heidi Madden

Black Economic Empowerment: The National Negro Business League
“The records comprising this collection make clear that the National Negro Business League (NNBL) was an important social and economic organization among African Americans in the early years of the twentieth century… This collection documents the rise of the NNBL through 1923 and affords great insight into an important African American social movement and the black middle class after 1900.”
Contact person: Karen Jean Hunt

Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees: The West’s Response to Jewish Emigration
“The inside memoranda, records, government documents, and correspondence that helped shape the course of Jewish emigration in the Nazi era.  The date range is 1938-1948, and the content is 30,100 pages.”
Contact person:  Patrick Stawski

Hack Alerts!

Welcome to the first post of the Alerts special section of Library Hacks.  Weekly, you can look forward to new database announcements, updates, and (rare) outage notices. Stay tuned!

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online Subject Categories

The Garland encyclopedia of world music online is a comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world’s peoples. Each volume contains an overview of a geographic region, a survey of its musical heritage, and a description of specific musical genres, practices, and performances. Articles include detailed photographs that show musicians, musical instruments, and the cultural context of dances, rituals, and ceremonies. Other images include drawings, maps, and musical examples for further study. Contains the full text of the 10 volume print encyclopedia (originally published in 1997), which is searchable all together for the first time.

OntheBoards.TV

OntheBoards.TV is  a way to view theater performances.  According to KUOW radio station news, “A recent study released by the National Endowment for the Arts shows that millions of people watch performing arts online.  Seattle’s On The Boards hopes to capture some of that audience through a new project called On The Boards TV.”  Here is a link that describes the history and mission of On the Boards:  http://www.ontheboards.org/history-mission

Presidential Recordings of Lyndon B. Johnson: Digital Edition

As a historical resource, these tapes transcend scandalous utterances to provide a compelling, unique window into the American presidency during some of the most pivotal and contentious years of recent American history.”   – David Coleman, Associate Professor and Chair of the Presidential Recordings Program.  Quoted from the website http://presidentialrecordings.rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/essays

Databases are generally accessible only to Duke community members  such as faculty, staff and students.

Need an Exam Proctor?

Are you taking a distance ed course this semester?  Do you need to find a proctor for your exam?  Check out these resources that may help.

There is a great interactive map of proctoring sites approved by the UNC system. Check it out. Included on the map is the location, what is provided, and the cost at each site.

Map of Proctoring Sites

Also, Wake County Public Library branches provide free proctoring services. Each branch website has a link to information about proctoring.

List of branches in the Wake County Public Libraries System

Book early to make sure you can get a proctor for the date and time you want.  Good luck on your exam!

New York Times Online

Beginning March 28, the New York Times will start charging online readers who want to view more than 20 articles per month. Upon clicking the 21st article, users will be given an option of purchasing an online package.

As a print subscriber, the Libraries are investigating options in how we might offer access to Duke affiliates. Unfortunately, this option is not yet available.

Never fear, although we cannot offer access to current content through nytimes.com, we can offer access via several of our databases:

  • Factiva – The Newsstand feature of this database allows you to browse today’s edition by sections.  Searching older issues is also available using the Search Tab and then choosing Search Builder.
  • LexisNexis Academic – Gives you a variety of search features for today’s and past editions.
  • ProQuest - Searchable version of today’s and past editions.  Scroll down and click on the year, the month, and then the day to get a list of all of today’s articles.

These options work both on and off campus.  If you’re having difficulty with access, please contact the Perkins Reference desk at 660-5880, askref@duke.edu or through instant messaging.

Lost in the sea of government information

It can be like looking for a needle in a haystack to find information from the US federal government.  Most of this information is now online, but this hasn’t made the task any easier.  Here are just a few of the ways of searching for government information (documents or data) when you don’t know where to go.

The Government Printing Office (GPO) has for many years provided access to authoritative versions of major government publications through their GPO Access web site.  The information on GPO Access is in the process of being migrated to GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). The migration is occurring on a collection-by-collection basis.  The information on GPO Access will remain current and continue to be available until migration is complete.  Using the “browse” feature to scan though available collections can
be most fruitful.  This site is especially good for legislative and regulatory materials, and for regularly published reports such as the US federal budget, but also provides a link to GPO’s online bookstore
for more general government publications.

