Thursday, June 1, 2006

Find Book Reviews

First, a short definition: a book review is an essay or article that gives a critical evaluation of a book. Review length can range from one paragraph to many pages, and the content can take almost any form, such as literary criticism, plot summary, personal recommendations and reflections, etc. And the qualifications of the reviewer can be just as varied, although most peer-reviewed journals try to use subject experts whenever possible.
Since different journal article databases have different designs, the ways to search for book reviews vary. The information below provides some tips for locating this kind of article.

In the EBSCO and ProQuest research databases, you can limit your search by "Document Type." In ProQuest, for example, you can find "Document Type" by clicking on the grey "More Search Options" tab at the bottom of the search screen; whereas in EBSCO, it is on the Advanced Search screen where you can limit the "Document Type." In JSTOR, click the "review" box on the Advanced Search screen.

Document Type option in EBSCOhost database:
EBSCOhost document type option showing Book Review selectionIn other databases, if a "Document Type" option is not available, book reviews can often be retrieved by keyword search using the exact phrase "book review" in combination with your other search terms, such as author name.

Locate Public Policy Resources

Need to find quality resources relating to public policy? Want to search for journal articles in social, economic, environmental or labor policy? Having a hard time navigating the complex and often overlapping government information system? Here are some resources that contain policy-related information that may help:

Where to start:
Multidisciplinary Policy Research Resources:
Social Policy:
Business, Labor and Economic Policy:
Foreign Policy:
Policy History:
Also remember to check out the list of references usually located at the end of any scholarly journal article or book. This is an excellent way to locate more relevant resources pertaining to your topic.

New York Times Archive

The New York Times Archive is an excellent resource for historical research. This searchable database, which includes images of every article published in the New York Times since its inception in 1851, offers an amazing wealth of information. The Archive contains news, editorials, letters to the editor, obituaries, birth and marriage announcements, and even advertisements. You may access the New York Times Archive directly by selecting it from the complete list of library databases at

The search screen for this database is very user-friendly, with several search tools to help you find what you need. You may limit by author, date, and even document type (front page, obituary, editorial, classified ad, etc.).

Screen capture of the New York Times Archive search screen:

New York Times Archive search pageOnce you've found some articles that fit your topic, you may view them in several ways. Articles are available as PDF files, either as a single clipping or as an entire page that shows the article in its original placement on the newspaper page. You may also choose to view the article in a "page map," which is a hyperlinked version of the entire newspaper page where each article can be shown on its own simply by clicking on it. Both articles and entire pages may be saved and/or printed from their PDF format.

Image of sample article display - entire page map as well as extracted clipping from the New York Times Archive:Sample page from NY Times article

Career Resources Center

Let's face it - one of the primary reasons college students make the effort to get a degree (beyond the love of learning) is to get or improve their employability. And we all, at one time or another, find ourselves in the position of having to decide what direction we want our career to take, or how to locate and apply for a job. We all know how stressful and time-consuming this process can be. Just locating suitable job openings can be a full-time job in itself! And then there are the subtle skills of writing resumes and cover letters, going to interviews and negotiating salary and benefits. What if we told you that quality information designed to guide you through all these processes, geared specifically to students at Empire State College, was only a mouse click away? It's true.

Career Resources Center home page:Career Resource Center main page
The Career Resources Center is linked from the library home page, listed in the middle column under "Learning Resources." In this searchable web site you will find loads of documents, forms, practice exercises and links for help in all aspects of the career process: assessing your options, locating opportunities, resume writing, succeeding in the interview process, as well as marketing yourself for professional development and advancement once you've landed that dream job.

New Library Resources for June 2006

The library has added three new research databases to its collection of resources:
  • New York Times Archive (1851-2003), a searchable database of the full image of articles published in the New York Times from its first issue in 1851
  • Gender Studies Database, a database combining Women's Studies International and Men's Studies to provide comprehensive coverage of sexual diversity issues
  • PolicyFile, an index of research papers and publications from organizations that influence public policy.
Read more about these new resources in Library News or access them directly from the complete list of library databases at