New features for JSTOR


Beginning January 1, 2011, JSTOR will provide access to the current issues of 174 journals from 19 different publishers.

Here are a few things that you need to know about the new Current Scholarship Program (CSP):

• Current issues will be seamlessly integrated with back issue content for institutional and individual subscribers to the titles.

• New formats are available for current issues, including full-text HTML for some titles and PDF for all.

• Multimedia is available, including zoomable images, videos, audio, and GIS for some titles.

A complete list of these journals is available at:


If Santa doesn’t bring you the coffee table book of sumptuously illustrated Middle Eastern manuscripts that you were hoping for, you can now console yourself by browsing through some illuminated treasures of Islamic civilization in a post at  Archivalia. There you can see, among other images, a mighty lion attacking its prey from the Bibliothèque nationale de France’s Kalila wa Dimna, a Qur’an from Persia in The Royal Library at Copenhagen, a Persian miniature from a Diwan by Hafiz at the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, a 19th century Christian Arabic manuscript at the University of Brimingham, or one of the earliest Mughal manuscripts at the Indiana University Art Museum. And now that all these pictures have made you curious, you can read up about their history in Arabic painting: Text and Image in Illustrated Arabic Manuscripts, available in Duke’s collection at Lilly Library. I hope you enjoy your holidays…

Zotero Help

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!

Library and Campus Events

What’s going on at the library or around campus?  There are several events calendars to keep you posted.

You can get to the library’s Current & Upcoming Events page by clicking the News & Events link on the library’s homepage and then the Events >> heading (besides upcoming events, be sure to also check out the News, Exhibits, and Blogs).  This page unifies listings from several of the library’s subunits (the Instruction & Outreach Department, the Data &GIS Services Department, and the Center for Instructional Technology) as well as from the Divinity School Library.  Direct links to these calendars can be found at the right of the page.  You can also receive an RSS feed to stay updated.

Some library users can find interesting lectures, useful software training sessions, and workshops on the use of statistical data from the events calendar page for the Social Science Research Institute or SSRI (some of these, in fact, are cross-listed on the library calendars or taught by library staff).

Many events at Duke can be found from the main Events@Duke calendar.  Use the See all groups link in the left-hand column to get a listing of the many departments and groups at Duke that may sponsor workshops, lectures, and training sessions.  At the top, you can select Day, Week, Month, or Year listings, and the RSS feed might be handy.   Although it might be fruitful to spend time exploring the various Calendar Views and other options, please be aware that although the goal of this calendar is to be comprehensive not all campus events are submitted.  You still may want to check individual calendars that interest you like the ones mentioned above or (for example) from Student Affairs, the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Nicholas School of the Environment, or the Fuqua School of Business.

Google Scholar

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:

PAC Presents: Brownbag Discussion in the Haiti Lab

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)

Where:  The Haiti Lab; Smith Warehouse, Bay 4

Bring your lunch – we’ll provide dessert!

Register online at:

Learn more about the Haiti Lab at:

For more info about the Humanities Labs, see:

Congrats to the winners of the Middlesworth Award & Durden Prize

Parents’ and Family Weekend brings with it special events and festivities held across campus, and Duke University Libraries are not excluded from the excitement. As part of our roster of activities, we will honor the recipients of the Middlesworth Award and Durden Prize for their exceptional use of the Libraries’ special and general collections.

Our heartfelt congratulations to the 2010 winners of the Middlesworth Award for their outstanding research using materials from the Rare Book, Special Collections and Manuscript Library:

Undergraduate Award: Adrienne R. Niederriter
“Speak Softly and Carry a Lipstick: Government Influence on Female Sexuality through Cosmetics During World War II”
Nominated by Sarah Hallenbeck

Undergraduate Award: Hannah C. Craddock
“‘New Self-Respect and a New Consciousness of Power:’ White Nurses, Black Soldiers, and the Danger of World War I”
Nominated by Malachi Hacohen and Adriane Lentz-Smith

Graduate Award: Bonnie E. Scott
“Demonstrations in the House of God: Methodist Preaching and the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina, 1960-1969”
Nominated by Laceye Warner and Kenneth Carder

And our congrats to the 2010 recipients of the Durden Prize for their use of resources from and services related to the Duke University Libraries’ general collections:

First/Second Year Award: Julia Sun
“The Myth of the Addict: Opium Suppression in Late Imperial China”
Supported by Vasant Kaiwar

Third/Fourth Year Award: Ryan Brown
“The Native of Nowhere: Nat Nakasa”
Supported by Karin Shapiro
Eugenia Cho
“Architectural Acoustics of Symphony Hall”
Supported by Dewey Lawson

Honors Thesis Award: Andrew Simon
“Intertwining Narratives: The Copts and their Muslim Relations”
Supported by miriam cooke

I would also like to recognize this year’s finalists for the Durden Prize: Lindsay Emery, Rose Filler, Caroline Griswold, Brad Lightcap, Brianna Nofil and Eugene Wang.