The FedStats website provides links to statistical pages of US federal government agencies.  You can look up the statistic by topic without knowing in advance which agency produces it.  The “About” page provides more information about what’s included in FedStats.  Although this may lead to a lot of extractable and downloadable raw data in addition to statistics that are presented online, if you specifically need to locate machine-readable empirical or geospatial datasets generated by the US federal government you can try the Data.gov website. Datasets here may be in one of more the following formats: XML, CSV/Text, KML/KMZ, Shapefile, RDF, Other.

General search engines to search across websites of federal government agencies and Congress include USA.gov (the “official” such search engine) and Google U.S. Government (formerly Google Uncle Sam).  Always feel free to consult with the library’s public documents subject librarian, Mark Thomas, and visit the paper collection of federal government publications (many older ones aren’t digitized or even in the library catalog) on the second floor of Perkins Library.

New & Free: Three Recent Islamic Studies Sites

Three recently created and published online collections of images, manuscripts, and theses in the field of Islamic Studies are indicative of a growing number of rich and diverse free online resources in this field.

  • Images: The Casselman Archive of Islamic and Mudejar Architecture in Spain provides access to over four thousand color slides and black and white photographs of medieval Spain taken by the late Eugene Casselman (1912-1996) during his thirty years of travel throughout the Iberian peninsula. The images span over one thousand years of architectural history, from the seventh to the seventeenth century.
  • Manuscripts: The Manumed project database consists of a body of 255,635 digital files and 13,373 descrip tive summaries of manuscripts, prints, videos, radio broadcasts, etc. Besides a wide variety of French resources, it houses significant numbers of Arabic materials, among them manuscripts form the Library of Alexandria, Arabic medical manuscripts, Arabic and Berber manuscripts owned by a French repository, and the manuscripts of Lmuhub Ulahbib.
  • Theses: Researchers and librarians working in Islamic Studies now have online access to nearly 1000 Ph.D theses in the subject, spanning over ten years. JISC, The Academy and The British Library have combined their resources to bring together Islamic Studies theses from universities across the UK and Ireland.

Sociology Resources Online

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.

SocINDEX with Full Text is a great resource for your sociology research.

Video Killed the Journal Star?

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.

SciVee

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.

Research Channel

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.

FORA.TV

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.

Big Think

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.

Term papers by the numbers…

dali-clock-500x500

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.

Social Networking for Scientists

labmeeting

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

Give it a shot and let us know what you think:  http://www.labmeeting.com

Addendum:  As William Gunn points out in the comments below, there are other similar tools which you may want to try.  They include:

Upload research articles

Keep your research orderly.

  • Automatically match them to bibliographic records for reference management
  • Search the full text of all your PDFs
  • Mark them for fast retrieval and viewing
  • Recommend them to your colleagues

Enhanced Homepage goes Live Monday

The Digital Projects Department is pleased to announce that the enhanced homepage will go live before classes begin on Monday.  Thanks to all the Libraries’ staff who helped collect and interpret user input.  The focus of the Libraries’ homepage is first to facilitate research, teaching and learning and second to promote our services and resources.

Here is a brief summary of enhancements based on that focus statement:

  1. Digital Collections are now searchable from the homepage via a new tab in the ‘Search Our Resources’ section.
  2. Links were reviewed and edited down to only those most used as was identified by statistics and a circle maps exercise.
    • Links to services and resources are given priority and located in the top portion of the site.
    • Help links (How Do I?…) are located under links to resources and services.
  3. News headlines are now each aligned with a corresponding image.  Clicking an image will bring you to the related story.  Two news items display at a time; more can be accessed without leaving the homepage by clicking the left & right arrows.
  4. Recent posts from the Libraries’ various blogs (including the professional school libraries) are displayed; use the left & right arrows to browse through posts without leaving the homepage.
  5. In an effort to give greater prominence to the Libraries’ exhibits, an image and link for a current Library Exhibit is visible in the lower right portion of the screen.

You can preview these changes at the following URL while the DPD works to put them in production:

Duke Libraries' Homepage Enhancement

We will review these changes this fall and make adjustments as necessary.  Please watch for invitations to participate in assessment activities for the Libraries’ web resources.

Have a great semester!

Notice anything different about your Bb site?

If you’re a Blackboard user, you may have noticed an addition to the left-side menu this past spring.

The new Library Guides button automatically directs you to a page of research tips and resources developed, in many cases, by a librarian who specializes in a subject area related to your course.

