Throwback Thursday: WorldCat at your service

Cat and Mouse Games of the Caribbean

Image by John Jay Glenn. CC license here.

No…that’s not what I mean by WorldCat.

WorldCat, short for ‘world catalog’, is a service which allows library users to look up articles, books, DVDs, and more to see which libraries in their area own a copy.  Thousands of libraries, not only in the United States, but around the world participate in this service and more content is being added every day.

In a distributed learning environment with a digital library, sometimes we forget about the physical materials available in our own communities.  But WorldCat gives us a way to quickly search those local holdings without even leaving the house.  Yes!

I am so excited to wear my new snowflake pajamas that I can't sleep! I just want to research all night. Sigh it's 4am - why am I always awake at this hour? Gahhh

Image by Hi Tricia. CC license here.

So, how does it work?

Simple! Once you connect to www.worldcat.org you will immediately see a search box:

worldcat

Select the proper tab at the top or select ‘advanced search’ if you’d like a little more search control.  Then input the title of the work you’re looking for and press search.

The next page will show you a list of potential matches:

worldcatresults

If you don’t see a match on the screen, try using the filters on the left to narrow down the results.  If you do see the title you’re interested in, just click on it to be taken to a new screen where you can determine which libraries in your area own the work.

On the new page, scroll down about half-way to a section labeled ‘Find a copy in the library’.  Here, you can input a city or zip-code to determine local holdings (click on the image to enlarge it):

worldcatlocation

Click image to enlarge.

I know what you might be thinking…”that’s great, but those results are for academic institutions that I don’t attend.”  True, but most public universities allow members of the community to come in and use their resources within the library.  Permissions to check out materials will vary by location, but WorldCat makes it easy to get in touch with a librarian so you can determine your access privileges.

And don’t forget about your good ol’ public library!  Even if they don’t own a work, most public libraries participate in loan agreements (many with academic libraries!) so they can get a hold of what you need.  Since Fielding’s interlibrary loan service is limited to articles and book chapters, your public library might be just the place to snag a copy of a book without having to purchase it!

I Love My Library - Scotts Valley

Image by Santa Cruz Public Libraries. CC license here.

Will WorldCat always find the work you need in your area?  Unfortunately, no; it’s not a 100% guarantee.  But the more tools you have at your disposal, the better chance you have of freely accessing the information you need.

You can always contact you Fielding librarians for additional help and suggestions in locating resources.  Happy hunting!

This constitutes a useful resource!

For this week’s blog post, we’ve decided to take you around the world….in constitutions!  Government and research nerds rejoice!

Nerd Crossing

Image by Jon Parise. CC license here.

All jokes aside, we are referring to a wonderful and freely available reference website: www.constituteproject.org. Initially funded with a grant from Google Ideas, “Constitute offers access to the world’s constitutions that users can systematically compare them across a broad set of topics — using an inviting, clean interface” (from the ‘About’ page).

If you’ve ever wondered about the gender equality laws in Tunisia, wished to compare France and Norway’s constitutions, or wanted to see a list of all of the constitutions in the world which grant judicial independence, this is the tool for you!  Read on to learn more about what content is included and how to navigate this resource.

What exactly is available…?

Unsurprisingly, most of the world’s constitutions are available to read/download on the Constitute Project’s website.  In addition to being able to read and search these documents, you can also compare constitutions and explore them by topic.

As noted on their ‘About’ page, “Currently Constitute includes the constitution that was in force in September of 2013 for nearly every independent state in the world, but we continue to update these texts as they are amended or replaced.”

How can I use this awesome tool?

In its most basic form, you can use this site to read and search the world’s constitutions.  The initial search page will list all countries alphabetically and offer a search box on the left side of the screen to let you look for something specific:

constitute1

Click image to enlarge.

While that functionality alone is quite useful, there’s a lot more you can do.

For instance, let’s say that you are doing some research about definitions or protections for indigenous groups in various countries.  You could use the ‘Topic’ links to navigate to ‘culture and identity’ –> ‘indigenous groups’ –> ‘citizenship of indigenous groups’ (or one of the other indigenous rights-related topics):

constitute2

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Upon making this selection, you will see a list of all of the constitutions which include a piece about the citizenship of indigenous groups.  You could then select to read them individually, or you may choose a few to compare, like so:

constitute3

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On the ‘compare’ screen, the relevant sections of each constitution will be highlighted so you can quickly and easily review them:

constitute4

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For more detailed navigating information, check out their YouTube tutorial series:

Happy Searching!

Throwback Thursday: Free Samples!

This Thursday, we look back to a post from last year with guidance on how to find sample survey instruments, interview questions, and more. Enjoy!!

