Monday, July 26, 2010

Looking for a law or court case? Use Westlaw Campus.

Westlaw Campus is the main database that's used to do legal research. This includes
  • Federal laws (the United States Code)
  • State laws
  • Case law (U.S. Supreme Court, federal circuit courts, state courts)
  • Law journal articles
Today we'll focus on looking up articles in law journals. If you do a search in Multidatabase Search or Google Scholar, you won't get many full-text results, but this is deceiving. Westlaw's immense collection of full-text scholarly law journal articles is invisible to those search tools. You have to actually log into Westlaw to find the articles. Here's how:

First, go to All Databases By Title, scroll down, click Westlaw Campus, log in, and click through the intro page. Now you're on the main search page, which looks like this:

There's going to be a set of search boxes, and underneath that are a lot of check-boxes. Click the third one down in the first set of check-boxes: Journals and Law Reviews. Then use the pull-down menu next to it to select "All Journals And Law Reviews."

Next, search your keywords in the search boxes above. But don't use the Search button next to the search boxes. Instead use the Search button at the very bottom of the window. (Don't ask me why it's this complicated...)

A search result will look something like this:


18. 71 Ala. Law. 146
Alabama Lawyer March, 2010 WHAT'S THE SCOOP? BACKGROUND CHECKS AND THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT C. Paige Goldman

The header is a standardized abbreviation for the citation, and it's a clickable link to the full-text article, which you can then e-mail to yourself, download or print. Law articles tend to be very long, so you might want to avoid printing an article until you've skimmed its contents to see if it's what you need.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ferguson Career Guidance Center - new feature!

Ferguson Career Guidance Center is one of the college's main career development tools. It can be accessed through the library web site under All Databases By Title, or from the Career Resources Guide.

Ferguson Career Guidance Center provides information on industries and specific careers that are available. It also has advice and skill-building techniques for getting a job and building your career.

Now they've added one more feature - an assessment tool that helps you determine which jobs are best suited to your interests and aptitudes. Try the Career Interest Assessment Tool today! (requires login.)

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Article Linker and Full-text Journal Finder unavailable Saturday evening

Serials Solutions, the company that provides our Article Linker service will be performing maintenance this Saturday, July 17, from 9pm to 11pm. During this time, databases will work, but you will not be able to use Full-text Journal Finder or Article Linker.


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Monday, July 12, 2010

Making Image Groups in ARTstor

ARTstor is a database of high-quality images of art - photography, sculpture, architecture, paintings, drawings, etc. You can browse ARTstor by its collections, or you can search by keyword. For instance, you could search for "horses" and come up with artworks featuring horses. Or you could search for "charcoal" and come up with artworks in that medium. Or you could do both.

One especially useful ARTstor feature is that you can create Image Groups. These are virtual slideshows of the images you've found and selected, which you can share online.

To make an Image Group, you must first log into ARTstor. In addition to logging into the service itself with your college login and password, you need to have your own personal account with ARTstor where you will save your own searches and the images you've selected.

You'll see a Log In to ARTstor box in the upper right corner of the screen. If you have already created an account, log in. Otherwise, click Register and follow the steps to create an account, then log in. Next, do your search.

In your search results you can select an image by clicking once on its thumbnail (small version on the results page.) You can tell it's selected because it now has a red border.

Now go to the gray menu bar at the top and select Organize, then Save Selected Images To, then New Image Group. It will prompt you to type in a name for your image group. Do that and click Save and Open. Now you are looking at the contents of your image group - all the search results that you selected before.

If you want to save more images to your image group, go back to the gray menu bar and select Find, then Search. Do another search and select more images from the search results. Then go back to the gray menu bar and select Organize, then Save Selected Images To, then Existing Image Group. Select the desired image group from the list, and then click Save and Open.

If you want to share an image group, you need to "obtain instructor privileges."Anybody with a college login can get instructor privileges, whether you're an instructor or not. Here's how to do it: Go to the gray menu bar and select Organize, then Open Image Group. You'll see a link for Obtain Instructor Privileges on the right side - click it. The authorization code is awmfesc and the password is artstor.

Now, to share your Image Group, go to the gray menu bar and select Share, then Manage Folder(s). Then select your folder. Now select the option for Selected users and create a password in the box below. You should also select whether those users can make changes in the image group, or just view it. Click Submit and then OK.

Now go back to the gray menu bar and select Share, then Generate Image Group URL. This is the link you will send people or embed in a discussion or a course page so that they can come see and work in your image group.

One final thing you can do is turn your Image Group into a Powerpoint presentation. To do that, go to the gray menu bar and select Tools, then Export Group to Powerpoint, then Yes. (You're limited to 1000 images in 120 days so take it easy.)

Information overload, right? Don't worry - ARTstor has a Help button up at the top right of the page, and you can always call the library for help at 800-847-3000 ext. 2222.


Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, July 5, 2010

Some Databases Are Returning

You may remember Gale's Academic OneFile, General OneFile and Health Reference Center Academic. They have returned to the Empire State College Library courtesy of NOVELNY (a program of the New York State Library.)

Academic OneFile and General OneFile are both multidisciplinary databases containing articles from scholarly and popular periodicals. Health Reference Center Academic is a reference source for up-to-date information on a variety of health topics.

You can access these databases through the All Databases By Title link in the left column of the Library Web Site.

Empire State College Library Research Blog
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