See a general research guide or a page that doesn’t reflect the goals of your course? Contact your subject specialist, who will replace the Library Guides link with a more appropriate page or work with you to design a guide specific to your objectives and assignments like the one below, which was created for a Writing 20 course:

Library Guide for Writing 20

Still have questions about this CIT/Libraries collaboration? Email Emily Daly, or check out CIT’s Blackboard support for more info.

Finding your way using GIS

GIS layersIf people are at all familiar with geographic information systems (GIS) software, they typically think of it as a tool for commercial cartographers or for government agencies needing to illustrate dry scientific reports.  But GIS software offers students and researchers in any field (sciences, humanities, and social sciences) a powerful (and often, a remarkably simple) analysis and presentation tool whenever they’re dealing with information that has a locational element.

The Data & GIS Services Department at Perkins Library supports ArcGIS software as well as Google Earth Pro.  The Brandaleone Family Center for Data and GIS Services on the second floor of Perkins Library has this software installed.  ArcGIS software is also site licensed for faculty and staff at Duke, and is available in OIT labs on campus, while basic Google Earth is free to download.  Duke affiliates who want the Pro version of Google Earth can contact Joel Herndon or Mark Thomas.

ArcGIS is great for analyzing any sort of data with a spatial element (for instance: data organized by county; associated with addresses; or containing latitude/longitude coordinates, such as GPS data).

You don’t even have to make a map … you might just want to answer questions about distance (example: what are the closest stores that sell tobacco to each school, and how far are they; or which such stores are within a certain distance from each school), location (example: for a set of crime data, identify the census tract that each crime is in, if you want to study socio-economic characteristics of the neighborhood); or network analysis (example: least-cost routes along roads and rivers to bring logs from tree plantations to mills).  These are only a few of many possibilities (examples reflect real projects done here).

If you do want to build your own map for a paper or publication, ArcGIS is great for creating one that shows just the features you need, starting with a simple basemap and editing or adding more layers to created a customized presentation.

Google Earth has fewer analysis capabilities, but has a short learning curve and a large database of online geographic layers ready to go.  Some sorts of data are easy to add (such as addresses or latitude/longitude coordinates).  The map creation is less customizable than ArcGIS, but there are a lot of options for novel visualization.  Some Duke users, for instance, have found it useful for creating attention-getting maps for poster sessions.

A few of the more focused interactive mapping databases (often dealing only with US Census data) that have GIS analysis or presentation features, or GIS layer download capabilities, include SimplyMap, Social Explorer, National Historic GIS, and Neighborhood Change Database.

Want the Library Everywhere? There’s an App for That

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?

Tree-saving Sticky Notes

http://www.flickr.com/photos/outofluck/ / CC BY 2.0Sticky 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.

Stixy

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.

MindMeister

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.

Bubbl.us

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.

Twiddla

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.

Library Guides in Non-English Languages

Attention: Faculty and Teaching Assistants

Do you teach classes in non-English languages?

Does your class need library resources?

Subject specialists, with language skills across the curriculum, are available to create online guides that showcase the wonderful range of non-English resources the library has on offer. These guides can be easily integrated into Blackboard for use by students.

Would you like a library guide for your class? Ask a Librarian!

Written by Nathaniel King

Are you up-to-date?

For many faculty and graduate students who remain on-campus, the summer is the time to catch up with all those things that got left behind in the end-of-semester rush.

With the deluge of articles and books in your field, it’s sometimes a challenge to keep up-to-date.

Not any more.

If you use Duke’s databases for your research, you can use RSS feeds to send you automatic updates on relevant articles, authors, journals, search results and citations.

These feeds allow you to automatically and effortlessly:

-Find out who’s citing your work

-Find new research in your field…

Read More

Written by Nathaniel King

Publish or Perish

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.

The software is available for Windows and Linux and is a quick, light, free download from the Publish or Perish website.  It’s more of a do-one-thing-well software and isn’t full of features, but this makes it easy to use.  It was created by an Australian professor and she includes some thoughts on her site about GoogleScholar as a citation tool as well as an explanation of the metrics used in the software.

Catalog (Beta) Improvements!

There were three significant enhancements and three minor enhancement and/or fixes made to the Catalog (BETA)interface in the past two months, and we also have some additional updates about upcoming features to the system.  If you have any concerns or questions about the Catalog (BETA)catalog interface, please send us a message via the feedback form.

UPDATES

Hold/recall requests can now be placed from within the Catalog (BETA) interface.  You no longer have to jump to the Classic Catalog to place hold-requests and you will only need to sign-in once per session to place as many hold-requests as you like.

