Category Archives: Research Tips

Web Browsers: Chrome or Firefox?

One of the most common causes of accessibility problems with Library online resources is web browser incompatibility. The librarians and staff regularly receive calls from students unable to view or download full-text articles or view online video. Often a simple change of web browser solves the problem.

Readers interested in full reviews of the current crop of web browsers can read this July 18, 2018 article from Digital Trends, but here are three basic tips based on recent experience at the Library:

  1. Both Microsoft’s old Internet Explorer and new Edge browsers are problematic and are not recommended for searching and retrieving Library resources.
  2. All Library users should have both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome installed on their computers. Unfortunately, at this time, it is not possible to recommend one browser for all research needs. Some article, ebook, and video databases work better with Firefox and some better with Chrome.
  3. In November 2017, Mozilla released its “Quantum” version of Firefox. The old version seems increasingly susceptible to problems, so if you haven’t already, be sure to install Quantum; like all Mozilla programs, it’s completely free.

A note to Safari users: Apple’s Safari browser appears to work well with Library databases, but we still recommend keeping both Firefox and Chrome on your computers.

Accessing Biblical Commentaries as a Distance Student

by Melody Detar, Divinity Librarian

Venerable Bede (672-735). English monk, historian, and Biblical commentator. Venerable Bede (672-735). English monk, historian, and Biblical commentator.

Biblical commentaries are an expensive, yet essential part of theological research. Since theological publishers have been slow to release commentaries and other theological resources digitally, students must often still rely on print materials for their research (although it never hurts to check for ebook versions as well!). Here are our tips for accessing commentaries as a distance student:

  1. The first thing to remember is to start your research early! Although you may take time in actually writing your paper, we recommend that you aim to gather the necessary resources as early as possible. This is so that you provide adequate time to ensure the resources you need are available and that there is time to acquire what you need.
  2. Select what resources meet your needs. If you are overwhelmed by the vast number of commentaries that are available, you are not alone! That is why the Regent University Library provides a research guide specifically aimed at helping you locate commentaries. This guide also houses a list of recommended commentaries developed by School of Divinity faculty.
  3. Request your selected resources through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). ILL can either ship circulating books to your home or provide resources electronically. When requesting commentaries, the book chapter option is recommended because the ILL department will scan up to 100 pages of a book and make it available as a PDF. This is faster than shipping books and is absolutely free of charge! Keep in mind that you do not need specific page numbers when entering a request; you can simply reference a passage, such as “Mark 9:14-29.”
  4. Consider local libraries. If you live near a theological library, you may prefer to browse their materials and check out books, if that option is available. The Regent University Library is now part of a reciprocal borrowing group composed of a growing list of theological libraries nationwide. Check if a theological library near you is part of the group and you will have free access to their materials and permission to check out books. If you do not find a library near you on the list, you may consider using ILL at a local public library or you may purchase a card to check out books at a local theological library. The Regent Library will reimburse our distance students up to $100 per year for an academic library card. Click here for more information and a reimbursement form.
  5. As always, contact a librarian if you have trouble finding what you need. We are excited to help you succeed!

The Library doesn’t have what I need!

by Melody Detar, Divinity Librarian

But I need that article! But I need that article!

Nearly all students have experienced the frustration of learning about a book or article that is perfectly suited for their research – only to discover the Library does not own it. On the 2014 Customer Satisfaction Survey, we received several comments from students who have experienced this situation, such as these:

Research Liaisons: At Your Service

by Sara Baron, Ed.D., Dean of the University Library

Many people start their library research with the indefatigable Google. However, in the library world we agree with author Neil Gaiman that, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”

On the 2015 Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS), we received several comments from students who are not sure where to turn with discipline-specific research problems. Here are two sample remarks: