Category Archives: Research Tips

Don’t purchase database articles!

In preparation for this year’s survey of our users’ satisfaction with the Library, we have been taking a final look at the 2018 Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS).

One thing we noticed that particularly gave us pause is the frustration that sometimes occurs when an article is not available from our databases in full-text. Here are two representative comments:

  • “Some resources are not available so I have to go and purchase materials.”
  • “Many times I will search for an article and many of the links that come up require a purchase to view it.”

The Library recommends that students and faculty never purchase articles or dissertations from database vendors. The reason is that there is almost always a quick way of obtaining the item without paying for it.

Whenever you get a citation or abstract without the full-text, the first step should be to check the Full-Text Journal Finder to find out whether the journal in question is available in full-text from a different database.

If none of the Library’s databases has the article you need, you can request it though our InterLibrary Loan service. This automated, easy-to-use service is very fast. Most journal articles are delivered to the requester in 2-3 days.

The librarians strive to use our resources budget to provide the most online content possible, with InterLibrary Loan providing expeditious access to what we don’t have. If you are ever in doubt about the quickest way to get full-text access to an article, contact the reference librarians.

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:

Students:

Research has shown that students with a GPA of 3.5 and higher frequently state that working with a librarian has helped them succeed.1 Library liaisons will:

  • Save you time by directing you to the best resources.
  • Meet with you online (Skype or Google Hangouts), over the phone, or in person. 
  • Help you develop information finding and evaluating skills that will serve you well in your academic and professional careers.Faculty:

    Are you aware of the services your Library liaisons provide? These include:

  • Acquiring resources for your research and classes.
  • Developing research guides for your courses, or even a particular assignment, such as a big research project.
  • Teaching your students research skills in your classroom, in the Library, or online.
  • Helping you embed Library tools into your Blackboard courses.
  • Libraries and the Academy found that university faculty consider four functions of their libraries’ liaison program to be especially important:2

  1. Communicating with teaching faculty.
  2. Providing library services.
  3. Responding to faculty requests.
  4. Providing research expertise in the discipline.
  5. Regent University Library Liaison Responsibilities for Instruction, Developing Research Guides, and Collection Development – 2014-2015:

    Disciplines (Undergraduate & Graduate)

     

    Library Faculty

     

    Business & Leadership

    Business Administration, Organizational Leadership, Strategic Leadership, Business, Leadership Studies, Economics

     

    Harold Henkel

     

    Communication

    Communication, Cinema-TV, Journalism, Theatre, Animation

     

    Instruction & Research Guides
    Harold Henkel

     Collection Development
    Sara Baron

     

    Divinity

    Practical Theology, Theological Studies, Divinity, Ministry, Renewal Studies, Biblical and Theological Studies, Christian Ministry, Theology, Youth Ministry

     

    Melody Detar

     

    Education

    All programs, including: Curriculum & Instruction (including Curriculum Collection), School Administration, Higher Education, English Secondary Education, Interdisciplinary Studies (PreK-6 teacher licensure), Math Secondary Education

     

    Sandy Yaegle

     

    English

     

    Harold Henkel

     

    Foreign LanguagesStudies

    Hispanic Studies, French & Spanish

     

    Instruction
    Harold Henkel

    Research Guides &
    Collection Development
    Georgi Bordner

     

    Government

    Government, Public Administration, International Studies, American Government & Politics, Homeland & International Security, International Relations & Foreign Policy, Political Philosophy

     

    Jason Stuart

     

    History

     

    Harold Henkel

     

    Information Systems Technology, Mathematics,

    Biophysical Sciences

     

    Jason Stuart

     

    Psychology & Counseling

    Human Services Counseling, Psychology, Criminal Justice

     

    Instruction & Research Guides

    PsycCoun- Sandy Yaegle

    CJ- Jason Stuart

    Collection Development
    Sara Baron

     

    _________________________________

    1Steven Bell, “Keep Them Enrolled: How Academic Libraries Contribute to Student Retention,” Library Issues, 29, no. 1 (2008), http://www.libraryissues.com/sub/PDF2901Sep2008.pdf.

    2Julie Arendt and Megan Lotts, “What Liaisons Say about Themselves and What Faculty Say about Their Liaisons, a U.S. Survey,” Libraries and the Academy12, no. 2 (2012), http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/portal_libraries_and_the_academy/v01212.2.arendt.html.