“My Reserves,” Tab.  This tab provides you with listings of your current reserves materials.  The tab requires you to sign on to see its contents, and only provides you with your course reserves information.  This is a strong departure from the “classic” catalog’s “reserves” tab in that it doesn’t require you to remember (and correctly spell) your course numbers/instructors/titles, and provides total course reserves information on a single page.  We are hopeful that this approach will provide dramatically improved functionality.

The system now uses an enhanced login process, with auto-logout timing for all users.  You can log in using either your  NetID or your library card number from a single log-in screen that defaults to using your NetID when available.  All users’ sessions are also now timed so that they will end after a certain period of inactivity (currently, a half-hour of inactivity for logged-in patrons, an hour for non-logged-in users).  Unlike the Classic Catalog, the auto-logout feature does not refresh the browser page and steal the computer’s focus; instead, the system performs the logout in the background when a user next tries to access the system.

Implemented Google Analytics for browsing statistics (completed February 4, 2009).  Since early February 2009, all web traffic in the integrated search environment (Endeca, Metalib, etc.) has been logged by the Google Analytics tool for future analysis.

Syndetics book-cover-images now served up via the “Limelight” network (completed March 5, 2009).  Implemented appropriate URL changes to provide Syndetics cover-images through Syndetics’ Content Delivery Network (Limelight); hopefully this will increase cover-image display/response rates as the cache-system gets progressively more data.  Note that this does not affect the response speed (or failure rates) of other Syndetics enriched content, such as Summaries, Table of contents, First Chapters, etc.

Catalog interface no longer errors out when going directly from a results-list page to a full-record page (which was not part of the results-list) and then trying to search again on the unchanged terms and index that produced the original results-list.

DIACRITICS

There is good and bad news on the diacritics front.  On the negative side, after extensive testing of the thesaurus-based solution in Catalog (BETA)version 6.x, the Search TRLN Operations Committee ultimately came to the conclusion that even the performance enhancements in the newer version of Catalog (BETA)were not sufficient to mitigate the performance problems introduced by using a custom-built thesaurus to provide full diacritics-searching support.

On the positive side, additional extensive testing on a “normalization” strategy appears to provide a stable, performance solution to the long-standing issue of diacritics-searching support.  Even better, this solution works on the existing version of Catalog (BETA), which means that a solution is not tied to upgrading Catalog (BETA)on the Search TRLN servers.

Currently, there is no specific date set for implementing the solution, but it is likely to take place in early April 2009.  At that time we can hope to say with assurance (really!) that the Endeca-based catalog can handle diacritics searches.  Thanks to every one for their patience in this important aspect of the system.

UPCOMING PLANS FOR THE INTERFACE

Incorporation of “My Library Card” functionality into the interface
Incorporation of “shopping cart”-like features in the interface so that you can manage multiple catalog (or article) records at once

r u prplxt? snd a txt!

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.

Zoetrope: Browse the pages of Internet past

**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.

Search beyond Google

SearchMany 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.

To find more like these, go here for a list of 100 Useful Niche Search Engines.

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.

Academic Skills Videos

  • 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!

Subject Librarians to the rescue!

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s…it’s…a subject librarian!

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!

Written by Tiffany Lopez

Evernote

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).

Written by Tiffany Lopez

RSS & the Library Catalog: Why & How

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).

We have to add that feed URL to an RSS reader (also called an aggregator). I use Google Reader, so I’ll demonstrate with that. Feel free to substitute your aggregator of choice, or use your browser’s built-in feed subscription feature.

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.

RSS at Duke University Libraries

There are many other RSS feeds from Duke Libraries beyond the catalog. Subscribe to get library news, see job postings, or to read posts from Library Hacks or one of our several other blogs:
http://library.duke.edu/rss/index.html

Related resources

RefWorks is here!

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:

  1. Go to www.refworks.com/refworks from any computer on campus
  2. Click on Sign Up for an Individual Account
  3. 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!

Save time! Learn EndNote!

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!

Save time! Learn EndNote!

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:

Interested? Register today — space is limited!

How do I cite sources?

There is a citation help guide available through the library website.

The section on the left explains how to cite sources within your paper. The section on the right explains how to compile a list of references at the end of your paper. Styles covered in this guide include: MLA, APA, Turabian, Chicago, and CSE. If this source does not include what you are looking for – try a Google search. Many libraries create similar citation guides, and one of them just might have what you need. Complete style manuals can also be borrowed from the library. Check the online catalog for availability.