Free hugs

Image by Matthew G. CC license here.

Okay, you caught me…the library is not giving out free hugs (although after how busy Summer Session was perhaps it’s not a bad idea).

This ‘free samples’ post actually refers to finding sample survey instruments, interview questions, questionnaires, and so on.  A post we did not too long ago, Test It Out, covered some of the key steps in finding studies which employed certain tests or measures (hooray!).  But today’s post focuses on a way to find actual survey and interview questions…which can be a bit tricky.

As you probably know, scholarly articles do not typically publish appendices revealing the survey/interview questions used in obtaining results.  So what do you do when your advisor directs you to “find some sample questions” other academics have used?

Laptop on fire

Image by Chris Pawluk. CC license here.

First, you resist the urge to set fire to your laptop.  Second, you cruise on over to the Fielding library website and connect to the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global database (by following the ‘databases’ link on the main library website).

While most scholarly articles do not include the full-text of their survey instruments, dissertations and theses do!  That’s right, as you are well aware, graduate and doctoral students must meticulously account for how and why they achieved the results of their studies. Lucky for you, this means the appendices of these documents are a gold-mine of sample measures.  Let’s head on over to the database to take a look at how this works.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global

When you connect to the database, you will land on the familiar blank advanced search screen.  If you’ve connected to this database with the intention of finding sample questions–or just sample studies which employ a certain method (i.e. phenomenology, case study, etc.)–the best way to accomplish this goal is to search using a term or two describing your topic and a term describing the type of measure/study you hope to find.

Let’s imagine I’m doing some research into organizational cultures and need to find some sample interview questions.  I may build my search like so:

dissinterviews

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Though quite basic, I’ve asked the database to look for the phrase “organizational culture” and the keyword ‘interviews’ anywhere except for in the full-text of the document.  Since the dissertation’s abstract will include a piece about the methodology used, this is a fairly reliable method to employ to find the samples you need.  Here are the first few results this search retrieved (**note, I blacked out the author/institution names since I could not ask for permission to display them):

sample results page

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As you can see underlined in red, each of these works’ abstracts has a portion which explains interviews were used (at least in some capacity) to obtain some data.  From here, I could preview abstracts, select a relevant document, then open the PDF to view the appendix which would contain a copy of the questions employed.

Your particular research topic is likely more specific that just ‘organizational culture’ so remember you can use multiple terms to refine your search.  Let’s do one slightly more refined sample search together for good ‘measure’ (pun intended).

In this case, let’s imagine my research focuses on the use of social media by teenagers and I plan to conduct a case study. I might build my search like so:

screenshot of case study search

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Not sure about all that fancy syntax?  Make sure to check out the search tip handout on the ‘Quick Tip Docs’ page for explanations.

In essence, that search asks the database to find the phrase “social media”, to find any one of those terms describing teens or youth or adolescent, and to find the phrase “case study”.  This yielded 17 results total, here’s a sampling:

sample of results page

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And there you have it.  Just another trick to have up your sleeve as you work on your own research.  Hopefully this means that next time you’re asked to find some samples you’ll react like this…

man crossing finish line

Image by meridican. CC license here.

Happy searching!  And remember you can always contact the library with questions (library@fielding.edu).

Write right

As is the case with many tasks asked of you at the graduate level, the writing process can sometimes feel a bit…nebulous.

nebulous

Original image by ok, Shawna. CC license.

What to do during those dark times when you need guidance (or those light times when you feel motivated and ready to learn)?

The Fielding library has subscription access to a number of resources which can aid you in the scholarly writing process.

In fact, we just recently created a ‘Writing Resources Guide’ which highlights many of these resources and makes them find-able by subject (i.e. Dissertation writing; business writing; psychology; proposals/funding, and more!).  You can cruise right on over to the ‘Quick Tip Docs‘ page of this blog to download a copy–available in either Word or PDF formats.  Once you’re on the page just scroll down to the bottom of the ‘quick reference guides’ section to find the links.

If that’s not enough to tickle your fancy, you’ll find several appendices at the end of the guide with refreshers on how to navigate and locate this content in our collection!

Let’s look at a sampling of some of the titles to give you a better sense of what’s available.

First up, Finish Your Dissertation, Don’t Let It Finish You by Joanne Sumerson

dissertationtitle

Image from Amazon.com.

As explained by the publisher, this work “presents comprehensive coverage of the entire dissertation process, from selecting a committee and choosing a research topic to conducting the research and writing and defending your dissertation.”

