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April 29, 2008

Faculty Due Date is Tomorrow

Just a reminder: all materials currently on loan to faculty are due back tomorrow, April 30. You may renew your materials either in person or online.

Ph.D candidates have a fixed due date of May 31. Loans to Masters' students are for 90 days from checkout.

We appreciate your efforts to return or renew books in a timely manner. Questions about the library's lending policy? Check out our Circulation Services page, or call us at 442-3693.

April 27, 2008

Only Two Workshops Left!

Dewey will be offering the final two informational workshops for graduate students this week. If you are a Social Welfare student needing to fulfill the information literacy requirement, you may want to use this opportunity to complete the workshop before the end of the semester. Sign up in person at the Dewey reference desk, call 442-3691, or register online.

This weeks classes:

2:00 PM: Introduction to Online Research Databases

11:00 AM: Conducting Research from Home

April 24, 2008

Photo of the Week

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An homage to some of our more traditional library resources

Check out our other photos and library tours on Flickr.

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

April 22, 2008

New Guide for Citing Online Resources

The APA Style Guide to Electronic References is now available in both print and online format. As scholars and students know, providing accurate citations to information sources is an essential component of any research project or paper. Such research increasingly relies on documents in electronic formats, and it has not always been clear how to properly identify and cite these items. This new reference from the American Psychological Association offers researchers a comprehensive guide to citing digital materials. It is now available in print or online – there is a copy in the Dewey Reference section, and one on Reserve (Call Number: BF 76.7 P84X 2007). Search Minerva for the link to our electronic access.

Organized into categories ranging from reference materials such as online encyclopedias , to digital dissertations , to slightly more esoteric formats, such as audio podcasts -- this guide provides a quick overview of the type of material being discussed and provides specific citation examples.

Of particular note is the section on journal articles. The proliferation of journals now available full-text online (both with and without print counterparts), can make navigating the world of electronic citations somewhat cumbersome. Using simple language, the style guide erases much of the confusion. In particular, this section clarifies citing in situations when an item is pre-published on the web ahead of print, or when it has been assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI number). The style guide provides commentary explaining the differences between types of online journal articles to help you determine which citation format is most appropriate.

For a refresher on some of the more “standard��? citation rules for APA and other formats, be sure and visit the University Libraries’ Style Guides and “How and When to Cite…��? pages. These pages provide summaries of a wide variety of citation formats, and instructional resources to help you assure that you’ve properly attributed the sources in your research.

Reference Librarians can also help you answer any questions you have regarding when and how to cite a source. When in doubt, Ask a Librarian!

Blog post created by Michael Daly

April 20, 2008

Dewey Instruction Sessions: Week of 4/21-4/25

There is still time to sign up for a workshop at the Dewey Library. A brief instruction session will help you make the most out of your time -- a resource that is growing increasingly limited as we approach the end of the semester. Here are the classes offered this week:

4:30 PM: Evidence Based Practice

2:00 PM: Conducting Research from Home

If you would like to sign up for one of these classes, drop by the Reference Desk, call 442-3691, or register online.

April 17, 2008

Photo of the Week


This photo was taken at the end of winter...have you noticed the days are getting longer?

Check out our online tour of the stained glass windows on Flickr.

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

April 15, 2008

New: Archives Guide

A new subject guide for IST students in the Archives track, is now available on the Libraries’ web site. This guide is a terrific starting point for conducting research about archival collections, preservation, and records management. You can easily find the guide from the University Libraries’ main web page. Using the drop down menu under the words "My Research Subject Is,��? choose the subject "Information and Library Science." One of the options that appears is a link for Archives: A Guide to Information Sources.

The resources are broken down into five main categories. The first, Finding Articles, highlights specific databases for locating scholarly articles dealing with archives and records management. The nature of archives research is interdisciplinary -- with content found in information science, education, and history databases.

The Finding Books category provides a quick overview of Minerva, the library's online catalog, and Interlibrary Loan. However the most helpful information here may be the list of the most common Library of Congress Subject Headings for archives and records management. These terms can save you time when searching Minerva and other library catalogs. Most books related to archives are located here at Dewey, but any items housed at the uptown libraries can be obtained through UA Delivery.

While not the primary focus of this research guide, the section Locating Archival Collections provides links to some popular online sources for finding special collections and other types of repositories.

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Bibliographies relating to the study of archives are found in the Dewey Library Reference Collection. A quick description of these ready referenc sources, along with its call number make this section of the research guide a quick, but extremely useful stop.

Internet Resources includes web links for everything from professional archival associations, to sites dealing with topical issues such as digital preservation. These sites have been vetted for authority and reliability by our Information Studies Subject Specialist.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, remember, you can always Ask-A-Librarian! For researching in-depth topics relating to archives and records management we encourage you to contact the Information Studies Subject Specialist, Deborah Bernnard.

