Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Library Research Blog is Moving!

The Library Research Blog is moving to the Commons, where it will have a more streamlined look and easier subscription options. You can find us at http://commons.esc.edu/libraryblog.

For the next month we will post our articles in both locations simultaneously, but after that, we will phase out this Blogspot version.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Using Google Scholar to find articles

When you have a research question that spans several different subject areas, you can use a multidisciplinary database such as Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, Academic OneFile or ProQuest Research Library. But many articles are kept only in subject-specific databases and searching all of them would take a lot of time. Fortunately there's a way to search all of the library's databases at once.

If you go to http://www.esc.edu/googlescholar, there is a link to log into Google Scholar. It will prompt you for your college login and password, which regular Google Scholar doesn't do. The reason you have to log in through the college is that now Google Scholar will link you directly to full-text in the library.

First, there are a few things to know about
searching in Google.
  • +keyword - this keyword must be in every search result
  • -keyword - this keyword can't be in any of the search results
  • "two words" - everything in quotation marks is searched together as a phrase
  • Advanced search lets you limit your search to a specific date range or subject area
Here is a screenshot of what your search results will look like. Notice the Full-text @ ESC Library link. Just click it to be taken to your article.

You may also see links to PDF files in that space. These full-text articles are not in our library, but are stored in repositories, usually belonging to the university or research institute where the author works. They are perfectly legitimate as scholarly articles. You will be able to find out what journal the article was published in - in most cases, the journal version is the "official" version that you should cite.

Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, October 18, 2010

Using RefWorks to manage your citations

RefWorks is an online citation management tool that you can use for free because the college has subscribed to it.

Basically, you log in with your college login and password and then create a personal account with RefWorks (you have an individual account to keep your research private.)

Once you're in, you can either type in bibliographic information from your research sources, or use a set of tools to import this information automatically. For example, you can select search results in a database and batch send them to RefWorks. There is also a plug-in that lets you grab this information from any web site.

You can organize your citations into folders for different courses, topics or research projects. You can access the full-text of any article that is in the library through its entry in your RefWorks folders. You can also upload files, such as the PDF full-text, some images, or a document with all your notes!

There is a plug-in that you download and configure, and it hooks up with Microsoft Word. Then when you are writing a paper, you simply click a button to open up the plug-in, select the source you want to site, and insert your citation. When your paper is done, you click a few more buttons to format it in any citation style you want - APA, MLA, Chicago, CSE, and others.

No more confusion about what to do with oddball sources, or the picayune details of formatting in different styles - all of this is handled by RefWorks.

For more information and to log in, go to http://www.esc.edu/refworks.

Don't forget to sign up for one of our webinars on how to use RefWorks! During the webinar, we will help you get set up with your own account, download and configure the two plug-ins and get some hands on experience using the different features. Go here for more information and to sign up for a webinar.

Empire State College Library Research Blog
Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, October 11, 2010

InfoSci Online is now IGI Global

In case you've been looking for InfoSci Online, it's now called IGI Global. It is an excellent source for peer-reviewed journal articles about information technology. Examples of subject areas covered are library science, instructional design, and computers in organizations.

"IGI Global’s InfoSci-Journals database is a rapidly expanding full-text collection of peer-reviewed journals that focus on cutting-edge, specialized topics in advanced technology research as well as organizational, managerial, behavioral, and social implications of technology."

You may find it helpful to download this User Guide (skip to page 5!)

Empire State College Library Research Blog
Questions? Ask a Librarian

Monday, October 4, 2010

Online Library Workshops

We have brought back our online library skills workshops with an expanded schedule!

All of the workshops are offered on weekday evenings (mainly Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8pm.) They take place via a web conferencing tool called Elluminate. There is nothing for you to download, although your browser will automatically install a plug-in. All you need is a broadband internet connection plus one of the above:
  • computer speakers and microphone
  • an earphones/mic headset
  • a phone (once you log in, we will give you dial-in info.)
We are offering two main workshops:
  • Intro to Searching, which covers the basics of where to find library resources and how to do keyword searching effectively
  • Citing Your Sources, which covers making in-text citations and a bibliography in any of the required styles (APA, MLA, etc.)
and also a special topics workshop:
  • Intro to RefWorks - RefWorks is our online citation manager, a powerful tool that can help you save and organize all your research information, and insert perfectly formatted citations into your Word documents!
Sign up and find out more here: http://tinyurl.com/cynkkg

Empire State College Library Research Blog
Questions? Ask a Librarian