Monday, August 30, 2010

Improvements to the JSTOR interface

One of our biggest and most popular databases, JSTOR is making some improvements.
  • There is no Basic Search. The default is the Advanced Search page, which has been rearranged a little, but you'll find all the same features.
  • Right under Advanced Search is Browse By Discipline. This is a great way to look for journals that might address your topic.
  • By default, you will now be searching all JSTOR content, not just content the library has access to. This means JSTOR is no longer an all-fulltext database. If you want to turn off this feature, you have to select that option using a button on the Advanced Search or the Results page. While this is a small inconvenience, it means that you will be able to discover more articles on your topic. While they may not be available through JSTOR, you can look for them using other library databases or other SUNY libraries. (Did you know you have borrowing privileges at all SUNY, CUNY and New York community college libraries? You do!)
  • You can track down articles that cited a particular article. This is a great way to find more articles on a topic.
Remember that you can always click the Help button at the top right of every JSTOR screen. Or Ask A Librarian!

Empire State College Library Research Blog
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Improvements to EBSCOhost interface

EBSCOhost, the database vendor that provides Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete and many other databases, has made some minor improvements to its interface. The changes don't affect the search box. They all have to do with the results list and the "detailed record page" where you view all the information about an article.
Click each image for a full-size version.

Refine Your Results (including check-boxes for scholarly and full-text and the date range function, has moved from the right column to the left.

Detailed Record Page has changed a lot. The Permalink for sharing and saving the article is now a button over on the right side. The full-text link is up on the left side. There is now a translate function and a text to speech function.

Empire State College Library Research Blog
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Monday, August 16, 2010

New video resources

We now have three more streaming video collections from Alexander Street Press:
You may find these useful for research, getting background information on a topic or sharing in a group discussion.

To get to these resources, go to the library web site and click All Databases By Title, then click the Multimedia tab. You will need to use your college login to access these video databases.

These videos require that you have Flash installed and up-to-date (your computer may handle this automatically, or you can download Adobe's Flash player here.)

You can search by keyword, or browse through the collections, which is organized by a number of categories.

Each video has a transcript. You can make clips of a video, create and share playlists and embed video. Note that when you embed video, other viewers will be required to log in.

Check out these video collections - we think you'll be impressed by both the content and the database features.

Empire State College Library Research Blog
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Does the library have ___ ?

One of the most common questions we get at the Ask A Librarian reference desk is "Do you have ___ ?" Whether it's an e-book or an online journal, we're always happy to answer your question, but there's a quicker way for you to find out yourself whether a particular item is in the library.

To find a book, use the E-book Catalog. You'll find it at You can also get to it through the library web site, in the left column. Simply click through to the basic search page and enter either the title (in quotation marks) or the author's name (last name first.) If we have the item, it will appear in the search results, probably at or near the top. To read it, simply click the view e-book link to the right of the title. (At this point, you may be prompted to log in.)

To find an article, use Full-text Journal Finder. It's at and it's also on the library web site in the left column. To use it, simply enter the title of the journal you're looking for. If we have it, you will get one or more databases that have that journal. Pay close attention to the dates that are listed. Different databases have different volumes and issues of the same journal! Click the link to the database that has your journal in the date range you're looking for. If you're not already logged in, you'll be prompted to log in.

Now that you're "in" the journal, you need to find articles. There are two ways to do this. One is to click the link to a particular date, volume, or issue, and then look at the article titles that are available there. The other is to locate the search box and search for your keywords there. If you have a certain article that you're looking for in the journal, search for the title of the article in quotation marks.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Doing company research in Mergent

When you need to do research on a company, there is one place you should go first - Mergent Online. Mergent is the premier research resource for company, industry and financial research.

What can you learn from Mergent?
  • ownership of property and facilities throughout the world, number of employees
  • mergers, acquisitions, and subsidiaries
  • executives and their compensation, members of the board
  • who owns stock
  • trading price and volume of stock
  • annual reports
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission - SEC filings
  • cash flow, profitability, growth, debt
  • quick links to news items about the company from major online news services
  • industry information equivalent to Standard & Poors Industry Surveys
  • easy access to comparative information on the company's competitors
  • Mergent Reports - detailed, comprehensive, and in clear English describing what the company does and how well it's doing, as well as its history
Mergent has information on both public and privately held companies all over the world.

For more information and instructions on how to search for a company, please check out our Mergent video tutorial.

Empire State College Library Research Blog
Questions? Ask a Librarian