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May 31, 2010

Today is the Ph.D. Due Date

Today is the summer fixed due date for Ph.D. candidates who have checked out library materials. If you are a Ph.D.candidate and have material due on this day, you must return or renew it. Please call the Circulation Desk at 442-3693 for more information.

May 28, 2010

Ph.D. Due Date is Monday

A reminder to all Ph.D. candidates that the winter fixed date for returning or renewing books is this coming Monday, May 31, 2010. Ph.D. students are able to renew books a maximum of 8 times, and this can be done through your MyMinerva account. This fixed due date applies to Ph.D. candidates only. If you are a master's level student or other type of borrower, please view our circulation loan policy for applicable lending periods.

If you have any questions about loan periods, overdue fines, or renewing books, please contact our Circulation Desk at 442-3693.

May 24, 2010

Summer Sections of Social Welfare Seminar

Students in the Advanced Standing program in the School of Social Welfare may wish to complete their first Inforamation Literacy requirement by taking the Social Welfare Research Seminar this summer. Students who complete this seminar will then have to take an elective library seminar in the fall or spring. Here are the dates and times for the summer sections of the Social Welfare Seminar (say that five times fast!):

  • Tuesday, June 1, 2:00pm

  • Thursday, June 3, 10:00am

  • Monday, June 7, 11:00am

  • Wednesday, June 9, 3:00pm

Details about the Social Welfare Information Literacy requirement can be found on the Dewey Library Information Literacy Workshops page. You can register for this course from that link, by calling 442-3691, or dropping by the Reference Desk. If you are an Advanced Standing student and you are not able to take the seminar this summer, please check the Information Literacy Workshops page in August for the Fall schedule.

May 20, 2010

The University Libraries are Here to Help, even After Graduation!

A common misconception among many newly degreed students is that once they have graduated, their alma mater can no longer help the with their future endeavors. Wrong! In addition to the many services provided by the Alumni Association, such as Career Services from Alumni and Test Preparation Courses for the GRE, LAST, and GMAT standardized tests, the University Libraries offer many different services to help support the hard-working and dedicated members of our prestigious Alumni Association.

Our newest service that is available to University Alumni is that we now subscribe to two research databases designed for alumni use. It is important to note that in order to access these databases, alumni must first register for a username and password from the University at Albany Alumni Online Community. The first of these databases is Academic Search – Alumni Edition . This multidisciplinary database, which is specifically designed to meet the research needs of the post-graduate professional, allows alumni to search for full text articles from over 3,300 journals. The other database is Business Source – Alumni Edition . Specializing in the research of all areas of business, this database is similarly designed to satisfy the research needs of the post-college business professional, and provides full text access to over 1,400 business magazines and journals. A comprehensive list of databases and sources available for alumni can be found on the Alumni Services – Database List.

University alumni are entitled to borrowing privileges from each of our three libraries. Alumni are granted a 30 day loan period for circulating books, can check out up to 25 items at a time, and items that are checked out may be renewed twice. Registration for Alumni Borrowing Privileges can be completed at the circulation desk at any of our three libraries. Since the library has to verify your status in the University Registrar’s Alumni database, it is recommended you come to the library to register during regular business hours, when staff with access to the database is available.

The Interactive Media Center, located in room B41 of the University Library, frequently hosts classes and workshops on a variety of technology related topics. Some of the topics covered in these sessions include image and text scanning, creating PDF files, web design, video digitizing, and Adobe Photoshop applications. Each class is 100% free to all UAlbany students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Alumni can register for a workshop via the Class Schedule and Registration Form. Walk-ins are also welcome, so if you decide at the last minute to attend a workshop, feel free to swing by the Interactive Media Center whenever a class is in session!

Lastly is the Ask-A-Librarian Email Reference Service. Alumni are encouraged to fill out the Ask-A-Librarian form with any and all of their information questions. One of our talented librarians will respond to your query in a timely fashion. A great resource when you need a detailed and expedient answer to a question from a trained professional!

For more information on the many services the University Libraries provide for UAlbany alum, please visit the University Libraries Alumni Services page.

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina

May 17, 2010

Not Owned by UA Libraries? Not a Problem!

The total combined collection size of all three libraries and the Special Collections, (currently at over two million volumes) allows the University Libraries to provide coverage for a broad range of subjects and areas of study. At the same time, it would be unrealistic for one institution to be able to offer resources and information for every conceivable research topic or information need of its patrons. Here at UAlbany, the University Libraries offer several services to students, faculty, and staff to help them loan materials not owned by our libraries. These services are crucial as a means of “filling in the gaps��? of our collections, and we strongly encourage you to take advantage of them when they are needed.