Another great option, Publishing Journal Articles by Lucinda Becker and Pam Denicolo

publishingtitle

Image from Amazon.com

This work is advertised as an “accessible, informative and entertaining book [that] provides practical strategies to help maximize the chances of success in getting your work published in the journal of your choice.”

One more to consider, Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword

stylishtitle

Image from Amazon.com

Harvard University Press describes this work as follows: “Elegant data and ideas deserve elegant expression, argues Helen Sword in this lively guide to academic writing. For scholars frustrated with disciplinary conventions, and for specialists who want to write for a larger audience but are unsure where to begin, here are imaginative, practical, witty pointers that show how to make articles and books a pleasure to read—and to write.”

Be sure to check out these works as well as the many other books and book chapters noted in the writing resources guide!

Happy Searching!

Dead URLs — let’s go wayback

Does this scenario sound familiar? You read an interesting article. You’re perusing the list of references to discover further reading suggestions. You find an awesome prospect with a ‘retrieved from’ URL.  You follow the URL only to be presented with that persnickety message….“The page cannot be found”.  

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

What to do? Turn that frown upside down and head over to the ‘Wayback Machine’, a tool brought to you by the Internet Archive.

The Wayback Machine “is a service that allows people to visit archived versions of Web sites.” Your friends at the Internet Archive have been diligently archiving webpage content for decades which makes it possible for you to view, browse, and surf older versions of URLs.

Why is this good news for you?  This tool can allow you to follow that great ‘retrieved from’ URL so you can actually see the content instead of the irritating ‘page not found’ message.  Hooray for no dead ends!

 

How does it work?

Step 1: Connect to the Wayback Machine at this URL: https://archive.org/web/

Step 2: Copy and paste the dead URL into the search box at the top of the page, like so:

Screenshot of wayback webapge.

Click image to enlarge.

Step 3: Press ‘Browse History’.  When you do so, the results screen will indicate any dates on which the contents of this specific URL were saved by the archive.  You can use the graph at the top of the screen to select a particular year, then click on an individual date to actually see what the page looked like at the time:

waybackcalendar

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Step 4: Explore the archived site.  If you went to a very specific URL (like in this example) you may only be able to view one page.  If you followed a general URL (see our older post about the Wayback Machine to see it used on Fielding’s own website) you will be able to click on links and ‘surf’ the site.

Here’s a screenshot of what you see following the example above:

waybackresult

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Notice with delight that this allows you to read the full article that used to be posted at this URL!

Even though the URL currently leads to a dead-end, the Wayback Machine allows you to see what used to be there.

Next time you run into a dead-end scenario, try plugging the URL in here to see if you can still access the past content.  While the Internet Archive, of course, cannot index every webpage ever created, it does store A TON of content.

Happy Searching!

April is National Autism Awareness Month

autism ribbon

April is National Autism Awareness Month and in recognition of that your librarians wanted to point out some of the autism research resources available to you in the Fielding library.

First, here is a selected list of some excellent journal titles, the coverage dates to which you have access, and the database in which you can find the content:

Autism: The international journal of research and practice

autism cover

You can gain access to articles published from 1999-present in the SAGE Premier database.

Research in autism spectrum disorders

rasdcover

Access to articles published from 2007-present available in the Social & Behavior Sciences/ScienceDirect database.

Autism research

autismresearchcover

Full-text from 2008-present available in the Wiley database.

In addition to these titles, you have access to additional journal titles as well as a number of e-books. To check the available titles, follow the ‘Journal and Book Titles’ link on the main library website, set the drop-down menu to ‘title contains all words’, and use ‘autism’ as your search term:

Autism title resource list

Click image to enlarge.

 

Of course, beyond these individual titles, many of our research databases contain scholarly articles of interest. For example, you may try cross-searching all of our ProQuest databases at once (not sure how? Learn how here).  Once you’ve selected all (or whichever) databases, one strategy to try is to use the ‘thesaurus’ and choose the subject term for ‘Autism’. Once you’ve added the subject term to your search, you may want to make additional refinements such as limiting to the last few years, or limiting to a certain type of article like a ‘literature review’.

Here is a screenshot of how to build a search like that:

screenshot of autism search

Click image to enlarge.

 

Remember that in addition to our subscription resources, there are a number of resources on the web which might prove useful as well.

The CDC funds a group of programs known as the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network and reports on their activities and findings here. There are additional resources and links out both on the CDC page and on the NIMH’s Autism page, available here.

We hope you will find some of these resources useful in your research. You’re always welcome to contact the library for more specific guidance on your topic.

Happy Searching!

PILOTS: A database that’s not about flying

If PILOTS isn’t about flying…what exactly is the purpose of this database?

