New Year, New E-resources

Happy 2006! What better way to start the new year than to explore new research resources in the web world! Who needs crazy hats and tooting horns when we have: 1) ArticleFinder, a now free database of journal citations in the science, technical and medical fields, 2) new resources from EDUCAUSE, 3) a new alternative and herbal drug information resource from MEDLINE, 4) new tutorials on how to set up journal/magazine alerts and 5) Francesca�s Digital Dish!

1) ArticleFinder
ArticleFinder is not new but it the fact that it is now free is indeed news! ArticleFinder offers access to more than 26 million citations and eight million abstracts from over 54,000 journals, in science, technology and medicine (STM). More than 44,000 entries are added each week! See a breakdown by discipline at this web page. Search by broad subject or narrow your search by author, journal title, article date, etc. The articles you find however are not free (only the search interface is free). The articles can be ordered for a fee. Alternately you may check to see if the Library @ Mohawk has the desired journal or magazine article for free. Search the Library�s E-Journal Portal for a journal or magazine title. Or just come on in and ask us!

2) New Resources from EDUCAUSE
How can one live without EDUCAUSE? That is the question! New this month and year � Podcasting in the Classroom � Pocket Edition #3. From the site: �Podcasting has become popular, but if you are wondering what its educational value is, listen to EDUCAUSE Pocket Edition #3: Podcasting in the Classroom. This edition explores how podcasts are being used by faculty to enhance students’ educational experience. Along the way, many are finding unique value to this alternative media format.� Check out the other heaps of podcasting tutorials and content at the site!

In case you are wondering what a pocket edition is�it is an audio file in MP3 format that you can listen to while you are on the go! Download it to your MP3 player or listen to it on your computer�.it�s all convenient, all the time! Also available as a pocket edition from EDUCAUSE is��Invasion of the iPods�!

3) All you ever wanted to know about alternative drugs and herbal remedies!
Ever wonder if Echinacea really works to prevent a cold? Or just how much Ginseng you really need to consume before your memory improves? Well, help is here! MEDLINE Plus, that reliable and authoritative health database from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health now offers an Herbs and Supplements section in their Drug database.

The Herbs and Supplements section is located halfway down the page in the Drugs, Supplements and Herbal Information part of the MEDLINE Plus database. Here you can browse by first letter of the supplement and access heaps of high quality and current information.

4) New tutorials on journal and magazine alerts
We�ve nattered on about setting up �alerts� on the BRAIN_blog in the past. Basically �alerts� are email messages that are sent to you as soon as your favourite magazine or journal is published and the email contains the table of contents of the new issue and sometimes links to the actual articles! Sound nifty? Wondering how to set all this up? Now you can watch a Flash movie to see how to set up these alerts for yourself. Sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy.

To access these movies, go to the facultyspace and click the Services button on the left hand side of the screen. Then,choose the �information assistance� link from the top of the screen. The second section is called �Keeping up-to-date in your field� and here you�ll find links to 2 tutorial movies that will demonstrate how to set up alerts. One movie demonstrates how to up alerts in the EBSCOhost databases and the other shows how to set up alerts in the ProQuest databases. Not sure which are which? All is explained at the site! Still not sure? Just ask us! Links to the alert tutorials are here too:
How to set up an alert in the EBSCOhost databases
How to set up an alert in the ProQuest databases

5) Tell your students to tell us how they really feel!
The Library is conducting focus groups with student users of the Library at the end of January. Please pass on the word! Free snacks, refreshments and gift certificates to the lucky folks who participate! More info.

6) Francesca�s Digital Dish
Some interesting similarities between digital libraries and online games have come to my attention via a D-Lib magazine article entitled Parallel Worlds. Both online games and digital libraries interact with the user, and both contain a large amount of data that must be sorted through and applied by the user. Both offer an �always-on� type of service. However the types of data offered differs greatly. The primary data in a digital library may be books, journals or articles, while in a game it�s locale, characters and plot.

While digital library systems and online games offer very different services to the user, there is much that the designers of each could learn from the other. Usability qualities, customer support and data storage capabilities from online games are relevant to the developers of electronic libraries and vice-versa. (Though I don�t imagine your digital library will ever keep score.)

It�s important that we continually look for new ways to improve our services from among a variety of sources. We�re currently recruiting for Focus Group participants because we want to improve our services! The things we learn about our users will be vital to making the Library @ Mohawk meet and exceed expectations. Consider telling your students to take part in the experience � you�ll be glad you did.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: