Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Database of the Week: A-Z Resource Locator

Our first selection for the Database of the Week series is EBSCO's A-to-Z Resource Locator. According to the description on the Articles and Databases page of the Vise Library website, this database is "an alphabetic listing tool for locating the library's electronic resources." The description also states that it is "easy to navigate and provides access to the library's online titles including e-journals and individual articles in full-text databases."

That's clear enough, right? 

Okay, maybe not. For those of you who don't know what that means, let's break it down for you. Basically A-to-Z has two main purposes. The first is to show users the electronic periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers, etc) that the library has access to, including what databases they're located in and the dates we have. For example, if you need to find an article from the journal Nursing News, you could do a search for the title, and then A-to-Z would show you every database the journal is located in and what dates we have access to. Then, just click on a database name to go to it and see the journal articles.

Title Search Screen in A-to-Z

List of databases where journal is located

The second way you can use A-to-Z is to find the full-text of an article. This is useful if you've found a citation in another database or even somewhere online and want to be able to read the full text without having to pay for it. To find full-text articles, do a title search for the journal that the article is in. As with a title search, if the library has access to the journal, you'll see a list of the databases it's available in and what dates we have. Choose a database, then choose the date you need, and that should bring you to the article.

Available issues of Nursing News in CINAHL

Even though A-to-Z is a wonderful resource, there will still be times when we won't have access to certain periodicals or the full text of some articles. In that case, you can use Interlibrary Loan to borrow the article from another library, or talk to a librarian about finding similar articles.

Want to learn more about A-to-Z? EBSCO offers free training for it, or you can contact a librarian for a training session. Next week's database will be Heritage Quest, which is a great resource for finding census records.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Database of the Week Series

If you've ever attended a library instruction session, chances are you've seen a librarian talk about one of the databases, such as ProQuest Central, GreenFILE, or CINAHL Plus. Although those databases are fantastic, they are just a few of the resources that the library has. We've got databases that will help you learn another language, study for graduate school entrance exams, and find the full text of an article citation. In order to help library users know what kinds of resources we have, we've decided to profile some of these lesser known databases each week for the rest of the semester.

Every Tuesday, we'll profile a different database and show some ways it can be used by students, faculty, and staff members. We'll also give a few helpful hints to help you learn how to use them. This series will cover broad, non-subject specific databases, but we may focus on subject specific databases in the spring.

Our first "database of the week" will be A-Z Resource Locator, which is a great tool for locating the library's electronic resources, so be sure to come back next week to learn about it!