Perhaps the most ubiquitous and easy to use of these services is Interlibrary Loan . The Interlibrary Loan Department is able to offer short term loans of books and digital delivery of journal articles from libraries nationwide that the University Libraries do not already own. Some of the types of materials that can be requested through Interlibrary Loan include books and book chapters, journal articles, dissertations, audio/visual materials, and newspaper and archival materials on microfilm. If you have never used Interlibrary Loan before, you first need to complete the First Time User Registration Form. Once you have created an account, all you need is the citation information of the item you would like to request through Interlibrary Loan. If the item you request is a book, audio/visual material like a DVD or CD, or any other type of physical media, you can pick it up once it has been delivered to your designated pick-up library. Journal articles requested through Interlibrary Loan will be delivered electronically to your email inbox. Further information regarding Interlibrary Loan can be found on the Interlibrary Loan FAQ.

Another service that the University Libraries are participating members is the Direct Access Program. Sponsored by the Capital District Library Council (CDLC), the Direct Access Program enables members of the UAlbany community to borrow from or use over fifty academic, public, law, medical, and technical libraries located in the Capital District. In order to make use of the CDLC Direct Access Program, you first need to pick up a CDLC Card, which you can get from the Circulation Desk at any of our libraries. For more information on the CDLC Direct Access Program, including a directory of participating libraries, please the visit the CDLC – Direct Access Program web site.

In addition to the services already mentioned, the University Libraries also provide Reciprocal Access to Research Collections and programs. These services include participation in the SUNY sponsored Open Access Program and the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program from participating institutions, as well as borrowing privileges for UAlbany faculty and staff at the New York State Library and the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago. Please visit Reciprocal Access to Research Collections for more information about each of these services.

If you have any questions about any of these resources, such as how to use them and how they can help you with your research, you can give us a call at 442-3691, send us an email through the Ask-A-Librarian Service, or stop by the Reference Desk.

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina

May 12, 2010

Quality Resources for Correctional or Prison Administration Research

When conducting scholarly research, knowing which resources to utilize is oftentimes the biggest hurdle to writing a quality research paper. Many subject areas, including Criminal Justice, have such a depth and breadth of resources to search through that it can seem daunting to pick out the ones that are best suited for your information need. The purpose of this blog is to help demystify the resource selection process for Criminal Justice research in general, and more specifically for Correctional or Prison Administration research. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you too will be able to pick out the best resources to use while you conduct your research.

A great place to start your research, especially for background information on your topic, is with reference materials. While they probably won’t be prominent resources cited in your paper, reference materials such as subject encyclopedias and dictionaries can be extremely helpful in providing foundation information on a given topic. The following are just a sampling of the reference materials available that cover our topic.

Bosworth, Mary.Encyclopedia of Prisons & Correctional Facilities. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2005.
Dewey Library / Reference HV 9471 B675 2005

Levinson, David. Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage Publications, 2002.
Dewey Library / Reference HV 6017 E524 2002

Sifakis, Carl. The Encyclopedia of American Prisons. New York: Facts on File, 2003.
Dewey Library / Oversized HV 9471 S54 2003

Similar to reference materials, websites can be a great source of background information on a given topic. There are several quality websites that focus on corrections and administration. One such site is the Corrections Connections Network . In addition to offering current news articles from across the nation, this site also has a searchable archive all the news articles that have been featured on the site from 2000 to present. They also have the past three years of their online magazine, Corrections Connection, readily available to read. Another potential source of information is a series of podcasts posted to the site. Each show features an interview with a prominent member in the field of criminal justice on a unique topic. One of their recent shows featured an interview with Dr. William Sondervan, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Associate Professor Ben Stevenson, both of the University of Maryland-University College. They discussed how correctional administrators are dealing with the considerable budget cuts that occur in most correctional systems around the country.

If your research is focused on New York State, the New York State Department of Correctional Services should be the first resource consulted. The Department of Correctional Services produces many research reports concerning the inmate population and other aspects of the operations of the Department. These research reports and publications are all available, full-text, through their Research Reports and Publications) Annotated Listing.

They also have the DOCS Newsroom, which is a collection of official press releases issued by DOCS, Fact Sheets that offer summary of key points on timely topics, News Links that contain news and press releases related to DOCS, and DOCS/TODAY, which is their quarterly newsletter.