We will be celebrating the achievements of our winners at an awards reception on Friday, October 22 from 3:30-4:30 in the Rare Book Room. All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients of and applicants for the 2010 Middlesworth Award and Durden Prize.

Electronic Book Plates

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.

Written by Cheryl Thomas

The Entry Point to Global 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:

For the latest updated news from Africa, Duke patrons can access the database at: News Online

What is your Lesegeschwindigkeit??

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.

Exploring Durham this Weekend?

As a Durham native, I know there are lots of interesting places where you can eat or relax after a busy week at work. Here are just a few blogs worth checking out, if you are looking for ideas:

Carpe Durham: Ramblings about food by people whose only qualification is eating a lot

Endangered Durham: Land use, architecture, history, and sustainable development

Bull City Rising: Musings, reflections, and general gossip

Durham Socialite: Durham’s source for social events

Please feel free to suggest other favorites.

Power tool for working with data

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.

Open Access to Knowledge

Open Access to Knowledge: The African Journal of Information and Communication

The African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC) is an academic journal, accredited by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training.  Formerly the South(ern) African Journal of Information and Communication, the AJIC is an annual interdisciplinary journal concerned with Africa’s participation in the “information society” and network economy.  It is both a rigorous academic journal and a practical tool to inform the continent’s ICT actors and decision-makers in government, industry and civil society.  In the spirit of open access to knowledge and scholarship, AJIC is now published online.  For additional information:

Backing Up Your Cloud

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.

PC Magazine has a good article, “Back Up or Else” that discusses different methods and strategies you can use to back up your cloud. They also give “best practices” to get you started. Here are a few suggestions taken from Natalie Houston, “How to Back Up Your Cloud“:

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!

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 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 (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.

Peer review: “The coin of the realm”

On Monday of this week, librarians from Duke, North Carolina Central, NC State and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill gathered for the Triangle Research Libraries Network’s (TRLN) annual meeting.

We librarians always look forward to the opportunity to catch up with colleagues from area libraries and learn more about the innovative things going on at their institutions, but the highlight for me this year was hearing from keynote speaker Diane Harley of the Center for Studies in Higher Education, lead author of “Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines.”

The study conducted by Harley and four others was comprehensive: It involved over 160 scholars from 45 elite research universities and includes 12 case studies representing as many disciplines (anthropology, English language literature, law economics and biostats, to name a few), in addition to an extensive literature review and daily environmental scans of issues in higher education.

As you might imagine, Harley and her colleagues gleaned an amazing amount of extremely rich data from their interviews of faculty, administrators, publishers and librarians. One surprise to Harley was the amount of time she and her colleagues spent discussing tenure and promotion (T&P) with their interviewees. Let’s consider just a few of Harley’s findings related to T&P and the role that scholarly publication plays in it:

  • – The most important aspect of T&P is a stellar publication record — service, teaching and public engagement are important but secondary to publication
  • – New journals and genres are acceptable — so long as they’re peer reviewed
  • – Peer review is the “coin of the realm” — it is the sole value system in academia, but…
  • – Peer review has problems: lack of speed, conservatism, bias, low quality reviews, non-scholar editors, cost to the institution to subsidize peer review via faculty salaries, lack of fraud and plagiarism detection
  • – T&P should be supportive of non-traditional forms of publication (e.g. Open Access journals)
  • – Publishers may say that they “do” peer review, but that’s not the case — faculty “do” peer review, at a cost to their institutions, NOT at a cost to the publisher
  • Do these ring true for you? Are these issues that you face in your work as a librarian, faculty member or aspiring scholar? How does the culture at Duke fit into this picture of T&P and scholarly communication? What can or should Duke Libraries do to support non-traditional forms of publication?

    What is new with with E-Books, Open Content, Mobile Learning, and Augmented Reality?

    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:
    The July 12 Webinar presentations are also online at
    This news item came to my attention via Resource Shelf

    Black Short Fiction and Folklore is Now Available

    Black Short Fiction and Folklore
    New Database

    Black Short Fiction and Folklore is the most comprehensive collection yet created of stories from African and the African Diaspora. When complete, it will feature 8,000 stories and folk tales published in more than 15 countries from the mid-1900s to the present. In addition to these published works, the database features previously uncollected works and unpublished manuscripts by many authors. We have an impressive collection of fables and folktales, which arise from oral traditions that date back hundreds of years.

    The relevance of the collection extends well beyond literature:

    • Fables and folktales provide unique insights into a culture’s history and memories. Social anthropologists and psychologists will find this collection to be rich in myth and societal customs. The extensive indexing even makes it possible to see how certain parables evolve over time and to compare New World fables with those told in Africa today.
    • Ideas expressed here often are not found in mainstream publications; getting novels published through traditional publishing channels was often impossible for blacks. But through short stories, these writers could express themselves quickly and distribute their works effectively through literary journals and other alternative forms.
    • Historians will find the collection to be rich in political discourse, social commentary, and polemic.

    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.

    Twitter as History

    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: and the first tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey:

    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.

    New Database on China 1833-1949

    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.

    Written by Luo Zhou

    Interested in what’s “Beyond the Stacks”?

