Category Archives: Research Tips

Finding Scholarly Journals

Feedback Express

In the 2014 Customer Satisfaction Survey, we received a number of comments from students regarding both the ease of access and quantity of our scholarly journal collection. Here are three examples:

  • “I have trouble finding some articles and journals I need.”
  • “Clearer web directions for journals would be helpful.”
  • “The library is very limited when it comes to journals.”

To address the question of access first, finding scholarly journals in full-text is easy, using the Full-Text Journal Finder. This tool indexes all journals, magazines, and newspapers for which the Library databases provide full-text coverage. For most databases, the Full-Text Journal Finder not only points to the correct database, but even links directly to the desired periodical within the database.

Divinity librarian Melody Detar has made a quick YouTube video on this important resource:

With regard to the number of scholarly journals in the Library, we have significantly decreased the quantity of periodicals in print form in recent years in order to subscribe to the greatest possible number of online databases and journals. Our databases currently provide full-text access to more than 270,000 periodicals.

InterLibrary Loan to the Rescue!

In 1815 Thomas Jefferson argued that the Congress required a great library for the reason that “there is…no subject to which a member of Congress may not have occasion to refer.” Like Jefferson, we consider that there is no subject to which a researcher at Regent might not explore, and our InterLibrary Loan team works to ensure that you get the books and articles they need, even if they are not in the University Library.

When you come across a journal to which the Library does not have full-text access, simply place your request through the ILLiad system. In most cases, our InterLibrary Loan team can get the article you need in only 1-3 days. You can also request that we purchase a subscription to a journal using our online Suggest a Title for Purchase form.

How does the Library foster Information Literacy?

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

Diagram of information literacy acquisition, starting with the development of practical skills and expanding through increasingly complex processes.(2)

Diagram of information literacy acquisition, starting with the development of practical skills and expanding through increasingly complex processes.(2)

This week The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog posted a short article about a 2013 survey of library directors entitled, “What Matters to Academic Library Directors? Information Literacy.”1 The survey found that 97% of the 400 respondents consider undergraduate information literacy training a vital part of the library’s mission. Regent University Library falls into this category. Teaching students, both undergraduate and graduate, research skills is essential to the role of the Library. Partnering with teaching faculty in educating students, instructing them in the best research practices, and encouraging effective information-seeking behavior is what we do. Regent University Library has a long history of working with faculty through our liaison program and the online Information Research and Resources course.

There is a wealth of online training tools on the Library website, as well as our own YouTube channel, which offers training tutorials from the Library faculty and database vendors. We offer course-integrated instruction, during which we create specialized instruction in the classroom or in the Library. We also create research guides for subjects and even specific courses, providing an easy starting point for students in a particular class or program. The Library offers several general training sessions on research-oriented topics each semester, both on-campus and online through Google Hangouts.3 In addition, the reference librarians are available for one-on-one research consultations in person, by telephone, or online via Google Hangouts. We have worked with students all over the world through Skype and Google Hangouts! Our goal is to empower our students, staff, and faculty with the research skills to become self-sufficient, life-long learners. These information literacy skills, in turn, will help Regent graduates become Christian leaders who can change the world.

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1Jennifer Howard, “What Matters to Academic-Library Directors? Information Literacy,” Wired Campus (blog), in The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 11, 2014, http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/what-matters-to-academic-library-directors-information-literacy/51005.

2Emma Coonan, “Four seasons pizza,” A New Curriculum for Information Literacy (blog), March 30, 2012, http://newcurriculum.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/four-seasons-pizza/.

3Permanent link for all Library Hangout events: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/event/c0lnc83s5ok7tecuqdcnjg0mcno?authuser=0&eid=100028809078157626561&hl=en.

New database: Get the best images from Image Quest

Searching for images on the Web for projects can be a conscience-challenging exercise. Although “borrowing” photos for projects and presentations may feel harmless, it may actually be a violation of copyright law unless the author of the site permits re-use.

The Library now has a subscription to Britannica Image Quest, a database of three million rights-cleared photos from the very best photographic collections in the world, such as the British Library, Getty Images, the National Geographic Society, and the Royal Geographic Society. The database even provides citations for each image in APA, Chicago, Harvard, and MLA styles, so there’s simply no need to be getting images for class projects from Google anymore!

To begin searching Image Quest, click here. See also Britannica’s overview on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/k_x4ypxFGIA

Resolution for 2013: Become a meta-searcher.

For many years, the Library has tried to provide researchers at Regent with an effective meta-searching tool capable of searching all our collections, physical and electronic, in a single search. We have tried several products, but none provided the functionality we were looking for. The Library currently has a trial subscription to EBSCO’s Discovery Service. We believe that Discovery is a major advance over previous products because it features the intuitive, user-friendly interface that is a hallmark of all EBSCO’s databases.

EBSCO’s Discovery Service is ideal for beginning a new research project. What makes Discovery so easy to use effectively are EBSCO’s limiters, which permit a searcher to start off with a very general search and then to browse for different types of resources and sub-categories. Although a video tutorial from EBSCO is available on YouTube, the best way to begin is probably to jump right in and give it a test drive by entering some subjects of interest and then using the limiters on the left sidebar to see what it can find for you. You can try the service by entering terms in the Discovery search fields on the Library homepage.

As always, your comments about potential Library resources are critical. After trying Discovery, please take a few moments to fill out our database trial evaluation form, and let us know if you feel it could be a an important addition to your research.

New Full-Text Journal Finder: EBSCO A-to-Z

EBSCO A-to-Z

Users of the Library’s Full-Text Journal Finder (and this should be everyone) have no doubt noticed a new interface. The reason for this change is that we have switched from Serial Solutions to EBSCO A-to-Z. EBSCO A-to-Z offers greater accuracy in identifying periodicals to which the Library has full-text access. It also can be used to locate the e-books the Library subscribes to from EBSCO.

If the Full-Text Journal Finder is not yet one of your essential research tools, this is the perfect time to learn about what is perhaps the best time-saving resource on the Library website.

The Full-Text Journal Finder is a list of the nearly 100,000 periodicals that the Library has print or online access to in full-text. It allows users to search journals, magazines, and newspapers by keyword, title, subject or ISSN. If the Library has full-text access to the publication, the Full-Text Journal Finder links directly to it inside the correct database or Library catalog.

For example, if we needed to find an article in Daedalus, we can search by journal name to see what issues are available in full-text:

Daedalus

Resource Type: Journal
ISSN: 0011-5266 Online ISSN: 1548-6192

Publisher: MIT Press

Hercule Poirot uses the Full Text Journal Finder to find the correct database.
Daedalus

Resource Type: Journal
ISSN: 0011-5266

The results above indicate not only which databases have Daedalus in full-text, but also the years covered as well as a direct link to the journal within each database listed. For readers who prefer hard-copy, a link to the Library catalog entry for Daedalus is also provided. The great value of the Full Text Journal Finder is that it takes the guesswork out of researching whether the Library has a periodical in full text, and if so, where to find it. If the periodical you need does not show up in the Full-Text Journal Finder, you can proceed directly to the Library’s InterLibrary Loan service to request it.

Addendum: Reference librarian Jason Stuart has just created a tutorial on using the Full Text Journal Finder. Click here to watch on YouTube.

Image Credit: AgathaChristie.com, “Poirot”
http://www.agathachristie.com/christies-work/detectives-and-sidekicks/poirot/