Once you have a firm grasp on your research topic, a search of the Minerva Catalog will likely be your next source of information. While you can search the catalog using general keyword search terms and likely find some success, a better search strategy would be to search using various subject headings. Every book in the catalog is grouped together via a subject heading. If you can find the subject heading that best categorizes your research topic, the quality of the search results will be far greater as opposed to using a general keyword search. Try using the following subject headings in Minerva:

Prison Administration – United States
Correctional Institutions – United States – Administration
Jails – United States – Administration
Prisons – United States – Officials and Employees
Correctional Personnel – United States
Jails – United States – Management
Corrections – United States – Administration
Correctional Institutions – Personnel Management – United States

If it is articles that you are after, then you will definitely want to conduct your search in the Criminal Justice Periodicals Index database. You can get to this database by searching for it by title in the search box on the Databases and Indexes page, then clicking on its title. CJPI is a subject specific database, meaning that is only indexes journals that pertain to the study of criminal justice. Corrections is one of the several areas of specialization that CJPI focuses on, which makes it a great database to search for articles on correctional and prison administration. A majority of the articles indexed in CJPI range from 1981 to present, with a few articles included that date as far back as the 1970’s. Roughly one third of the journals indexed in CJPI are available full text, ranging from 1988 to present. CJPI is constantly updated on a weekly basis, so you know that you are searching the most recent and up-to-date criminal justice scholarship. For detailed information and a walkthrough on how best to search the CJPI database, please visit the Guide to Criminal Justice Periodicals Index.

For a comprehensive search, please note that we have two other major criminal justice databases, Criminal Justice Abstracts and NCJRS Abstracts Database (both a web version and an easier interface from CSA

If you have any questions or need help with research on a criminal justice topic, please contact Mary Jane Brustman, who is our Bibliographer for Criminal Justice. She can be reached by sending an email to mbrustman@uamail.albany.edu or by calling 442-3540.

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina

May 5, 2010

Scholarly Author Rights: Copyright and Open Access

Definition of Open Access Publication:

An Open Access Publication[1] is one that meets the following two conditions:
1. The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship[2], as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.
2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving (for the biomedical sciences, PubMed Central is such a repository).
1. Open access is a property of individual works, not necessarily journals or publishers.
2. Community standards, rather than copyright law, will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work, as they do now.��? Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing Released June 20, 2003

Open Access is a growing international movement that uses the Internet to distribute scholarly publications freely as a public good. It encourages the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, everywhere, rather than the use of copyright to restrict access only to those who will pay for it as a commodity owned exclusive by a commercial enterprise.

Open Access is the principle that all research should be freely accessible online, immediately after publication, and it’s gaining ever more momentum around the world as research funders and policy makers throw their weight behind it.

The Open Access philosophy was firmly articulated in 2002, when the Budapest Open Access Initiative was introduced. The BOAI, as it is known, includes these basic ideas:

To achieve open access to scholarly journal literature, we recommend two complementary strategies. I. Self-Archiving: First, scholars need the tools and assistance to deposit their refereed journal articles in open electronic archives, a practice commonly called, self-archiving. When these archives conform to standards created by the Open Archives Initiative, then search engines and other tools can treat the separate archives as one. Users then need not know which archives exist or where they are located in order to find and make use of their contents.

II. Open-access Journals: Second, scholars need the means to launch a new generation of journals committed to open access, and to help existing journals that elect to make the transition to open access. Because journal articles should be disseminated as widely as possible, these new journals will no longer invoke copyright to restrict access to and use of the material they publish. Instead they will use copyright and other tools to ensure permanent open access to all the articles they publish. Because price is a barrier to access, these new journals will not charge subscription or access fees, and will turn to other methods for covering their expenses. There are many alternative sources of funds for this purpose, including the foundations and governments that fund research, the universities and laboratories that employ researchers, endowments set up by discipline or institution, friends of the cause of open access, profits from the sale of add-ons to the basic texts, funds freed up by the demise or cancellation of journals charging traditional subscription or access fees, or even contributions from the researchers themselves. There is no need to favor one of these solutions over the others for all disciplines or nations, and no need to stop looking for other, creative alternatives. http://www.soros.org/openaccess/read.shtml

The idea that scholarly publications would be distributed freely rather than be distributed by commercial publishers for a price includes many complicated changes in the culture of scholarly communication. Publishers are very concerned about continued revenues. Scholars are concerned about the value that publishers add to scholarly publication, such as copy editing and management of the peer review process. These concerns must be discussed among various stakeholders in the scholarly communications community to ensure that quality publications are distributed with access to the greatest possible readership.

For further reading concerning open access and shifts in scholarly communication, see this Library Guide: Scholarly Communication and Open Access. For other questions, contact the library's copyright maven, Lorre Smith: (lsmith@uamail.albany.edu).

Blog post created by Lorre Smith

May 2, 2010

Final Workshop at Dewey Library This Week

The final workshop for the Spring Semester is being offered this week. If you did not get a chance to take the seminars you need to graduate, please contact our User Education Librarian, Deborah Bernnard (dbernnard@uamail.albany.edu, 442-3699).

Tuesday 5/4:
1:00PM: Evidence Based Practice

There will be a few sections of the Social Welfare Research Seminar offered in June, and the schedule for the fall will be available in August.

You can register for workshops with our Online Registration Form, at the Reference Desk, by sending email to Dewclass@albany.edu, or by calling the Reference Desk at 422-3691. If you find that you are unable to attend a class for which you have registered, please call the Reference Desk or send email to let us know.