    Now that the semester is over and you’re ready to begin your summer research or plan your courses for the fall, consider learning more about ways that the librarians at Duke Libraries can help.

    Librarians Heidi Madden, Andy Armacost, Jill Katte, Lee Sorensen and Emily Daly will be offering sessions on topics ranging from using digitized primary sources in the classroom to building and storing online image collections at Duke, from Western European studies resources to EndNote citation management software.

    These “Beyond the Stacks” sessions are part of the Center for Instructional Technology’s 21st Century Teaching & Learning Workshop Series and are designed for faculty and graduate students interested in integrating library resources and services into their teaching. Participants will also, however, leave with valuable tips for using library resources in their research.

    Have an idea for a “Beyond the Stacks” session? Contact Emily Daly. Interested in learning more about the Teaching & Learning Workshops Series? Check out the full schedule of events.

    Duke Campus GIS Data

    Members of the Duke community who are engaged in research relating to the campus infrastructure can now download GIS Layers of the Duke campus and surrounding areas.  These are in formats compatible with ArcGIS software, and some (the shapefiles) are importable into Google Earth Pro.

    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.

    Zotero 2.0

    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.

    The World Bank Frees Data

    On April 20, 2010, the World Bank announced that it would offer free access to its global development and financial indicators. This puts the widely used and well-liked World Development Indicators (WDI), the Global Development Finance (GDF), the African Development Indicators, and the Global Economic Monitor (GEM) at the fingertips of anybody who wants to use them for analysis, policy development, decision-making, etc. ( The data have become freely available to anybody who wants to re-distribute them, use them in mash-ups or apps. The World Bank has created a how-to guide and by mid-2010 will make the Web API available to developers. The data catalog offers an extensive listing of all databases and pre-formatted tables. The terms of use of the data are very liberal and impose very few restrictions.

    Books To-Go


    Earlier, we told you about the many ways to get audiobooks through Duke and on the web.

    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.

    Use this link to download books while you’re on campus

    And if you’re off campus, connect to NC Live and then browse to Audio Books.

    Photo Credit:

    Of champions & libraries

    What else can we say this week except: DUKE RULES!duke-university-ncaa-champions--d-10nc-x-00195sm

    How does the library relate to (or compete with) that? Well, ummm…here are some facts to peruse as you transition from celebration to research focus:

    • The University Archives has a collection of coaches’ films–men’s basketball films date from 1947 to 1996.
    • And here’s a pictorial history of our own Blue Devil.
    • Duke Libraries hold 112,186 unique titles that no other library in the world reports having.
    • We are 5th in the nation for our Film & Video holdings with 81,517 Film and Video titles collected.

    Now that you’ve calmed down, don’t forget that the subject librarians have created research guides for you, and will meet with you to help you find sources for your papers. Here are some recent reviews of our services:

    Thank you so much! This is extremely helpful!


    my awesome Duke librarian

    Librarians Want to Know

    We hope you know that librarians are here for you – we are in the business of supporting research at all levels, assisting students, faculty, and everyone in the Duke community. In an effort to improve the services we provide, we are trying to better understand the research habits and needs of different groups at Duke. This is where the User Studies Initiative comes in. We are trying to get past our own preconceived notions about what our users need and base decisions about library services on empirical evidence. The User Studies Initiative is a staff development effort, providing librarians at Duke with the tools and know-how to conduct effective user studies.


    On Monday, March 8th, a group of Duke librarians presented this work-in-progress to colleagues from across North Carolina at the annual LAUNC-CH Conference. Their talk, Know Thy User: Duke Libraries User Studies Initiative, demonstrated to other librarians the feasibility of conducting effective, targeted studies to better understand users’ needs and wants. Diane Harvey and Yvonne Belanger provided the big picture view of the initiative, and Emily Daly, Linda Daniel, and Shawn Miller discussed studies they are currently working on. To read more about the presentation, see Diane Harvey’s post on the new Instruction & Outreach blog.

    What do you wish the library did that it doesn’t? The User Studies Initiative is an ongoing project intended to generate a culture of continual assessment and improvement of library services. Let us know what you think!

    Written by Alice Whiteside

    What screencasting can do for you

    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?

    Written by Julie Adamo

    Growing Your Knowledge Base

    Need new research material? No matter what it is — book, DVD, CD, database, etc. — our library offers services to obtain it.

    You May:

    • Suggest a purchase:

    • Request it through ILL:

    Be sure to Search TRLN first in case the book is closer than you think.

    Loans from libraries in the Triangle Research Library Network generally are quicker:

    Otherwise use Interlibrary Loan:

    Also, keep in mind that not everything is available through ILL, though many things are.

    For other requests see the forms at:

    Written by Cheryl Thomas

    Ever wonder what you can ask a reference librarian?

    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 ( or by phone (660-5880). Save some time and get the information you need quickly!

    Written by Anne Langley

    Quiet study spots in Perkins/Bostock

    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.

    Group spaces
    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.

    Individual spaces
    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.

    Written by Joline Ezzell

    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.


    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.


    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.