Blog post created by Michael Daly

April 13, 2008

No Workshops this Week

There are no instruction sessions at the Dewey Library this week. If you need research assistance, please stop by the Reference Desk or make an appointment with a bibliographer:

Public Policy and Public Administration: Dick Irving
Information Studies: Deborah Bernnard
Social Welfare and Criminal Justice: Mary Jane Brustman
Gerontology: Elaine Lasda Bergman

April 10, 2008

Photo of the Week


As we reach the final stretch of the semester, the flames of knowledge must be burning bright on campus, as in this detail from the Class of 1929 window.

Check out our online tour of the stained glass windows on Flickr.

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

April 7, 2008

Blog Searching Made Simple

With their rapid rise in popularity – over 100 million as of December 2007 – weblogs, or blogs, have become an almost unavoidable avenue of information. Internet-savvy scholars look for blogs that will point to potentially useful resources or news items that keep them current on their topic. However, finding blogs on your topic can be tricky; most general purpose search engines are not that effective at locating blogs. Here is a rundown of three popular search tools that specialize in retrieving information from blogs:

Google Blogsearch
Set up almost exactly like Google’s standard search engine, Blogsearch has special features that assist in searching blogs. One important feature to note – the basic search looks for your terms in individual posts of blogs, not for entire blogs devoted to your topic. Advanced Search allows refining your search of blog posts by limiting your terms to “all words��? (i.e. “criminal justice and America��? would search for “criminal��? and “justice��? and “America��? anywhere in the post) or “exact phrase.��? The lower search box allows you to specify that a term is found in the title of a blog; this will bring up a list of blogs that are more likely to be entirely about your topic. You can also search by URL or author. Because one of the benefits of reading blogs is the fact that they are frequently updated, the advanced form allows you to limit searching by how recently the item was posted to the web (up to one hour ago).

If you’re interested in receiving updates for the search terms you’ve entered you have the option of signing up for “Blog Alerts��? which will send you email reminders when you’re search terms appear in postings and blogs. One disadvantage of Google Blogsearch is that it seems to push blogs using the Blogger platform (which it owns) to the top of your search results.

Similar in style and function to Blogsearch, Bloglines allows you to specifically search postings and blogs based on search terms you establish. Clicking on the “More Options��? button brings up the advanced search option. Very precise searching is feasible on advanced search, as you may enter as many keywords or limits you need by clicking on the red “add an entry��? tab. You can also limit by language(s) and dates. Bloglines also adds the options of letting you include or exclude news related blogs. Creating an account with Bloglines allows you to set search limits to include or exclude your established RSS feeds (using RSS feeds is like “subscribing��? to blogs, in that it allows you to directly receive regular updates from your favorite blogs).

Technorati functions on similar standards as the previous two examples, with some exceptions. One unique limit you may specify is the level of “Authority��? a blog has. “Authority��? is defined by Technorati by the quantity of web sites that link to the blog in the last six months (perhaps, instead of “authority,��? they should use the term “popularity��?). In addition, you can limit by language from the basic search screen. The “advanced search" option allows you to search blogs using many of the options offered by Blogsearch and Bloglines. Advanced search also lets you type in a URL, and it will find those blogs which link to it.

While blogs are usually not authoritative enough to use for research, they can point to some useful information. Here are a few that may be of interest to the Downtown Campus Community:

Criminal Justice Online
Government Jobs
LIS Scholarship
Social Welfare Spot

Blog post created by Michael V. Daly

April 6, 2008

Confused about Endnote?

Come to the Dewey Library session on Using EndNote this Thursday, April 10, at 4:30pm.

EndNote is citation management software -- which means it can help you generate a correctly formatted bibliography and footnotes, and generally manage references you are using for that important research paper.

To sign up for Using EndNote, drop by the Reference Desk, call us at 442-3691, or use our online form.

April 3, 2008

Photo of the Week

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Soon, we'll all be wearing thong sandals like the woman in the Class of 1926 window. Check out more Dewey pictures on Flickr.

Photo Credit: Morris Stilson

April 1, 2008

New Interface for National Criminal Justice Reference Service

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) is a comprehensive bibliographic database funded by the federal government. The University at Albany Libraries now subscribes to this database through the Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA) platform.

This resource covers roughly 197,000 criminal justice publications. The most robust aspect of NCJRS is its collection of reports from federal, state, and local governments and organizations. The database coverage runs from 1972 to the present.

NCJRS access is available from the library Databases and Indexes page. If you use NCJRS, let us know your thoughts about the CSA platform. We welcome your comments –whether made on this blog or directly to a librarian.

Are you looking for tips to search more effectively? Do you have other research questions? You can contact the Reference Desk (stop by, phone 442-3691, send an e-mail). For questions specific to Criminal Justice Research, contact Mary Jane Brustman to set up an appointment.