Pilot

Image by Valerie Everett. CC License.

Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress: PILOTS.  Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and produced by the National Center for PTSD, the PILOTS database seeks to index worldwide information pertaining to traumatic stress and traumatic events (not limited just to veterans).

As explained on their website, PILOTS”attempts to include all publications relevant to PTSD and other forms of traumatic stress, whatever their origin without disciplinary, linguistic, or geographic limitations.”

Once you select ‘PILOTS’ from our library’s ‘Databases’ list, you will be taken to an intermediary screen.  You just need to follow the link labeled ‘Search the PILOTS database’ to proceed to the search interface:

pilotsaccess

Click image to enlarge.

Once connected, you will notice a familiar search screen thanks to our friends at ProQuest. As with our other ProQuest databases, you will be able to connect to an ‘advanced search’ page and take advantage of some handy tools such as the ‘thesaurus’. (Need a refresher on how to use a database thesaurus?  Jump on over to our post about that!)

You can even search for articles which use particular tests and measures by using their ‘Look Up Tests and Measures’ function on the advanced search page:

pilotssearchtools

Click image to enlarge.

Why use this database?

Well, anyone interested in research related to ‘traumatic stress’ will find the database useful for obvious reasons.  Beyond that, using a database specific to your subject of interest will alleviate you from having to think of search terms related to that subject. Hence, instead of using a broader search tool and needing to input several terms to return results about traumatic stress in general, you can jump straight to this database and just enter terms related to your narrower topic.

Just another tool to have at the ready when you need it!

Happy Searching!

Do I D.O.I or Don’t I?

Ah yes, the elusive ‘D.O.I.’ number. Do you use it? Do you not use it? Does this article even have one? What is a DOI anyway? Sometimes this little number can leave you feeling a bit confused about what to do next…

Confused traffic signal

Photo by caesararum. CC license.

 

Time to demystify (and hopefully not re-mystify!).

What the heck is it and where does it come from?

First things first, what is a DOI number?

DOI stands for ‘Digital Object Identifier’. In essence, a DOI number is a unique number (it’s actually alphanumeric) assigned at the individual item level.   Since we’re an academic library, we’ll focus the explanation to the context in which you’ll most commonly see DOIs: scholarly journal articles. In this context, DOIs are incredibly useful because they help to unambiguously identify items. Two articles may both have a similar title–“Toward a theory of management”–but will have unique DOIs which make it crystal clear to which article is being referenced.

When you consider the sheer volume of information (digital and otherwise) which exists, it can be hard to find and re-find the same information again and again. When a DOI is assigned to an article, the article now has a unique identifier and a persistent internet address. That means the article is easier to find and its related citation information has a permanent home. Yay! (That’s exciting because then if the journal tanks or changes its name or website, you still have a way to find the necessary citation information without a wild goose chase.)

Of course, the DOI system has not existed for all time. Older articles will likely not have DOIs assigned retroactively, so you should not expect an article to always have a DOI.

Most of the time, publishers assign DOI numbers to scholarly articles at the time of publication.

Should you for some reason desire  more technical information, the International Organization for Standardization developed the system. You can read more here (preferably with a large cup of coffee).

How do I know if the article I’m reading has a DOI? Wait, what if I have a DOI but no citation?! Ahhhh…..

 

Fear not, there’s one handy tool to help answer all of these questions: CrossRef. As expressed in their mission statement, “Crossref’s specific mandate is to be the citation linking backbone for all scholarly information in electronic form.” They are a non-profit community trying to create a space which helps expedite the research process by making it easier to look up/confirm/etc. information.  You can think of them as a space that does not store full-text papers, but that stores all of the metadata about those papers. While they technically do not have everything, their database does included some 76 million records, making it a great tool for any researcher.

So let’s say you read an article and are going to cite it (APA Style) in a paper.  If it has a DOI, APA wants you to include it in your citation. What if you are unsure?  Head on over to www.crossref.org. Copy and paste the full article title (or author, or full citation) into the search box like so:

Screenshot of crossref search.

Click image to enlarge.

 

The results page will show you matches ranked by relevance.  This search found a match and displayed the DOI number.  Notice that you can also click on the ‘actions’ link if you want to generate a citation for the work:

Crossref results page.

Click image to enlarge.

Of course, this system works in reverse as well.  What if someone provided you a short-hand list of references which is really just a list of DOIs? Grumble a little, then plug the DOIs into Crossref to find the full citation information:

Crossref DOI search.

Click image to enlarge.

 

And Voila:

Crossref DOI search result.

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APA Style….