For keeping track of citations and managing your references, be sure to consider some of the bibliographic software options available to Duke students:

  • EndNote, for example, will import references into a document as you write, and papers can be automatically formatted according to many different bibliographic styles.
  • The open-source Zotero (part 1 / part 2) is also an exciting new Firefox extension that allows you to store, retrieve and organize your reference sources for a more streamlined citation process.

Any of these can be fabulous time-saving options, and worth taking the effort to learn and explore!

Written by Kathi Matsura

Working over Spring Break? We are.

For those of you who are working hard instead of (or in addition to) playing hard this spring break, here are some tips for using the library remotely:

You have automatic access to all the library’s article databases and other resources while you are home (or in Myrtle Beach.) Use the “database search” box on the library home page to find the resource you need, and when you click through to it you will be prompted for your NetID and password. More information on remote access is here.

460956814_59e9cfa83f_m.jpg

We’re here for questions via email, IM, and phone. We’ll be keeping short hours during the week, but if you email overnight we’ll get back to you first thing in the morning.

For those staying in town, come on by! We’re only open days, but we’d love to see you.

(Photo of Myrtle Beach taken by Curtis and Eric, found at Flickr, and used under a Creative Commons license.)

Written by Phoebe Acheson

Where is the best place to find information on a specific subject?

There are a number of ways to approach a subject search, and I’d recommend exploring all of these options:

  • Subject guides: These guides can be found through the library website, and introduce multiple resources which are particularly useful for specific subject areas. They have been created by our own subject librarians, and can provide an excellent starting point for your research.
  • Databases: For step-by-step instructions, watch this brief tutorial (1 min, 5 sec) on choosing a database for your topic. In addition to a database search, both the article tab and advanced search e-journal tabs offer pull down subject headings which can help narrow the field.
  • Print Resources: When searching the library catalog for books, it might be useful to try a subject search using the Library of Congress subject headings. Find a book that is relevant to your topic using a keyword search, and then explore the topic by either displaying other records that match your topic or browse other subject headings that may be related to it.
  • Research Consultation: Still having difficulty or unable to find what you need? Individual research consultations can be arranged by appointment with one of our reference or subject librarians. Consultations can be arranged within a week, but feel free to email, IM, call or stop by the reference desk if you need some pointers to get you headed in the right direction.

Written by Kathi Matsura

I need a specific article. How do I get it?

Not a problem… we get asked this question a lot!

If you already have the citation (author, title, journal name, etc.) , you can look up the journal title in the E-Journal Finder.

  • If we have no online full text, click the link to search the catalog for print or microfilm.
  • Need help figuring out what words are the journal title? See Understanding Citations.
  • Have a mystery abbreviation for the journal title? See the book Periodical Title Abbreviations at the Perkins Reference Desk or Ask a Librarian.

On occasion, the library may not have the particular journal either in print or online for the year needed. As long as your paper isn’t due in the next few days, you can always request the article through our interlibrary loan service.

Still having trouble? Maybe you’ve already found the article in a database, but can’t figure out how to access it? The answer is in the “get it at Duke” button. Take a look at our “get it at Duke” tutorial (2 min 12 sec). It could save you a lot of time and confusion in the end.

Happy hunting!

Written by Kathi Matsura

Using the library just got easier

Let’s face it: Navigating Duke library’s online resources can be a challenge — even frustrating — at times. We librarians are trying to cut out some of the guesswork by developing short (2 minutes, tops!) animated tutorials with step-by-step directions designed to illuminate some of the murkier aspects of library research.

Here’s what you’ll find…

  • Choosing the right database — Ever tried to get into a database to find an article for your econ paper but just couldn’t figure out which database to use (there are nearly 500 to choose from, after all!)? This tutorial will help you make sense of those categories and never-ending lists.
  • Requesting books that are checked out — Yes, there is a way to get your hands on that book that’s checked out till May 15. Take a look at this tutorial to find out.
  • Using “get it @ duke” — That little blue button can do oh-so-much good but not without a little confusion when you’re first figuring it out. This tutorial will help shorten the learning curve.

There are more tutorials in the works, and we’d love your input on possible topics or ways we can these guides even more user-friendly. Here’s the place for your thoughts and suggestions!

Online Encyclopedias: Wikipedia Alternatives

Why an encyclopedia?