Yes, yes, the APA manual advises that you include DOI numbers (in the form of a web address) whenever they exist. While this can feel tedious, there are tools to help! In addition to CrossRef, the APA Style Blog created a great post explaining how and when to include DOIs in your citations: http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/digital-object-identifier-doi/.  At the bottom of the post, you will find links out to some additional information about DOIs.

And that concludes this introduction to DOIs. Feel free to contact the library with any questions.  Happy searching (and finding)!

I have a citation…..now what?

You’ve all been there.  Read a great article, found some awesome resources in the citation list….but….how can you easily determine if the articles in those citations are in the Fielding library?

We’ll show you two options to help make this task simpler, so you can focus on continuing to read and research.

We’ll walk though our examples today using this citation:

  • Catalano, A. (2013). Patterns of graduate students’ information seeking behavior: A meta-synthesis of the literature. Journal of Documentation, 69(2), 243-274. doi:10.1108/00220411311300066

 

Option 1: Check Our Access to the Journal First

 

Why It’s Good:  Most Reliable Method
What You Won’t Like:  Not the Fastest

How to Do It:

  • Identify the journal name in the citation.  In this case, the work is published in the Journal of Documentation.
  • Connect to the library website and click on the link labeled ‘Journal and Book Titles’.
  • Select the E-Journals Only tab at the top of the screen, then set the drop-down menu to how you would like to search.  We typically recommend using the ‘title contains all words’ option as it is the most flexible.
  • Input your search information (this will correspond to whichever search method you’ve chosen) and press search.  Here’s a screenshot of how I would look for this title:
Screenshot of title search.

Click image to enlarge.

  • Your search result(s) will offer three key pieces of information: a) It will tell you whether we have access to the journal, b) You will see the publication dates to which we have full-text access and c) You will see what database stores the journal’s content (sometimes there will be more than one).  Here’s a screenshot of my results:
titleresults

Click image to enlarge.

  • In this case, we can see that we do have to this journal in a few different databases. We have access to full-text published from 1997-present in the Emerald Management database. Or, we can access articles published between 2001 and 1 year ago in either ABI/Inform or ProQuest Education Journals.
  • Since our citation is for an article published in 2013, we can use any of the databases  to reach the article. Let’s click on ‘Emerald Management 120″.
  • Once you connect to the journal, it’s just a matter of “drilling down” to the volume   and issue you need. This will look different depending on the database, but you will   typically either see a link to ‘all issues’ or the back issues will be listed on the page already. In my case, I need Volume 69, Issue 2 from 2013:
volumeselect

Click image to enlarge.

  •  After you select the issue you need, you can just scroll down until you see the article you want to access.

Option 2: Use Google Scholar via the Library

Why It’s Good: Extremely fast
Why You Won’t Like It: Sometimes it doesn’t link properly

How To Do It:

  • From the main library website click on the ‘databases’ link.  You will need to scroll through the alphabetical list to select ‘Google Scholar’.
  • Copy and paste the full article title into the search box. *Note, most of the time you will not need to put the article title in quotation marks.  However, if the article title is fairly general (i.e. “a theory of management”) or if you do not immediately find a match, try putting quotes around the title and searching again.
googlescholarsearch

Click image to enlarge.

  • On the results page, look to the right of the matching article title. If you see a handy little “Full-Text @ Fielding” link that more than likely means we have the article (remember, occasionally this method won’t work right).
googlescholarresults

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  • Click on the ‘Full-Text’ link to be redirected to the article within Fielding’s library subscriptions.
  • Ideally, in a few seconds you will then be connected straight to the article:
googletofulltext

Click image to enlarge.

Why doesn’t it always work?  Well, this is just an unfortunate reality of indexing millions of digital documents. Most of the time, you will be linked without trouble.  However, sometimes there is an error (either because we don’t really have the article, it was not indexed correctly, etc. etc.).

If you receive an error using this method. the best thing you can do is use Option 1 to check our access to the journal. The great thing about these digital works is that there are always multiple routes you can take to access them.  If one option does not work, test another so you can confirm whether or not we should have the document. If we don’t have access, then you’ll know you can request a copy through interlibrary loan.

Happy (re)searching!

Gentle Nudge (…or plea)

Greetings to all of you lovely blog readers! This is, I promise, our final gentle reminder that there is still time to make your voice heard and complete our library survey!

librarycheer

Image by Boris Lechaftois. CC license here.  Adapted from original.

We welcome any and all feedback.  Not to mention…this is a wonderful way to procrastinate just a little longer!

Just click on the appropriate link below to get started:

Student Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LQLMJZ6

Faculty Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L972MYZ

Thank you, have a wonderful weekend, and happy searching!