    Fast overview of a topic
    Historical timeline & basic facts
    Find out the right keywords for article searches
    Find out the main issues in the field
    Check for a list of suggested readings to start your real research

Which Encyclopedia?

Wikipedia has quickly become a go-to internet source when you need an encyclopedia. But there have been some concerns about its authority and objectivity, so it should be used cautiously. Use your critical thinking skills – if the article has footnotes, a list of further readings, and feels balanced, it is more likely to be comparable to what you would find in a more traditional encyclopedia. And Wikipedia can be a wonderful source of arcane information: when you really need a list of original air dates for episodes of The Brady Bunch, Wikipedia is the right source!

When your needs are less Florence Henderson-centric, there are other excellent encyclopedias available online. This post will cover the big general ones:

Encyclopedia Britannica online (available by Duke subscription) replicates the authoritative print version but adds web-only tools, including historical timelines and country comparisons.

Enciclopedia Universal en Espanol is also produced by Britannica, but in Spanish and with a focus on Spain and Latin America.

The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th Edition) is available via InfoPlease.com and Bartelby.com; this is a shorter, one-volume encyclopedia in its print version. Both sites also have various other dictionaries, thesauruses, and almanacs – as well as ads (InfoPlease’s interface is far more busy and annoying, IMO).

Browse the list of Reference resources here for more useful starting places for research – and watch this space for highlights of some excellent subject-specific encyclopedias online.

Written by Phoebe Acheson

End-of-Semester Crunch Time Tips

It’s that time of year when we find people asleep at the computers (some with head back and snoring loudly). Here are some tips for taking care of yourself and fellow Dukies in the library as the semester comes to a close:

1. Take care of your computer & files. Back up often. Don’t walk away from a library computer without saving your files to a thumb drive, your AFS space, or emailing them to yourself (or all three); when you log out of a library computer the files saved to the desktop disappear (and they auto-log out after 15 minutes of inactivity, so be careful if you tend to fall asleep!) If you’re on your laptop, take it with you to the bathroom – laptops are stolen every exam period, even those with half-done not-saved papers on them.

librarian

2. Ask a librarian for help. We can save you time and frustration at the best of times, and we’ve probably had more sleep this week than you have. Walk up, IM, email, or call. At Perkins and Lilly you can get Reference help from 8am to 2am.

3. Take care of yourself and your fellow students. Get sleep, take walk-in-the-garden breaks, hit the Perk for a salad instead of McDonald’s. If you move into the library, try to put your trash in the trash cans to make life easier for the housekeeping staff. Consider ceding the group study rooms to actual groups who want to study. Keep the headphones low enough so they don’t drive the next person crazy.

By Phoebe Acheson

Take EndNote on the road with EndNote Web

Interested in accessing your EndNote library even when you’re not in front of your personal computer? Take your research on the road by setting up an EndNote Web account, and enjoy the freedom to consult or add citations to your EndNote library from any computer with an internet connection.

EndNote Web is designed to complement the more robust desktop version of the citation management tool, but it’s possible to use it even if you’ve never used EndNote (by the way, EndNote may be downloaded for free by Duke students, staff and faculty).

Simply set up an Endnote Web account, and then add up to 10,000 citations to your Web library. Format bibliographies and in-text citations in over 2300 publishing styles (MLA, APA, etc.), or use the Cite While You Write plug-in and Microsoft Word to format papers and insert references instantly. You may also share citations with others who use the web application and search PubMed, Web of Science and hundreds of libraries for relevant resources, all within the EndNote Web interface.

RefWorks

And if you choose to use the two programs together (as they were intended), it’s easy to transfer citations between EndNote and EndNote Web.

Give it a try, and let us know what you think about EndNote’s latest innovation for researchers who don’t want to be tied to their offices or dorm rooms.

Library Help over Thanksgiving Break

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Thanksgiving falls at a busy time in the semester, and many students take papers or research projects home with them to work on over the break.

You can take the library’s resources home, too. Almost all of our databases are accessible remotely with your NetID and password. For more details see our off-campus access page.

If you have a question for a librarian, Perkins/Bostock Reference will be available by IM, email, or phone on Tuesday until midnight, Wednesday from 9-5, Saturday from 1-5, and Sunday starting at 1pm. If you’re in town, see the full library hours here.

(Photo from http://www.nyctourist.com/macys_history1.htm)

By Phoebe Acheson

Perks for honors thesis writers

Facing the exciting (albeit daunting) task of completing your honors thesis or project? To help make the process a bit easier, the library offers these perks to undergraduates planning to graduate with distinction:

What else can we do to make your months of writing and research easier? Post your suggestions, and we’ll try to make them happen.

Lost files? Don’t lose hope!

We’ve all been there. After working for hours, we hit the wrong key or forget to save a file opened from email, and before we know it, lose it all.

To save yourself the headache of these maddening situations, consider ways that you can prevent them from happening in the first place…

Before you make edits to a doc that you email to yourself to work on from another machine, click Save As, and Save it to the desktop or a flash drive (remember, though, that the desktop gets cleared as soon as you log off).

Better yet, bypass emailing yourself altogether by using Duke’s WebFiles, which provide all Duke students, faculty and staff with 5GB of personal file space and web space. Questions? See How to Use WebFiles.

And, believe it or not, there are ways to retrieve those files that appear to be lost in the Ether:

Strategy One: Check the Recycle Bin on your computer.

Strategy Two: Click Start, Search, and use Windows’ “When was it modified?” option under All Files and Folders (in Vista, click Start, Search and then click the down arrow to the right of Advanced Search, and select Date Modified in the Date dropdown menu at left). See your file? Be sure to save it in another location before continuing to work!

Strategy Three: Try a free undelete utility.

Strategy Four: Buy a file-recovery program (File Scavenger goes for $49, while Easy Recovery Professional will cost you $500).

Still no luck? For tips on how to recover anything from Excel files to a lost password, check out PC World’s How to Recover (Almost) Anything.

Have horror stories to tell about work you’ve lost? Have brilliant tips for recovering precious files? Do share!

What’s new in Lexis?

If you’re a fan of LexisNexis, you’ve probably noticed some changes in the last few weeks. The interface is more appealing and easier to navigate; its search box is larger and allows for “natural language” searches (the types of searches you do in Google); and you no longer get those annoying error messages when Lexis decides your search is too broad.

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If you were put off by the old interface or haven’t used Lexis before, now’s the time to give it a shot. Why bother familiarizing yourself with such a GIANT research tool, you ask? Well, to start with…

  • Search over 300 newspapers from around the world by date, headline, photo caption, keyword and more. Many are updated continuously, so you’ll never be behind!
  • It’s not just about news–click “Legal” at the top of the page to access law review articles, legislation, and Supreme Court decisions from 1790
  • Pull up SEC filings and company profiles, including Standard & Poor’s reports–just click on the “Business” button at the top of the screen.
  • Find out how the public responds to Gallup Polls (and other public opinion polls)–go to “News” and click on “Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.” You can search polls back to 1935.
  • Search blogs and web publications–just check those boxes on the “Easy Search” screen.
  • Track down broadcast transcripts from NPR, CNN, and other major networks by checking the box by “TV and Radio Broadcast Transcripts” on the “Easy Search” screen.

So, next time you need the full-text of a Supreme Court decision for poli sci, a futures report for finance or are just curious how Americans weigh in on their favorite soft drinks, run a search through LexisNexis Academic.

Find a source or discover a trick worth sharing? Post a comment!
Find yourself discouraged and frustrated? Save time, Ask a Librarian!

Summertime–ask us!

Suddenly Perkins and Bostock are so…quiet…and relatively empty. It’s an abrupt change from last week’s intense activity. Now, don’t get me wrong, we Reference librarians have plenty of projects, conferences, and catchup work to do over the summer. But I kinda miss the frantic end-of-semester questions, the exhilaration of nailing that last citation for the research paper, the sleep-deprived (or sleeping) students in every corner of the library.

So, if you’re out there, help ease our transition from the adrenaline highs of the semester to the easy-livin’ flow of summer. Send us a question, keep us busy! See Ask a Librarian for multiple ways to talk with us.

Overheard at The Perk

“I spent seven hours in the library yesterday, researching, and I only found four articles!”

Painful words for any librarian to hear. But wait! Was the subject of research truly something obscure and unknown? Some potentially unexplored but fruitful area of discovery? Sadly, no, the topic of research (further eavesdropping revealed) was a common medical issue well covered by a range of library databases.

A stop at the reference desk could have saved this undergraduate hours of suffering. It can be intimidating to approach a librarian to ask for help, but most librarians are quite friendly, and all of us want to help you do your research better. If you’re not sure what to ask, just tell us about your research, and we’ll be glad to point you in the right direction.

Written by Joan Petit